When Sydney’s Daily Telegraph marked the death of cricketer Phillip Hughes in 2014 with a full black page, it added to the catalogue of works relating to Laurence Sterne’s black page in The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman that marks the death of Parson Yorick (p.73 of Vol. I of the original edition). The black page may be a meditation on absence but it also evokes—through that absence—the world of light in which a character played his or her part. With reference to The Black Page catalogue published by the Laurence Sterne Trust in 2010, which featured commissioned works by 73 writers and other artists, the author here describes his own contribution and explores how other artists’ multimedia works have approached the challenge of depicting light where apparently there is none.
Poetry on the Move 2015
Laurence Sterne’s black page—and beyond