Word of the Day Archive
Thursday October 5, 2000
epigone \EP-uh-gohn\ , noun:
An inferior imitator, especially of some distinguished writer, artist, musician, or philosopher.
He probably was influenced by John le Carré. . . . But Mr. Crisp . . . is no mere epigone.
-- Newgate Callendar, "Who's The Mole?", New York Times, October 9, 1988
No novelist is dearer to me than Robert Musil. He died one morning while lifting weights. When I lift them myself, I keep anxiously checking my pulse, and I am afraid of dropping dead, for to die with a weight in my hand like my revered author would make me an epigone so unbelievable, frenetic and fanatical as immediately to assure me of ridiculous immortality.
-- Milan Kundera, Immortality
Epigone derives from Greek epigonos, from epigignesthai, to be born after, from epi-, "upon, after" + gignesthai, "to be born." The adjective form is epigonic.