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On the Unconventional Narrative Art in Tristram Shandy

Author LiuXueMei
Tutor JiShengLei
School Hebei Normal
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Unconventionality digression interjection juxtaposition nonlinearity
Type Master's thesis
Year 2006
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Laurence Sterne has always been considered the least rule-bound of the British eighteenth-century novelists, and his Tristram Shandy is generally cited as the most eccentric production within the already varied collection of narrative types of eighteenth-century fiction.His work occupies a very outstanding place in English literary history by its unique structure, disorder scenes and plot, unearthliness characters, and original way of description. In format, it breaks out of the limitation or bound of classicism, surpasses the organic structure of realist novels. Everything is centered and developed around the intangible thoughts of the protagonist which result in the scattered and disordered scenes. The inner world of the characters also show a mass of chaos, the mood of the persona changes unpredictably. In narrative technique, it throws time scheme and space order into confusion. In this novel, time scheme is not chronological and scenes are changed constantly. The skill for dealing with the relationship among author, narrator and reader is larruping. It needs reader’s positive participation, either to imagine or to discuss. The various mechanical devices employed in the novel have an unique wonderful effect in expressing specific meaning. Nevertheless, we can still identify two clearly discernible narrative lines in the book. Actually, the narrative order and the way of dealing with the time scheme are all based on the stream of author’s consciousness. It organically combines Defoe’s distinguished imagination and Richardson’s instant passion toward characters, and it shows the lively factuality, and simultaneously makes us puzzled and fascinated.This paper attempts to probe into the unique narrative technique of Tristram Shandy. It discusses the various aspects of the unconventionality of Sterne’ s narrative arts and probes into the artistic value and profound meanings of the unconventional narrative technique.Chapter One mainly discusses the unconventional time scheme, including disordered time sequence, overlapping time sequence and incongruent time sequence. Chapter Two talks about the unconventional plot. The author relies so heavily on

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