I’m still reading Clive James’ Cultural Amnesia (and am likely to be for a month or two; it's a long book and I am reading it a little at a time). In an essay using Aregentine writer Jorge Luis Borges as a starting point, James talks about the idea (which he ultimately rejects) "that the whole world is, or should be, our country," rejecting one's own national ties. Then he used a word I've seen before but never really thought about:
One of my exemplars, Witold Gombrowicz, would have had good reason to accept the idea, but he didn't.
The American Heritage Dictionary definitions for exemplar:
- One that is worthy of imitation; a model.
- One that is typical or representative; an example.
- An ideal that serves as a pattern; an archetype.
- A copy, as of a book.
The etymology: Middle English exemplere, from Late Latin exemplārium, from Latin exemplum, meaning example.
Exemplar has no relation to templar, as in the medieval military and religious order Knights Templar, except that both have Latin origins. (Templar's AHD etymology: Middle English templer, from Anglo-Norman, from Medieval Latin templārius, from Latin templum, meaning temple.)