Fielding e Sterne: vita e opere

Appunti riassuntivi della vita, della poetica e delle principali opere degli autori inglesi Henry Fielding e Lawrence Sterne, con le caratteristiche letterarie del loro periodo storico (5 pagine formato doc)

Appunto di bestiolina87


The comic-epic novel.

Henry Fielding. HENRY FIELDING (1707 – 1754). Fielding was born into an aristocratic family in 1707. He was educated fists at Eton and then in Holland. Fielding began his career as a playwright and then he decided to resume his legal studies and, in1740, he was called to Bar. In the meantime, he had also begun writing novels. He was appointed Justice of Peace and a London magistrate.
This job brought him into contact with the poor and criminal classes and, driven by a great concern for them, he did his best to improve prison conditions and reform judicial proceeding.


•    An apology for the life of Mrs. Shamela Andrews a short anonymous parody of Richardson’s Pamela.
•    The history of the adventures of Joseph Andrews and his friend Mr Abraham Adams written in imitation of Cervantes Don Quixote, in which, revising the parody begun in the previous work, fielding at first imagined that Pamela’s good and modest brother, Joseph, had to defend his virtue against the attacks of his mistress, Lady Booby. Is a real novel in which Joseph, after many adventures, is finally able to return home and marry a beautiful and virtuous girl..
•    The history of Tom Jones, a foundling ï‚® the story of a foundling who, after many vicissitude, manages to discover his real origin and marry the woman he loves.
The comic – epic novel. Disgusted by the sham morality of Pamela as well as his hypocrisy and ambiguity, he wrote Shamela, the satirical purpose of which was made explicit by the long title of the work. Written in the epistolary form this short comic narrative as not a true novel, however, but simply the parody of someone else’s work.
Writing Joseph Andrews Fielding seems to have realized a new literary genre and he decided to approach it methodically by first defining what he really wanted to write and how. Having decided to describe comic situations within an epic structure, Fielding looked for a model and found it in Servantes Don Quixote, form which in Joseph Andrews he borrowed the structure of the journey, “heroic” adventures, much humour, and the epic tone applied to trivial events.

Laurence Sterne e Henry Fielding: riassunto breve

Features. Although containing elements found in picaresque novel, Joseph Andrews remains a comic epic poem in prose, a definition which could also be applied to others Fielding’s works, particularly Tom Jones:
•    The plot is no longer based on a simple sequence of events or on a single story, but presents a well – knit combination of episodes in an organic unit,
•    No more indoor setting but outdoors (streets, highways, various itineraries),
•    There is a wide range of characters including middle – class non- conformists as well as members of the lower classes since they afforded the greatest diversity and the greatest potential for the truly comic. His character are static, they remain the same from beginning to end,
•    All the novel offer a realistic and genuine picture of the 18th century English life,
•    There is no idea of Puritan punishment. Sexual instinct is frankly presented and not branded as immoral or suppressed, but simply controlled and direct to the good. There is nonetheless a moral message strictly connected with Fielding’s belief in men’s natural inclination towards goodness,
•    There are neither melodramatic episodes nor heartrending scenes of falsely prudish attitudes. Love is a strong, sound feeling, which is openly revealed without any false reluctance.


TOM JONES. This work is dramatic in structure and divided into three parts:
1.    Twenty – one where the young Tom, a good –natured and generous foundling is brought up as a soon by Mr. Allworthy, who loves him more that his legitimate nephew Blifil. Tom falls in love with Sophia Western, she loves him against the will of his father, who does not want a foundling in his family. But Blifil, wishing to take revenge on his cousin, plans to replace Tom in the girl’s heart and successfully intrigues to have Tom turned out of the house...


The anti-novel. Laurence Sterne. The anti – novel. Laurence Sterne is the writer who gave birth the so – called “anti – novel”. Sterne wrote a work which is quite the opposite of the novel, in the sense of the literary genre which was developing at the time.
Novel - characterized by a plot, by a narrative and a chronological order, by communication, by a progressive sequence of events with a beginning and a conclusion. Sterne chose disorder as his narrative principle, broke all logical links between episodes, interrupted the progression of events with continuous digressions, wrote an “open” work without beginning or end, produced unpredictable characters and introduced non – communicating dialogues long before modern experiments in this manner.