Archive for March, 2008


Where to Begin?

March 31, 2008

Let me say that I logged into the blog with many insightful comments that I had mined from deep cogitations on the text of Sterne’s classic, but now I feel I must address a few of the numerous items you bring up in your posts.

So, basically thanks to you those people who are reading this blog who were hoping to find some truly insightful tidbits of literary analysis will now be sorely disappointed.

First of all, thank you for the in-depth comparisons between T-Shan and the tweenage juggurnaut that is High School Musical. I feel your insightful comments will make this masterpiece once again relevant to the “tween”age crowd. Brava.

Secondly, in your Shantastic PSAs you seem to be equating our man Shan with a drug of some sort? But come on, Jon, we both know Shandy is completely harmless and I think you and I could both attest to the fact that the book is, to put it kindly, somewhat less than habit forming.

I have to say the idea of putting your name at the end of your posts is ingenious. So much so, in fact, I think I will give it a go.




Laurence Sterne Meet Sammy Slammer Jammer

March 30, 2008

Well let me just say two very enthusiastic thumbs up for the live stage version of High School Musical…I would not have guessed that the movie could be topped but the anguish of high school clique-dom was even more visceral live and in person.

And, as my mind is wont to do, my thoughts began to shift Shandyways on my drive home and if anything High School Musical gave me a greater appreciation for Sterne’s masterwork.

Just as Troy and Gabriela must transgress their high school identities (she the Mathlete, he the jock) in order to find love and fulfillmen in the titular stage production, so did Laurence Sterne have to confound popular notions of narrative when he started his Tristram.

“Stick to the Status Quo” Troy and Gabriela’s friends sing in the rousing cafeteria number that marks the end of Act I…but just like his modern day counterparts, Laurence Sterne thumbed his nose at those 18th century Sharpays and found his happiness in a long, winding pointless tale of confusion and boredom.

On a slightly completely unrelated note I’ve come up with another Shandy PSA that I shall entitle “PSA #2”:

A bald middle aged, mustachioed man bursts into his son’s bedroom brandishing a worn paperback copy of Shandy. “What do you have to say for yourself? Where did you learn about this?” He asks his son. His son, an emotional tremor entering his voice says, “You! I learned it from watching you!” The camera pans down and tightly covering the man’s paunch is a tee-shirt featuring Rachel Leigh Cook and Rosario Dawson in their Josie and the Pussycat costumes with the a text balloon proclaiming “I Like Shandy!”

And with that dear twin I shall sign off.

It’s been real.

It’s been fun.

It’s been real fun.



I’m surprised!

March 29, 2008

Surprised that you know a handful of people! I know like 5…and maybe one of them (you) is reading this blog (This encyclopedic knowledge of Cabot Cove, Golden Girls, and Koko & Yum Yum comes at a sacrifice and that sacrifice is human interaction…sigh).

Now back to the matter at hand–Tristram Shandy. I’m not reading it. At least not this weekend…with my interview, High School Musical (the live show!) and the impending due date of Duma Key. I just have to say no to Shandy.

On a slightly related note…I’m trying to put together a PSA where Rachel Leigh Cook decimates a kitchen with a frying pan and then says “This is your brain on Shandy. And then the rest of the cast of Josie and the Pussycats (or at least Rosario Dawson) come out and sing a rousing version of “I Like Shandy” to the tune of the Archie’s “I Like Candy.”

That’s all I got twin…gotta run Mom and I are getting ready to watch The Kite Runner.

Your Twin,


(I’ll just make it explicit.)


Fletch Lives

March 28, 2008

By “Fletch,” I of course mean, Jessica Fletcher, everyone’s favorite Cabot Cove substitute English teacher turned mystery novelist turned amatuer slueth.

And by “lives” I mean…in our hearts. (Or in your heart at least.)

