Page 74

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Page 74

Materials used: Instead of pen and ink I used an antique carbon pencil that had been knocking around in a box for over 30 years, and from which, in all that time, I’d only managed to tease a single drawing of a baby linnet. The demands of the ‘blank page’ have turned it into an exhausted stump.

Other information: The invitation from Laurence Sterne has taken nearly 250 years to cross the nine miles of hills and flat arable land between Shandy Hall and my house. Thinking of Sterne’s constant good humour I decided to accept in the same spirit and wrote down 21 ideas for a novel response, finally choosing the one provisionally titled ‘3 Ages of Woman Beauty Pageant’ but which I now refer to as ‘Miss Coxworld.’ I knew I could employ Bacon’s ‘strangeness of proportion’ and Hogarth’s ‘serpentine line’ but instead I went for Melancholy, as I usually do, because Beauty is only half as good without it.

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