Absurdism, Books, Rhetoric

A fellow of infinite jest

Recently I summarised, dissected, reviewed and analysed Cervantes’s masterwork Don Quixote. It elicited a request for further classic works, more revered than read, to be so treated. Here, in a continuation of that public service, therefore, is my rumination on an English comic novel: The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Lawrence Sterne, first published in York in 1759.

The Monty Python team once held an All-England Summarise Proust Competition in which the finalists were required to summarise A la recherche du Temps Perdu, once in swimsuit and once in evening dress. Continue reading

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Books, Miscellaneous

A Cold Winter in Poland

Have you ever wanted to count every sentence in War and Peace and plot them on a horizontal axis of a graph, and then count every word in those sentences and plot them on the vertical axis of the graph? What is wrong with you? Some very kind nuclear physicists in Cracow, Poland, have spared us this necessary task. And not just War and Peace, because they have completed it for Ulysses, The Ambassadors, Moby Dick and a further 109 literary classics, written in English, Italian, French, German, Polish and Russian.

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