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February 5, 2007

Don't Use Epigrams in Your Epitaph

Hamilton, Essential Literary Terms (1-31) -- Jerz: EL150 (Intro to Literary Study)

What is an Epigram? A dwarfish whole,
Its body brevity, and wit its soul. (19)

How clever. What better way to explain epigram than through an example personifying the concept, which was written specifically to explain the meaning. I think this also helps me to understand and identify satire a little better as well, since epigrams often employ satire. It seems that before this satiric nature became popular, the epigram closely resembled what we now know as an epitaph. Or at the very least, they are certainly cousins? Also, interestingly, aphorisms are often used on epitaphs according to good old wikipedia. So, will be important that we can differentiate from the epigram and aphorisms, because I am not sure I would want someone making fun of me on my gravestone. ;)

I think this book will prove to be a very good reference. I'm glad because I was rather annoyed that I had to buy two lit term books, one for this class and one for lit crit. Now, I understand Dr. Jerz.

Posted by LorinSchumacher at February 5, 2007 12:20 AM


Glad to hear it, Lorin. Yes, the two books look similar at first glance, and there is some overlapping content, but they really do serve different purposes.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 5, 2007 9:38 AM

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