Last Updated on May 6, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 248
Booth, Wayne. “Did Sterne Complete Tristram Shandy?” Modern Philology 48, no. 3 (February, 1951): 172-183. Draws on extensive biographical and textual evidence to dispel the notion that Tristram Shandy is a careless, haphazard book without logical structure. Claims that Sterne intended to end with Uncle Toby’s story from the novel’s inception.
Jefferson, D. W. “Tristram Shandy and the Tradition of Learned Wit.” In Laurence Sterne: A Collection of Critical Essays, edited by John Traugott. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice-Hall, 1968. Locates Tristram Shandy in the satirical tradition of François Rabelais and Jonathan Swift. Studies how Sterne juxtaposes the discourses of medieval cosmology, medicine, physiology, law, religion, and military science with human folly.
New, Melvyn. “Tristram Shandy”: A Book for Free Spirits. New York: Twayne, 1994. A helpful introduction designed for students. A discussion of the historical milieu, literary importance, and critical reception of Tristram Shandy precedes five different, often contradictory, readings of the novel. Includes a brief annotated bibliography.
Traugott, John. Tristram Shandy’s World: Sterne’s Philosophical Rhetoric. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1954. Asserts that Sterne’s rhetorical project subverts John Locke’s rationalist doctrine of the association of ideas by positing the moral value of wit and human feeling. A valuable treatment of Sterne’s philosophy.
Zimmerman, Everett. “Tristram Shandy and Narrative Representation.” The Eighteenth Century: Theory and Interpretation 28, no. 2 (Spring, 1987): 127-147. Engages eighteenth century historical scholarship to balance Sterne’s moral vision and the limitations of viewpoint, narrative, and representation as they are reflected in Tristram Shandy.