chapter  2
40 Pages

Sentimental Journeys?: Adaptations of Sterne’s Travel Narratives

In the preface that he eventually composes for A Sentimental Journey, Yorick supplies a rationale for the journey he is beginning to undertake: although ‘nature’ may ‘circumscribe the discontent of man … by laying him under almost insuperable obligations to work out his ease, and to sustain his sufferings at home’, he leaps the ‘boundaries and fences’ she imposes to explore his identity in the world beyond the ‘home’ of self and of native country (13). Travel rescues man from the threat of solipsistic self-enclosure within his ‘own sphere’, enabling him to learn something of the world he inhabits and also of himself as he encounters new people and new experiences.