When I was in high school, I heard about John Barth’s The Sot Weed Factor. I aquired the book one Friday, and did not sleep ’till I had finiched reading it several days later.
The Sot Weed Factor is John Barth’s satire on early Maryland history, written appropriately in a pseudo-18th century style. Thus I discovered 18th century liturature.
Next was Tobias Smollett, and then Laurence Sterne. Roderic Random, Peregrine Pickle, and of course, The Life and Optinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. More opinions than life, for, as I recall, in the first 100 pages or so, we learn about the cicumstances of Tristram’s conception, and the incident of his accidental circumcision. Lots of opinions, though.
All done in this marvelous 18th century discorsive style.
But I never got arround to reading The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling. There is of course the 1963 film with Albert Finney, directed by Tony Richardson, so I know the basic plot.
The other day I downloaded Tom Jones on my kindle, and started reading.
How did I ever miss Henry Fielding?