Study Guide

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman Book 3, Chapter 38

By Laurence Sterne

Book 3, Chapter 38

  • Slawkenbergius is the man when it comes to writing on noses. The guy felt that all previous writers had not done the subject of snouts justice, although they have argued back and forth about whether the nose creates the imagination or the imagination the nose.
  • Mr. Shandy is convinced by one particularly wacky account that the length of the nose is actually determined by how soft the nurse's breast is: a soft breast will allow a nice long nose to grow.
  • Paraeus somehow manages to write about soft breasts without sounding like a teenaged boy.
  • But the whole soft-breast thing caused Mr. Shandy and Mrs. Shandy to throw down, and—
  • Really, you knew what was coming. First, Tristram has to explain a hundred other things that he's let go. Meanwhile, his poor old dad is still lying in agony across the bed.

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