antedating "cult," mod.; "obscurian"

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat May 4 02:03:16 UTC 2013

1961: OED

1929 C. Hartley Grattan _Bitter Bierce_  (Garden City, N.Y.:
Doubleday) 85: Unfortunately
partial views of him have proved irresistibly attractive to those of his
admirers who prefer to think of him as a permanent obscurian and who have *made
him a "cult" author*.

Of related interest:

1909  _Current Literature_  XLVII  279: THE UNDERGROUND REPUTATION OF
AMBROSE BIERCE. Ambrose Bierce...occupies a unique position in the
literature of the world, being apparently both a *cult* and an author.

Bierce seems to have coined the word "obscurian," which is absent from OED.
He used it in a letter of 1908, if not earlier.


"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

The American Dialect Society -

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