Top Obscure Quotes

Browse top 376 famous quotes and sayings about Obscure by most favorite authors.

Favorite Obscure Quotes

1. "Academic masochism reflects a metaphysical prejudice that the truth should be a hard-won treasure, that what is read or learnt easily must therefore be flighty and inconsequential. The truth should be like a mount to be scaled, it is dangerous, obscure and demanding. Under the light of the library reading room, the academics' motto reads: the more a text makes me suffer, the truer it must be."
Author: Alain De Botton
2. "Of course witnessing poverty was the first to be ticked off the list. Then I had to graduate to the more obscure stuff. Being in a riot was something I pursued with a truly obsessive zeal, along with being tear-gassed and hearing gunshots fired in anger."
Author: Alex Garland
3. "The "Metaphor is one of thoughts most essential tools. It illuminates what would otherwise be totally obscure. But the illumination is sometimes so bright that it dazzles instead of revealing."
Author: Alistair Gray
4. "Jack believed in something—he believed in white witches and sleighs pulled by wolves, and in the world the trees obscured. He believed that there were better things in the woods. He believed in palaces of ice and hearts to match. Hazel had, too. Hazel had believed in woodsmen and magic shoes and swanskins and the easy magic of a compass. She had believed that because someone needing saving they were savable. She had believed in these things, but not anymore. And this is why she had to rescue Jack, even though he might not hear what she had to tell him."
Author: Anne Ursu
5. "It wasn't what lay at the end of her road that frightened Ammu as much as the nature of the road itself. No milestones marked its progress. No trees grew along it. No dappled shadows shaded it. No mists rolled over it. No birds circled it. No twists, no turns or hairpin bends obscured even momentarily, her clear view of the end. This filled Ammu with an awful dread, because she was not the kind of woman who wanted her future told. She dreaded it too much. So if she were granted one small wish perhaps it would have been Not to Know, Not to know what each day hed in store for her. Not to know where she might be, next month, next year. Ten years on. Not to know which way her road might turn and what lay beyond the bend."
Author: Arundhati Roy
6. "An oceanic expanse of pre-dawn gray white below obscures a checkered grid of Saskatchewan, a snow plain nicked by the dark, unruly lines of woody swales. One might imagine that little is to be seen from a plane at night, but above the clouds the Milky Way is a dense, blazing arch. A full moon often lights the planet freshly, and patterns of human culture, artificially lit, are striking in ways not visible in daylight. One evening I saw the distinctive glows of cities around Delhi diffused like spiral galaxies in a continuous deck of stratus clouds far below us. In Algeria and on the Asian steppes, wind-whipped pennants of gas flared. The jungle burned in incandescent spots in Malaysia and Brazil. One clear evening at 20,000 feet over Manhattan, I could see, it seemed, every streetlight halfway to the end of Long Island. A summer lightning bolt unexpectedly revealed thousands of bright dots on the ink-black veld of the northern Transvaal: sheep."
Author: Barry Lopez
7. "There is an enduring freshness in what remains strange and obscure which the cliches of greatness can only evoke nostalgia for."
Author: Bauvard
8. "Calvin: I used to hate writing assignments, but now I enjoy them. I realized that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog! Want to see my book report? Hobbes: (Reading Calvin's paper) "The Dynamics of Interbeing and Monological Imperatives in Dick and Jane: A Study in Psychic Transrelational Gender modes." Calvin: Academia, here I come!"
Author: Bill Watterson
9. "«She had Google, and she had Wikipedia. She could look up anything obscure, any words or phrases that she didn't understand. A romance novel was just a book, while the Internet was the Internet. The Internet would crack these nuts for sure.»"
Author: Bruce Sterling
10. "Even granting that God sent a holy hallucination to teach truths already widely believed without it, and far more easily taught by other methods, and certainly to be completely obscured by this, might we not at least hope that He would get the face of the hallucination right? Is He who made all faces such a bungler that He cannot even work up a recognizable likeness of the Man who was Himself?"
Author: C.S. Lewis
11. "To the Press, for the fair field its honest suffrage has opened to an obscure aspirant."
Author: Charlotte Brontë
12. "The medium obscured the message."
Author: Christopher Moore
13. "Hardship makes the world obscure."
Author: Don DeLillo
14. "Few classical programmers found prototypal inheritance to be acceptable, and classically inspired syntax obscures the language's true prototypal nature. It is the worst of both worlds."
