Quotations offer one kind of break in what the eye can see, the ear can hear.
We rarely quote nowadays to appeal to authority... though we quote sometimes to display our sapience and erudition. Some authors we quote against. Some we quote not at all, offering them our scrupulous avoidance, and so make them part of our ''white mythology.'' Other authors we constantly invoke, chanting their names in cerebral rituals of propitiation or ancestor worship.