The black page in Tristram Shandy
From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The first edition of Tristram Shandy, at the point in the narrative where the death of Yorick occurs, a black page is inserted to express mourning, in an attempt to mix fiction with visual poetry. The page is preceded by the words "Alas, poor YORICK!"
In more recent editions, the black rectangle has been reduced in size, so that it does not cover a whole page anymore.
The black of Shandy's and Fludd's is found again in the 19th century in an all-black painting by poet Paul Bilhaud called Negroes Fighting in a Cellar at Night and in the 20th century in Kazimir Malevich's monochrome painting Black Square .
- Black page
- The author Sterne, played with typography on other pages of the book.
- A complete expo on the oddity of Tristram Shandy is found here.
- Double page spread from a 1783 edition of Laurence Sterne's Tristram Shandy showing the marble page