Author: Douglas Crockford
15. "Between the demand to be clear,and the temptation to be obscure, impossible to decide which deserves more respect."
Author: Emil Cioran
16. "Crabbed and obscure definitions are of no use beyond a narrow circle of students, of whom probably every one has a pet one of his own."
Author: Frederick Pollock
17. "Moreover, it is not just that the early documents are silent about so much of Jesus that came to be recorded in the gospels, but that they view him in a substantially different way -- as a basically supernatural personage only obscurely on Earth as a man at some unspecified period in the past, 'emptied' then of all his supernatural attributes (Phil.2:7), and certainly not a worker of prodigious miracles which made him famous throughout 'all Syria' (Mt.4:24). I have argued that there is good reason to believe that the Jesus of Paul was constructed largely from musing and reflecting on a supernatural 'Wisdom' figure, amply documented in the earlier Jewish literature, who sought an abode on Earth, but was there rejected, rather than from information concerning a recently deceased historical individual. The influence of the Wisdom literature is undeniable; only assessment of what it amounted to still divides opinion."
Author: George Albert Wells
18. "Many words will be written on the wind and the sand, or end up in some obscure digital vault. But the storytelling will go on until the last human being stops listening. Then we can send the great chronicle of humanity out into the endless universe."
Author: Henning Mankell
19. "...Wherever we go we carry this burden of our personal consciousness and wherever we step we open it out over our heads like a great baleful cotton umbrella to obstruct the prospect and obscure the light of heaven."
Author: Henry James
20. "And even as this old guide-book boasts of the, to us, insignificant Liverpool of fifty years ago, the New York guidebooks are now vaunting of the magnitude of a town, whose future inhabitants, multitudinous as the pebbles on the beach, and girdled in with high walls and towers, flanking endless avenues of opulence and taste, will regard all our Broadways and Bowerys as but the paltry nucleus to their Nineveh. From far up the Hudson, beyond Harlem River where the young saplings are now growing, that will overarch their lordly mansions with broad boughs, centuries old; they may send forth explorers to penetrate into the then obscure and smoky alleys of the Fifth Avenue and Fourteenth Street; and going still farther south, may exhume the present Doric Custom-house, and quote it as a proof that their high and mighty metropolis enjoyed a Hellenic antiquity."
Author: Herman Melville
21. "The novels that attract me most... are those that create an illusion of transperancy around a knot of human relationships as obscure, cruel and perverse as possible."
Author: Italo Calvino
22. "Racing up the wide staircase, I barreled through the double doors and smacked right into a brick wall.Stumbling backward, my arms flailed like a cracked-out crossing guard. My over-packed messenger bag slipped, pulling me to one side. My hairflew it front of my face, a sheet of auburn that obscured everything as I teetered dangerously.Oh dear God, I was going down. There was no stopping it. Visions of broken necks danced in my head. This was going to suck so—Something strong and hard went around my waist, stopping my free fall. My bag hit the floor, spilling overpriced books and pens across the shinyfloor. My pens! My glorious pens rolled everywhere. A second later I was pressed against the wall.The wall was strangely warm.The wall chuckled."Whoa," a deep voice said. "You okay, sweetheart?"
Author: J. Lynn
23. "The attribution of intelligence to machines, crowds of fragments, or other nerd deities obscures more than it illuminates. When people are told that a computer is intelligent, they become prone to changing themselves in order to make the computer appear to work better, instead of demanding that the computer be changed to become more useful."
Author: Jaron Lanier
24. "I'd never been this close to the Obscure Object before. It was hard on my organism. My nervous system launched into "Flight of the Bumblebee." The violins were sawing away in my spine. The timpani were banging in my chest. At the same time, trying to conceal all of this, I didn't move a muscle. I heardly breathed. That was the deal basically: catatonia without; frenzy within."
Author: Jeffrey Eugenides
25. "They hacked down trees widening rings around their central halls and blistered the land with peasant huts and pigeon fences till the forest looked like an old dog dying of mange. they thinned out the game, killed birds for sport, set accidental fire that would burn for days. their sheep killed hedges, snipped valleys bare, and their pigs nosed up the very roots of what might have grown. hrothgar's tribe made boats to drive farther north and west. there was nothing to stop the advance of man. huge boars fled at the click of a harness. wolves would cower in the glens like foxes when they caught that deadly scent. i was filled with a wordless, obscurely murderous unrest."
