The famous and the unknown partake of the times in which they live. Whether we know it or not, we are born into history and pass through a stretch of it. The zeitgeist rubs off on us and leaves its telling signs like carpet fibers at a crime scene. Like pollen in springtime, or the fine, almost invisible dust that has covered the furniture when you return home after a long absence, history attaches itself to everything, affects the way we think and talk, the possibilities we imagine for ourselves, the choices we make or fail to make. Our lives have meaning- above and behind our individual qualities- because we are part of and express the times in which we live.
Alexander Stille, The Force of Things