Sterne summons the gods of storytelling

O ye powers! (for powers ye are, and great ones too)—which enable mortal man to tell a story worth the hearing——that kindly shew him, where he is to begin it—and where he is to end it——what he is to put into it——and what he is to leave out—how much of it he is to cast into a shade—and whereabouts he is to throw his light!

—Lawrence Sterne, The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman.

Book II, Chapter XVI

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