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a quotation at the beginning of a book, chapter, etc., suggesting its theme
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
This passion was pure, tender, noble, religious, as may be found among some deep in the provinces, where the age has not yet come to doubt everything, even love.) For Clough, the tale by Houssaye from which he seems to have drawn his second epigraph would have resonated for reasons beyond the epigraph alone.
This aggregate which comprises of engravings and epigraphs is related to the Sassanid era.
Epigraph is offered as a turnkey system, including design software and the exposure suite.
The word "tinsel" follows the lumen-eyed jaguar of the epigraph. It is as though Waldman commences Jaguar Harmonics proper by distilling the sensitive perceptiveness of the animal's eyes--or of luminosity in general--into a stand-alone article of glittery refractive power:
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.
Summary: Richard Holbrooke, who died last week at age 69, loved epigraphs. They are strewn all over his writings-poems and passages from Euripides, W.H.
(29) He is the source of the masculine language that she must rely upon in order to represent female experience; his is the Name-of-the-Father, deliberately invoked in the epigraph, which creates the symbolic order that engenders O'Brien's novel and the subjectivity of her protagonist.
Holbrook begins with an epigraph from Marian Engel's cross-species eroto-CanClassic Bear that claims "joy is tiring," and the epigraph's associative border-crossing transgression sets the right tone for Holbrook's analogously strange and wonderful linguistic transgressions and revealing substitutions.
There will be an epigraph near the monument, which would be made by sculptor Cemil Guntepe, and names of those who died would be written on the monument which will be made of marble extracted from the Marmara Sea.