Alexis de Tocqueville Page

“As the past has ceased to throw its light upon the future, the mind of man wanders in obscurity.”

- Alexis de Tocqueville

Source/Notes: Variant translation: When the past no longer illuminates the future, the spirit walks in darkness. - Democracy in America, Volume II (1840)
Napoleon Bonaparte Page

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.”

- Napoleon Bonaparte

Robert Emmet Page

“Let no man write my epitaph; for as no man who knows my motives dare now vindicate them, let not prejudice or ignorance asperse them. Let them rest in obscurity and peace! Let my memory be left in oblivion, my tomb remain uninscribed, until other times and other men can do justice to my character.”

- Robert Emmet

Walter Savage Landor Page

“As the pearl ripens in the obscurity of its shell, so ripens in the tomb all the fame that is truly precious.”

- Walter Savage Landor

Aldous Huxley Page

“I'm afraid of losing my obscurity. Genuineness only thrives in the dark. Like celery.”

- Aldous Huxley

Source/Notes: Those Barren Leaves (1925)


Ovid Page

“Well has he lived who has lived well in obscurity.”

- Ovid

Joseph Addison Page

“Their is no defense against criticism except obscurity.”

- Joseph Addison

George Allen, Sr. Page

“The street to obscurity is paved with athletes who can perform great feats before friendly crowds.”

- George Allen, Sr.

W. H. Auden Page

“Before people complain of the obscurity of modern poetry, they should first examine their consciences and ask themselves with how many people and on how many occasions they have genuinely and profoundly shared some experience with another.”

- W. H. Auden

Tallulah Bankhead Page

“I did what I could to inflate the rumor I was on my way to stardom. What I was on my way to, by any mathematical standards known to man, was oblivion, by way of obscurity.”

- Tallulah Bankhead


Peabo Bryson Page

“The line between greatness and obscurity is very, very small.”

- Peabo Bryson

Taylor Caldwell Page

“It is human nature to instinctively rebel at obscurity or ordinariness.”

- Taylor Caldwell

Taylor Caldwell Page

“Obscurity can be a fire of ambition in those who have stalwart souls.”

- Taylor Caldwell

Jim Carrey Page

“Life is an ordeal, albeit an exciting one, but I wouldn't trade it for the good old days of poverty and obscurity.”

- Jim Carrey

Gilbert K. Chesterton Page

“When we really worship anything, we love not only its clearness but its obscurity. We exult in its very invisibility.”

- Gilbert K. Chesterton


Eric Clapton Page

“Leave bands, go back to obscurity if I choose to, without a great sense of loss of security because it's all been based on the fact that I did it on my own or was doing, enjoying doing it on my own in the first place.”

- Eric Clapton

William Kingdon Clifford Page

“No simplicity of mind, no obscurity of station, can escape the universal duty of questioning all that we believe.”

- William Kingdon Clifford

Source/Notes: Lectures and essays by the late William Kingdon Clifford, F.R.S. (1901 edition)