Proto-Flaneur: Laurence Sterne on Digression

Laurence Sterne was a flaneur and blogger before either word was uttered. Consider his credo  from Tristram Shandy:

“Digressions, incontestably, are the sunshine;—they are the life, the soul of reading!—take them out of this book, for instance,—you might as well take the book along with them;—one cold eternal winter would reign in every page of it; restore them to the writer;—he steps forth like a bridegroom,—bids All-hail; brings in variety, and forbids the appetite to fail.”

(Left5)Laurence  Sterne painted in watercolour by French artist Louis Carrogis Carmontelle, ca. 1762. [Source: Wikipedia]

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