In the second volume Timme repeats this method of satire, varying conditions only, yet forcing the matter forward, ultimately, into the grotesque comic, but again taking his cue from Yorick’s narrative about the ass at Nampont, acknowledging specifically his linking of the adventure of Madame Kurt to the episode in the Sentimental Journey.
Timme imitates Sterne’s method of ridiculing pedantry; the requirements listed by the Diaconus and the professor are touches of Walter Shandy’s misapplied, warped, and undigested wisdom. In the nineteenth chapter of the third volume we find a Sterne passage associating itself with Shandy rather more than the Sentimental Journey.
Pankraz insists upon carrying out this striking analogy farther, which the woman, though she betrays no knowledge of the Sentimental Journey, is not loath to accede to, as it coincides with her own nefarious purposes. Timme in the following scene strikes a blow at the abjectly sensual involved in much of the then sentimental, unrecognized and unrealized.
Pity is expressed for the poor author, “denn ich fürchte es wird sich ein solches Geschrey wider ihn erheben, wovon ihm die Ohren gällen werden.” Timme wrote reviews for this periodical, and the general tone of this notice renders it not improbable that he roguishly wrote the review himself or inspired it, as a kind of advertisement for the novel itself.
Timme is not satirizing Sterne’s whimsical use of typographical signs, but rather the Germans who misunderstood Sterne and tried to read a very peculiar and precious meaning into these vagaries.
The most extensive satire on the sentimental movement, and most vehement protest against its excesses is the four volume novel, “Der Empfindsame,” published anonymously in Erfurt, 1781-3, but acknowledged in the introduction to the fourth volume by its author, Christian Friedrich Timme.
The journey runs, after a few adventures, over into an elaborate practical joke in which Pankraz himself is burlesqued by his contemporaries. Timme carries his poignancy and keenness of satire over into bluntness of burlesque blows in a large part of these closing scenes.
Timme, as a clear-sighted contemporary, certainly confined the danger of Sterne’s literary influence entirely to the sentimental side, and saw no occasion to censure an importation of Sterne’s whimsies. Pank’s ode on the death of Riepel, written partly in dashes and partly in exclamation points, is not a disproof of this assertion.
Then, too, Timme is an excellent narrator, and his original purpose is constantly obscured by his own interest and the reader’s interest in Timme’s own story, in his original creations, in the variety of his characters.
Timme’s book was sufficiently popular to demand a second edition, but it never received the critical examination its merits deserved. Wieland’s Teutscher Merkur and the Bibliothek der schönen Wissenschaften ignore it completely. The Gothaische Gelehrte Zeitungen announces the book in its issue of August 2, 1780, but the book itself is not reviewed in its columns. The Jenaische Zeitungen von gelehrten Sachen accords it a colorless and unappreciative review in which Timme is reproached for lack of order in his work (a