Author: John Gardner
26. "Fortunately the essence of this revelation did not escape Mary despite the angel's obscure speech, and, much surprised, she asked him, So Jesus is my son and the son of the Lord, Woman, what are you saying, show some respect for rank and precedence, what you must say is the son of the Lord and me, Of the Lord and of you, No, of the Lord and of you, You're confusing me, just answer my question, is Jesus our son, You mean to say the Lord's son because you only served to bear the child, So the Lord didn't choose me, Don't be absurd (...) Is there any real proof that it was the Lord's seed which engendered my first-born, Well, it's a delicate matter, and what you're demanding is nothing less than a paternity test which in these mixed unions, no matter how many analyses, tests, and globule counts one carries out, can never give conclusive results."
Author: José Saramago
27. "The icon is transparent as a representation of the special reality it depicts; an idol replaces and obscures that reality ... but the difference between icon and idol is purely subjective."
Author: Kathleen Raine
28. "Now, I'm as appreciative as the next obsessive-compulsive recovering-academic of the vast riches of material becoming available online, thanks to all those Google scanners crouched in the basements of libraries around the world, madly feeding books through their machines. I download obscure tomes onto my iPad and give thanks to the dual gods Gates and Jobs, singing hymns to all the lesser pantheon of geniuses.But there's nothing like a book."
Author: Laurie R. King
29. "Holmes had cultivated the ability to still the noise of the mind, by smoking his pipe and playing nontunes on the violin. He once compared this mental state with the sort of passive seeing that enables the eye, in a dim light or at a great distance, to grasp details with greater clarity by focusing slightly to one side of the object of interest. When active, strained vision only obscures and frustrates, looking away often permits the eyes to see and interpret the shapes of what it sees. Thus does inattention allow the mind to register the still, small whisper of the daughter of the voice."
Author: Laurie R. King
30. "Talent, like beauty, to be pardoned, must be obscure and unostentatious."
Author: Marguerite Gardiner
31. "I just inhaled kimchi ramen. Nose on fire. Next chapter may be obscured by tears."
Author: MCM
32. "I had already imagined how it would be next year.I'd be at Columbia, and Marcus would move to Manhattan, or maybe one of the outer boroughs. I would study hard, and he would make money playing gigs at dingy bars. We'd spend countless hours going to clubs to see bands on the verge, touring obscure art exhibits, and sipping pot after pot of black coffee at hole-in-the-wall cafes. Many more hours would be spent lounging under the covers. We would never run out of witty and fascinating things to say to each other. Eventually, he'd apply to Columbia, and we'd be the sort of well-educated, cosmopolitan couple that confuse the suburbumpkins who never leave Pineville."
Author: Megan McCafferty
33. "Our minds are mysterious; our conscious brain is like a ship on a sea that is obscure to us."
Author: Meghan O'Rourke
34. "Eating is an agricultural act,' as Wendell Berry famously said. It is also an ecological act, and a political act, too. Though much has been done to obscure this simple fact, how and what we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world - and what is to become of it. To eat with a fuller consciousness of all that is at stake might sound like a burden, but in practice few things in life can afford quite as much satisfaction. By comparison, the pleasures of eating industrially, which is to say eating in ignorance, are fleeting. Many people today seem erfectly content eating at the end of an industrial food chain, without a thought in the world; this book is probably not for them."
Author: Michael Pollan
35. "The real political task in a society such as ours is to criticize the workings of institutions that appear to be both neutral and independent, to criticize and attack them in such a manner that the political violence that has always exercised itself obscurely through them will be unmasked, so that one can fight against them."
Author: Michel Foucault
36. "Translating from one language to another, unless it is from Greek and Latin, the queens of all languages, is like looking at Flemish tapestries from the wrong side, for although the figures are visible, they are covered by threads that obscure them, and cannot be seen with the smoothness and color of the right side."
Author: Miguel De Cervantes Saavedra
37. "Young people need compassion and guidance, not obscure mysticism. Here are some guidelines for young people: Remember that you are always your own person. Do not surrender your mind, heart, or body to any person. Never compromise your dignity for any reason. Maintain your health with sound diet, hygiene, exercise, and clean living. Don't engage in drugs or drinking. Money is never more important than your body and mind, but you must work and support yourself. Never depend on others for your livelihood."
