The Art of the Epigraph: How Great Books Begin

Front Cover
Rosemary Ahern
Simon and Schuster, Oct 30, 2012 - Reference - 256 pages
For many book Lovers, there is no more pleasing start to a book than a well-chosen epigraph. These intriguing quotations, sayings, and snippets of songs and poems do more than set the tone for the experience ahead: the epigraph informs us about the author’s sensibility. Are we in the hands of a literalist or a wit? A cynic or a romantic? A writer of great ambition or a miniaturist? The epigraph hints at hidden stories and frequently comes with one of its own.

The Art of the Epigraph collects more than 250 examples from across five hundred years of literature and offers insights into their meaning and purpose, including what induces so many writers to cede the very first words a reader will encounter in their book to another writer. With memorable quotations ranging from Dr. Johnson to Dr. Seuss, Herodotus to Hemingway, Jane Austen to Karl Marx, and A. A. Milne to Marcel Proust, here is a book that allows us a glimpse of the great writer as devoted reader. This lively and distinctive literary companion traces not only the art of the epigraph but the history of the book.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Tell the Truth
13
Love
27
Human Folly
47
Courage
65
Off the Map
85
Rebels and Outsiders
101
The Generations
109
An Excellent Thing in a Woman
123
Paradox
143
Morality
157
Books and Storytelling
177
The Existential Epigraph
199
indexes
223
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2012)

Rosemary Ahern is a writer and editor living in New York’s Hudson Valley.

Bibliographic information