I also think its funny that it is the inner workings of my mind that is a scary place to visit when it is you, twin brother, who can seemingly relate everything in life to one of three things:

1. The Golden Girls (or various earlier sitcoms featuring the 4 stars of The Golden Girls)
2. Mystery novels featuring feline sleuths
3. Murder, She Wrote

Isn’t there an old proverb about people living in glass houses (lined with shelves of Golden Girls and Murder, She Wrote DVDs and cat mysteries) not throwing stones?

Also, I’ve recently heard from a handful of people who read this blog (First, can you believe a whole handful actually read it?) that it is slightly difficult to figure out which one of us writing. To clear that up, we do tag our names in the tag list below, and if it is not tagged its pretty safe to assume that I wrote it, since I am forgetful and not nearly as tag-savvy as my twin.

Also, as a rule of thumb, I am the funny one.

No wait, it’s Jon who is the funny one.

Sorry, wrong again, it’s both of us who just think we are funny. (Maybe it would be easier just to check the tags.)


Inside Your Head…

March 27, 2008

is a surprisingly scary place to be.

So that’s what you think about while reading Tristram Shandy–I think its beautiful that creation begets creation. And I quite enjoyed your paragraphs…especially the poem (I love rhyming!)…although I’m not sure that its “Homeric”, but I’m rusty on my dactyls and whatnot.

When I read Tristram all I think about it is this…but then again when am I not thinking about that…perhaps Tristram will relocate to small New England and solve mysteries! Dr. Slop can be his Dr. Hazlitt!


Shandy is Dandy, but Slop is the Top

March 26, 2008

Okay, so the title to this post has no real relation to what I am going to write, but as I was reading volume two last night, this little rhyme continually amused me during, well let’s call them the slow parts.

To that end, I have to admit that I found my mind wandering a bit more in Vol. 2 than it was in Vol. 1. But rest assured that while I may not have been giving the book my full attention, my wandering thoughts were all somewhat Shandy-related. My favorite reading past time was imagining good ol’ Tristram as the narrator of different types of books. Here were my favorites:

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Cowboy:

“I reckon to tell y’all the true as true can be story of my rearin’ and raisin’, but to give the tale its proper colorin’ I must beg your pardon as my story will mosey from here to there and there to here and here to there. While it may see a bit meanderin’ and move slower than a pack mule after a 3 day trip down the Pecos, in the end, I’d be willin’ to wager a month’s wages that y’all be plenty pleased with the yarn.”

(For some reason, in my mind cowboys say “y’all” quite frequently and never pronounce the “g” in a gerund. My imaginings are far from accurate.)

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Homeric Poet:

Oh Muse, I sing you the song of my nascence
But first I must beg of you a moment of patience
First I must sing to thee of moments somewhat related
Mention of my birth, must therefore, be somewhat belated.

In my mind Tristram would be a sucker for the couplet.

What do you think? I tried to imagine Tristram into being the narrator of a cat-sleuthing mystery, but this is all I could come up with him to say:

“Meow, meow meow. Meow meow meow meow! Meow?”

Perhaps it would be best if I focused a bit more on the book from now on.


Duly Impressed

March 25, 2008

You pushed through the entire second book already!? I am duly impressed…I realized this morning as I started Book 3 that I had (grievously) omitted Shandy Sr’s thoughts on the relation of birth canal size and ultimate child quality. That was a key portion of Book II–I’m glad you brought it up.

In Book III I like that Sterne continues to shade his characters…for instance the fact that Slop is toothless, incapable of untying knots, and probably shouldn’t be practicing any form of medicine (his inability to determine whether the part of baby emerging was the head or the hip, gave me pause…as did his crippling of Uncle Toby with the forceps).

On an unrelated note…by the bye…in my other readings I came across another use of the term “HOBBY HORSE” (although this time in its uncapitalized version). This time in Lauren Groff’s Monsters of Templeton. Is Templeton nodding towards Shandy? Or is “HOBBY HORSE” another popular saying that’s slipped by my radar (cf. “My Bad”)?

These are the questions I ponder.