Reading volume 30 of The Shandean, the journal of the International Laurence Sterne Foundation, in the first year of COVID—when so much that was planned has not happened—it struck me that the four leading research papers are all concerned with intriguing negatives: similarities between Tristram Shandy and a novella by a Russian author who may not have read Sterne’s work; a set of illustrations for a Russian edition of Sterne’s works that were not completed; an eighteenth-century Yorkshire woman’s diary that does not mention Sterne; texts by Sterne and Coetzee in which the protagonist-author does not equate to the “author-proper.” Of course, these papers do explore, more centrally, Sterne’s legacy and influence.

The first article, by Artem Serebrennikov, brings together Tristram Shandy and Daniil Kharms’s Rytsar’ (A Knight) (1934). Serebrennikov establishes that Kharms—who had connections with Russian formalists, including Sterne-enthusiast Viktor Shklovsky—was “quite probably familiar with Sterne’s...

You do not currently have access to this content.