And then, there it is ~ the Dedication
Usually brief, sometimes shrouded in mystery and probably a literary challenge to the author to make it memorable. If you read between the lines in a dedication, you get a peek into the author’s heart. One of my favorite dedications is in the Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. It is charming and speaks to the child in all of us.
To Leon Werth
I ask children to forgive me for dedicating this book to a grown-up. I have a serious excuse: this grown-up is the best friend I have in the world. I have another excuse: this grown-up can understand everything, even books for children. I have a third excuse: he lives in France where he is hungry and cold. He needs to be comforted. If all these excuses are not enough then I want to dedicate this book to the child whom this grown-up once was. All grown-ups were children first. (But few of them remember it.) So I correct my dedication:
To Leon Werth,
When he was a little boy
A few more book dedications that will make you smile:
To all the English teachers, especially the great ones.
~ Garrison Keillor, Good Poems
This is presented as a work of fiction and dedicated to nobody.
~ Charles Bukowshi, Post Office
To Mom, Who took me to the library.
~ Sean Carroll, The Particle at the End of the Universe
And, finally, another favorite of mine:
This volume is dedicated in all sincerity to every lover of the true and beautiful.
~ Walt Whitman, O, Pioneer
The Little Prince is the fourth most-translated book in the world and was voted the best book of the 20th century in France. Translated into more than 250 languages and dialects (as well as Braille), selling nearly two million copies annually with sales totaling over 140 million copies worldwide, it has become one of the best-selling books ever published.
Pick up a book and find the dedication. Is it sweet, funny or better than the book that followed? Is there more there than words when you “read between the lines”? Share it with us in the comments below!