Laurence Sterne at archive.org

It is my pleasure to teach Laurence Sterne’s brilliant and incomparable A Sentimental Journey through France and Italy (only the early sections) next week, so I looked it up in Archive.org – turns out they do have this 1774 edition of the work, in excellent condition, and I think that is amazing. I will try to update this post after I teach it, next week. Love this passage

 

“It will always follow from hence, that the balance of sentimental commerce is always against the expatriated adventurer: he must buy what he has little occasion for, at their own price;—his conversation will seldom be taken in exchange for theirs without a large discount,—and this, by the by, eternally driving him into the hands of more equitable brokers, for such conversation as he can find, it requires no great spirit of divination to guess at his party—

This brings me to my point; and naturally leads me (if the see-saw of this désobligeant will but let me get on) into the efficient as well as final causes of travelling—

Your idle people that leave their native country, and go abroad for some reason or reasons which may be derived from one of these general causes:—

Infirmity of body,
Imbecility of mind, or
Inevitable necessity.

The first two include all those who travel by land or by water, labouring with pride, curiosity, vanity, or spleen, subdivided and combined ad infinitum.”

United Daily article on Taichung’s Central Book Store 中央書局

The article itself wasn’t much, but I found the historical reference to Taichung’s Central Books to be of interest. Basically the millionaire guy who founded pchome.com and who is from Taichung, Jan Hung-tze (詹宏志), wants to organize a reading group at the old Central Book Store (中央書局) building. According to him,「中央書局是1927年台灣中部仕紳們共同成立的一個帶有強烈浪漫文化色彩的書局。」Err, so I guess in the same extremely romantic spirit he wanted to form a reading group to contemplate works of (mainly) Western literature. And he did.

The book store, which is almost 100 years old, founded when Taiwan was still part of the Japanese empire, was recently reclaimed (I think it used to be a clinic) and re-opened to much fanfare last October (2020). Pic above, from this detailed CNA article, is canonical image of the founders.