Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.
– Napoleon Bonaparte
The use of quotations from famous people long gone is an easy way to dress up a blog or other writing. It can be done as an epigram that frames the piece, as I did here, or something that inspires a work and sneaks in gradually. More often than not it’s an appeal to authority, a claim on the mind of someone long gone who is revered one way or the other. When it’s done well it crystallizes the point being made into an image that is memorable and mythical. That’s what makes quotations useful.