Tuesday 27 January 2015

An Epigraph For Phoenix, Part 2

If you've read Phoenix, you may have noticed that it doesn't have an epigraph – the quote that sometimes comes at the beginning of a book. But I'm doing a series of blogs about the three epigraphs that I considered. The first one is here, and it explains why I ended up without one.

The second epigraph I considered for Phoenix comes from The Bhagavad-Gita (श्रीमद्भगवद्गीता in Sanskrit). This is a 700-verse ancient Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabhrata.

The section I considered using as an epigraph was famously quoted by the physicist J Robert Oppenheimer on the first explosion of an atomic bomb, in 1945.

"If the radiance of a thousand suns
Were to burst at once into the sky,
That would be like the splendour of the Mighty One…
I am become Death, The destroyer of Worlds."

There is one more epigraph to come.  I'll make a blog about it soon!


Ivan said...

Very interesting!
What does this epigraph?

SF Said said...

Dear Ivan,

Thank you for your comment. Here's what Wikipedia says about epigraphs:

"In literature, an epigraph is a phrase, quotation, or poem that is set at the beginning of a document or component. The epigraph may serve as a preface, as a summary, as a counter-example, or to link the work to a wider literary canon, either to invite comparison or to enlist a conventional context."

All the best,

Ivan said...

Dear SF Said
I wanted to know what you mean by writing this epigraph?
What does this phrase from the Mahabharata?

SF Said said...

I think it relates to the book in all sorts of interesting ways. I can't say too much about exactly why, because I don't want to give the story away. But if you read the book, you will understand why I was thinking about using it!