Monday, July 5, 2010

What's in an Epigraph?

So as you will recall, totally, I am reading The Red and the Black. You know what's great? No? According to the translator Raffel, Stendhal either misquoted or made up most of the epigraphs at the beginning of the chapters: "Professor Jean-Jacques Hamm has concluded that only fifteen of the seventy-five epigraphs in The Red and the Black are correctly and verifiably attributed." I like to think he made them up, especially this one:

And am I to blame
If that's how things are?
--Machiavelli

3 comments:

Mel said...

every epigraph in my translation has an end note about who the quote is really by but doesn't ever suggest why Stendhal does it...it's the kind of "mistake" (if it is mistakes) that I've been afraid of in my work but maybe I should start doing that for fun :) ...yep, my idea of fun is strange

Alex said...

Hey, rich dudes...the Jacobins are here to rock your socks off.

-William Wordsworth

S. Craig Renfroe Jr. said...

Mel--me too, in terms of fearing the mistake. And me too, in terms of thinking that would be fun.

Alex--damn that looks fun. And of course is hilarious. Oh that Wordsworth..