Dedication means the dedication or appropriation of a work, whether literary or not, to a particular person. Dedication – if literary – finds its place on the first page of a work and is the epitome of the gratitude or the attachment of an author to another person named in the dedication.
The word is derived from the Latin (lat. Dedicatio = consecration, appropriation) and is normally placed on the dedication side and is a part of the titelei. In principle, the dedication can also be connected with the acknowledgment in a work or even be used as stylistic means.
Furthermore, the word can also be used in the upper linguistic usage. For example, the sentence “This statue is a dedication of the mayor.” Grammatically and also correct in content. It would mean that the mayor had devoted or given the statue to another person.
Function and type of dedication
In principle, the dedication should honor another person or express the thanks of the author towards that person. However, the image and the real function of dedication have changed with the centuries. Nowadays it serves mainly for the purpose of self-representation or the self-representation of the respective author.
Today, the dedication is usually placed between the main title page and the actual text, although there are no real guidelines for its design. In principle, therefore, a whole thank-you letter is just as conceivable as a thank-you one-liner.
Example for a dedication from “One flew over the cuckoos test” Example for a dedication from “One flew over the cuckoos test”
Origin of the dedication
If an author now reveals his gratitude to another person, this is sometimes quite nasty and beautiful, but has no real meaning. In this case, we have to assume the author’s self-presentation, even if it somewhat destroys romanticism.
Earlier, however, the dedication had a completely different meaning. After all, it was not customary to pay an author a fee through the publishing house, since it was basically about the reputation. Consequently, the inclined author wrote a dedication, that is, a dedication to honor a respected person.
At the same time the author hoped for a response, usually in the form of money, from the aforementioned, in order to get his money’s worth. This tribute, by the way, was very often answered and rewarded with small gifts.
It is interesting to note that such dedications were not only written by writers, but also some printers or publishers wrote the dedication to adopt an obolus from the “honored” one.
Dedications in the 21st Century
Nowadays, the dedication does not have any “value” in the actual sense, but can at most be regarded as a smallness or self-presentation of the author, even if there are sometimes very mysterious and beautiful dedications in the literary landscape: few of them have an economic benefit .