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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 ?
In all the epigraphs of Dariush the Achaemenid begins with the phrase "King Dariush proclaims" and this is repeated throughout his decrees, emphasizing the grandeur and greatness of the power of this monarch.
The crucial part of the epigraph is the second half.
I believe the rejected epigraphs can be read in a similar (though not identical) light.
Other Voices, Other Looms: Richard Wright's Use of Epigraphs in Two Novels.
Writers use epigraphs for their fiction, nonfiction, occasionally even poetry, in order simultaneously to situate their own work within particular traditions and to reinscribe "holy" writ.
Yet these last lines of the poem aren't quite its end, because that "love" circles us back to the poem's epigraph, which is a line from Brother Louis himself: "Your true and only Son is love.
Thus, Genette frequently makes ironic, wittily self-reflexive comments about his own endeavor, noting for example that epigraphs in his system have four functions "[n]o doubt because I didn't look for more" (156), or that the table of contents in Les Miserables (a paratextual monument in itself with its five parts, 48 books, and 365 chapters) includes 418 rifles "unless I've miscounted" (308).
In the festive language of Roman dedicatory epigraphs, it celebrates the decree by which the senate in 1435 ordered the construction of its new governmental headquarters.
The phrase"honest graft," comes from George Washington Plunkitt, a turn-of-the-century Tammany Hall figure whose saity, cynical realpolitik epigraphs begin every chapter.
The Dictionary has been published in five forms: a compact edition, a quick reference, electronic applications, a chapbook of the epigraphs, and this desk edition.
The epigraphs to all four sections of the book emphasize the U.
Don't skip over the epigraphs, culled from sources including the book of Job, Emily Dickinson and Groucho Marx.