If you follow the blog and Writing Wednesday, you’re aware of my obsession with book titles, book covers, and opening pages. I’d like to throw another log on my bonfire of nerdery: the epigraph.
In layman’s terms, an epigraph is the quote in the front of the book. Not every book has one, or needs one, but when done right, for me, they are chill inducing. There is nothing I love more than reading an epigraph at the beginning of a novel, then reading that novel, and at the end realizing the perfect and sublime metaphoric foreshadowing that quote held for the story.
One of my favorite authors and masters of the epigraph is Cassandra Clare of The Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series. Not only does she artfully weave an epigraphic web at the beginning of each book, she gives the reader an encore performance of metaphoric wonder at the beginning of each chapter. Sometimes she double thrills me when the quote contains the title of the book or the chapter.
I have already settled on an epigraph for my novel. It is courtesy of the master of the quill, William Shakespeare. It is a quote from Ariel in The Tempest:
“Hell is empty. And all the devils are here.”
You, dear blog followers, and hopefully readers of my book when it is published, will have to let me know how well I have chosen.
What are some of your favorite epigraphs?