Author: Ming Dao Deng
38. "The steam whistle will not affright him nor the flutes of Arcadia weary him: for him there is but one time, the artistic moment; but one law, the law of form; but one land, the land of Beauty - a land removed indeed from the real world and yet more sensuous because more enduring; calm, yet with that calm which dwells in the faces of the Greek statues, the calm which comes not from the rejection but from the absorption of passion, the calm which despair and sorrow cannot disturb but intensify only. And so it comes that he who seems to stand most remote from his age is he who mirrors it best, because he has stripped life of what is accidental and transitory, stripped it of that ‘mist of familiarity which makes life obscure to us."
Author: Oscar Wilde
39. "The appeal to the intellectually insecure is also more important than it might seem. Because economics touches so much of life, everyone wants to have an opinion. Yet the kind of economics covered in the textbooks is a technical subject that many people find hard to follow. How reassuring, then, to be told that it is all irrelevant -- that all you really need to know are a few simple ideas! Quite a few supply-siders have created for themselves a wonderful alternative intellectual history in which John Maynard Keynes was a fraud, Paul Samuelson and even Milton Friedman are fools, and the true line of deep economic thought runs from Adam Smith through obscure turn-of-the-century Austrians straight to them."
Author: Paul Krugman
40. "On some other world, possibly it is different. Better. There are clear good and evil alternatives. Not these obscure admixtures, these blends, with no proper tool by which to untangle the components."
Author: Philip K. Dick
41. "Of course, I'm not one to judge people by their appearances, Rhonda, but from how this guy looked I would have said he had graduated high school with three friends tops, all of them in the computer club with him, and that he had some super-obscure hobby he was obsessed with, like collecting ancient musical instruments or making origami rocket ships that could break the sound barrier, and that, if he noticed women at all, he tried to impress them with how many decimal places of pi he had memorized."
Author: Rebecca Goldstein
42. "Maybe if you and ten of your friends could pool your savings and borrow some money and actually buy some obscure station in Sonoma, and then take some chances and have some fun."
Author: Robert McChesney
43. "We were wise indeed, could we discern truly the signs of our own time; and by knowledge of its wants and advantages, wisely adjust our own position in it. Let us, instead of gazing wildly into the obscure distance, look calmly around us, for a little, on the perplexed scene where we stand."
Author: Thomas Carlyle
44. "Nothing is as real as a dream. The world can change around you, but your dream will not. Your life may change, but your dream doesn't have to. Responsibilities need not erase it. Duties need not obscure it."
Author: Tom Clancy
45. "He watched her for her reaction, or possibly watched her just to watch, his eyes hooded by his lashes and his mouth impassive. A faceless man—such as the one she had dreamed of since she was a child—his identity not obscured by mist or flying sand or swirling dust, but by a mask he readily employed whenever he wished. As a shutter closed against a gale. Closed against her, no matter the impact of his words. He seemed to speak them against his will, just as he seemed to care for her against his will."
Author: V.S. Carnes
46. "To travel is to be born and to die at every instant; perhaps, in the vaguest region of his mind, he did make comparisons between the shifting horizon and our human existence: all the things of life are perpetually fleeing before us; the dark and bright intervals are intermingled; after a dazzling moment, an eclipse; we look, we hasten, we stretch out our hands to grasp what is passing; each event is a turn in the road, and, all at once, we are old; we feel a shock; all is black; we distinguish an obscure door; the gloomy horse of life, which has been drawing us halts, and we see a veiled and unknown person unharnessing amid the shadows."
Author: Victor Hugo
47. "The tragedy of her death was not that it made one, now and then and very intensely, unhappy. It was that it made her unreal; and us solemn, and self-conscious. We were made to act parts that we did not feel; to fumble for words that we did not know. It obscured, it dulled."
Author: Virginia Woolf
48. "Here have lived for more centuries than I can count, the obscure generations of my own obscure family. Not one of these Richards, Johns, Annes, Elizabeths have left a token of himself behind him, yet all, working together with their spades and their needles, their love-making and their child-bearing have left this."-Viginia Woolf"
Author: Virginia Woolf
49. "The language that reveals also obscures."
Author: Wendell Berry
50. "So may the outward shows be least themselves:The world is still deceived with ornament.In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt,But, being seasoned with a gracious voice,Obscures the show of evil? In religion,What damned error, but some sober browWill bless it and approve it with a text,Hiding the grossness with fair ornament?There is no vice so simple but assumesSome mark of virtue on his outward parts."
Author: William Shakespeare

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