Some epigraphs are hokey as a fart. But sometimes they can add a whole new skin on a book’s face. Or they can just be right. Here’s one of my new favs, from Vollmann’s You Bright and Risen Angels:
This book was written by a traitor to his class. It is dedicated to bigots everywhere. Ladies and gentlemen of the black shirts, I call upon you to unite, to strike with claws and kitchen pokers, to burn the grub-worms of equality’s brood with sulfur and oil, to huddle together whispering about the silverfish in your basements, to make decrees in your great solemn rotten assemblies concerning what is proper, for you have nothing to lose but your last feeble principles.
William T. Vollmann, Karachi-Anatuvak Pass – San Francisco, 1981-85
On the page before this it says:
Only the expert will realize that your exaggerations are really true.
Kimon Nicolaides, The Natural Way to Draw
What epigraphs do you like?