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a quotation at the beginning of a book, chapter, etc., suggesting its theme



since the 14th century, a quotation used to open a work of literature or part of a work. Sources for epigraphs are folk literature, the Bible, aphorisms, fiction, and letters. Sometimes writers compose their own epigraphs. The epigraph introduces a fresh point of view to the topic under consideration, elucidating its meaning and indicating the traditions with which the work is linked.

References in periodicals archive ?
As a mark of and on Sula/Sula, the epigraph foreshadows Sula's final isolation and incomprehensibility.
What is true for the novel as a whole, and particularly for Beloved's interior monologue, turns out also to be true for the seemingly simple epigraph from St.
5) The story contains on its third page two consecutive sentences with language perfectly matching Clough's epigraph reading "Il doutait de tout, meme de l'amour.
After this epigraph there is a smaller arch, which depicts the figures of Shapour II and his son Shapour III, and above each of these impression the personalities of epigraph have been introduced in Pahlavi Sassanid script.
The Epigraph origination system has been developed by AM-PG's joint venture subsidiary Printinfo Company, with 50 people working on innovative products and research and development.
The word "tinsel" follows the lumen-eyed jaguar of the epigraph.
The crucial part of the epigraph is the second half.
If Cummings intends us to consider how our lovers may possess the attritional powers of the rain to transform, to destroy, Tennessee follows the epigraph with a play from the center of which, in the character of Laura, active power, even small-handed active power, is as absent as the absconded Wingfield patriarch.
In the Stunned Body" features a Richard Hugo epigraph, but although Hugo factors into the poem's opening, it is the speaker's wife and son who provide its heart.
Inessa Medzhibovskaya in her recent study of Tolstoy's conversion regards the epigraph as part of a larger experiment in which the extent of freedom is tested within a network of individual reactions to responsibility.
Richard Holbrooke, who died last week at age 69, loved epigraphs.
Moreover, as the reference to lilies in the second epigraph might indicate, the Song of Solomon was sometimes interpreted as a prophetic account of the life of the Virgin Mary, who, having been frustratingly silent in the Gospels, was seen by medieval exegetes as having spoken through the words of this Old Testament book.