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I'm typesetting a book which — sometimes — has quoted verses in the beginning of sections. My first idea was to use something like epigraph to quote them, but then there's some very long quotes (up to 2 big paragraphs).

What would you recommend doing to get something quite homogenous between sections with only a single verse, and sections with 2 big paragraphs?


I've found a solution that is not too ugly (but I'd like an honest opinion):

  Élisabeth fut remplie d’Esprit Saint et s’écria d’une voix forte: Tu es bénie entre les femmes, et le fruit de ton sein est béni. Comment m’est  -il accordé que la mère de mon Seigneur vienne chez moi? Car voici: aussitôt que la voix de ta salutation a frappé mes oreilles, l’enfant a tre  ssailli d’allégresse dans mon sein. Heureuse celle qui a cru à l’accomplissement de ce qui lui a été dit de la part du Seigneur.

  Et Marie dit: Mon âme exalte le Seigneur et mon esprit a de l’allégresse en Dieu, mon Sauveur, parce qu’il a jeté les yeux sur la bassesse de s  a servante.
  Car voici: désormais toutes les générations me diront bienheureuse.
  Parce que le Tout-Puissant a fait pour moi de grandes choses. Son nom est saint, et sa miséricorde s’étend d’âge en âge sur ceux qui le craigne  nt Il a déployé la force de son bras; Il a dispersé ceux qui avaient dans le coeur des pensées orgueilleuses, Il a fait descendre les puissants   de leurs trônes, élevé les humbles, rassasié de biens les affamés, renvoyé à vide les riches. Il a secouru Israël, son serviteur, et s’est sou  venu de sa miséricorde, — comme il l’avait dit à nos pères —, envers Abraham et sa descendance pour toujours. 



It kind of emulates epigraph but it typesets the text on two columns on the whole width of the page:

The current state of things

In comparison, short quotes typeset with epigraph render like this:

Simple epigraph

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Looks like a good idea to me. Could you perhaps show us how it handles single verse quotations? I am afraid you might run into some issues if you have a very short one/two-line quotation (in which case, perhaps you could just shift it over to the right column). – ienissei Sep 18 '12 at 8:04
@ienissei: What I do is that I manually — for now — use either epigraph or this, when the quote is too long. Ideally, I'd write a command that would automatically switch between the two. – ℝaphink Sep 18 '12 at 8:08
I added a simple epigraph example for comparison between the two. – ℝaphink Sep 18 '12 at 8:10
Looks good to me, but there may be some issue with the vertical spacing. I don't know if you are using a glue or a fixed length, but there is a bit less vertical space in the epigraph (between the text, the line and the source). Depending on your layout, it may be relevant or not… – ienissei Sep 18 '12 at 15:21
It might just be that I generated the second one later after having changed this setting actually :-) – ℝaphink Sep 19 '12 at 13:01
up vote 2 down vote accepted

My final implementation is very similar. It supports both 1- and 2-column environments with an option and has additional glues to fix vertical spacing:

\par\vspace{0pt plus -1fill}
% 0: do nothing
\or% 1: use epigraph
\or% 2, use multicols

\par\vspace{0pt plus 1fil}
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