# What is the best way to ensure correct indentation when a quotation begins with a quotation?

It is sometimes necessary (I have just discovered) to typeset a block quotation which itself begins with a block quotation. When this happens, however, the indentation of the first paragraph of the nested quotation is incorrect. (It seems to be twice what it should be.)

In contrast, if the nested block quotation does not begin the outer quotation, the indentation is correct.

Minimal example:

\documentclass{article}
\begin{document}

\begin{quotation}
\begin{quotation}
As any dedicated reader can clearly see, the Ideal of practical reason is a representation of, as far as I know, the things in themselves; as I have shown elsewhere, the phenomena should only be used as a canon for our understanding.

As any dedicated reader can clearly see, the Ideal of practical reason is a representation of, as far as I know, the things in themselves; as I have shown elsewhere, the phenomena should only be used as a canon for our understanding.
\end{quotation}
As any dedicated reader can clearly see, the Ideal of practical reason is a representation of, as far as I know, the things in themselves; as I have shown elsewhere, the phenomena should only be used as a canon for our understanding.
\end{quotation}

\end{document}


What is the best way to ensure correct indentation in such cases?

• \noindent works but can't be the best way... – David Carlisle Mar 7 '17 at 23:51
• @DavidCarlisle I'd really like LaTeX to figure it out so I don't need to remember to compensate each time ;). – cfr Mar 7 '17 at 23:53
• @DavidCarlisle I also need \unskip, I guess. ? – cfr Mar 8 '17 at 0:08

You can throw away any pending item label before the quotation. If you need quotation also to work as first thing in a real \item you might want to check what list you are in, but this works here.

\documentclass{article}

\makeatletter
\let\oldquotation\quotation
\def\quotation{\setbox\@labels\hbox{}\oldquotation}
\makeatother

\begin{document}

\begin{quotation}
\begin{quotation}
As any dedicated reader can clearly see, the Ideal of practical reason is a representation of, as far as I know, the things in themselves; as I have shown elsewhere, the phenomena should only be used as a canon for our understanding.

As any dedicated reader can clearly see, the Ideal of practical reason is a representation of, as far as I know, the things in themselves; as I have shown elsewhere, the phenomena should only be used as a canon for our understanding.
\end{quotation}
As any dedicated reader can clearly see, the Ideal of practical reason is a representation of, as far as I know, the things in themselves; as I have shown elsewhere, the phenomena should only be used as a canon for our understanding.
\end{quotation}

\end{document}

• Do I need \unskip, too? Is that the right way to avoid additional vertical space? – cfr Mar 9 '17 at 0:27
• @cfr you can't unskip on the main vertical list. Is there extra vertical space? I wouldn't expect any I think, although your MWE wasn't so good for visualising vertical spacing:-) – David Carlisle Mar 9 '17 at 7:48

This might cause other problems, but so far so good.

\documentclass{article}

\let\oldquotation=\quotation
\renewcommand{\quotation}{\oldquotation\leavevmode}

\begin{document}

\begin{quotation}
\begin{quotation}
As any dedicated reader can clearly see, the Ideal of practical reason is a representation of, as far as I know, the things in themselves; as I have shown elsewhere, the phenomena should only be used as a canon for our understanding.

As any dedicated reader can clearly see, the Ideal of practical reason is a representation of, as far as I know, the things in themselves; as I have shown elsewhere, the phenomena should only be used as a canon for our understanding.
\end{quotation}% if you want the next line indented, add a blank line or \par
As any dedicated reader can clearly see, the Ideal of practical reason is a representation of, as far as I know, the things in themselves; as I have shown elsewhere, the phenomena should only be used as a canon for our understanding.
\end{quotation}

\end{document}

• doing it that way forces an extra white paragraph and a vertical skip before both quotations: use X instead of \leavevmode and you'll see. – David Carlisle Mar 8 '17 at 7:42