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Quentin Crisp

A pinch of notoriety will do.
Quentin Crisp will
Exhibitionism is like a drug. Hooked in adolescence I was now taking doses so massive they would have killed a novice.
Quentin Crisp kill
Even a monotonously undeviating path of self-examination does not necessarily lead to self-knowledge. I stumble towards my grave confused and hurt and hungry.
Quentin Crisp knowledge
Keeping up with the Joneses was a full-time job with my mother and father. It was not until many years later when I lived alone that I realized how much cheaper it was to drag the Joneses down to my level.
Quentin Crisp time
In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast.
Quentin Crisp time
The rest of the world in which I lived was still stumbling about in search of a weapon with which to exterminate this monster [homosexuality] whose shape and size were not yet known or even guessed at. It was thought to be Greek in origin, smaller than socialism but more deadly, especially to children.
Quentin Crisp sex
Sometimes I wore a fringe so deep it obscured the way ahead. This hardly mattered. There were always others to look where I was going.
Quentin Crisp time
To my disappointment I now realized that to know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody.
Quentin Crisp men
I take it to be axiomatic that people are revolted by witnessing the shameless gratification of an appetite they do not share.
Quentin Crisp people
I started to shed the monstrous aesthetic affectation of my youth so as to make room for the monstrous philistine postures of middle age, but it was some years before I was bold enough to decline an invitation to "Hamlet" on the grounds that I knew who won.
Quentin Crisp art
I acquiesced in this on the grounds that the most anyone can expect from a holiday is a change of agony.
Quentin Crisp change
As someone remarked, when told the new atomic bombs would explode without a bang, "they can’t leave anything alone."
Quentin Crisp alone
The distinction between indoors and outdoors, which in England is usually so marked, was temporarily suspended in a hot gauzy haze.
Quentin Crisp end
The proprietor had hair so red that pigmentation had flowed out into every visible inch of his skin and even into the pinks of his eyes, as the colour of flowering cherry trees stains their leaves.
Quentin Crisp men
I never saw Portsmouth by day.
Quentin Crisp day
All liaisons between homosexuals are conducted as though they were between a chorus girl and a bishop. In some cases both parties think they are bishops.
Quentin Crisp art
I was amazed to receive later a substantial sum for sitting in my room and talking about myself. If only I could get some of the back pay!
Quentin Crisp self
There was no need to do any housework at all. After four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.
Quentin Crisp work
The measure of woman’s distaste for any part of her life lies not in the loudness of her lamentations (these are only an attempt to buy a martyr’s crown at a reduced price) but in her persistent pursuit of that occupation of which she never ceases to complain.
Quentin Crisp life
God, from whose territory I had withdrawn my ambassadors at the age of fourteen. It had become obvious that he was never going to do a thing I said.
Quentin Crisp sad
The consuming desire of most human beings is deliberately to place their entire life in the hands of some other person. For this purpose they frequently choose someone who doesn’t even want the beastly thing.
Quentin Crisp life
"You'll never be wanted," [a draft board official] said, and thrust at me a smaller piece of paper. This described me as being incapable of being graded in grades A, B, etc., because I suffered from sexual perversion. When the story of my disgrace became one of the contemporary fables of Chelsea, a certain Miss Marshall said, "I don't much care for the expression 'suffering from.' Shouldn't it be 'glorying in'?"
Quentin Crisp sex
When a third wave of poverty overwhelmed me, I knew with even greater certitude than when I lived in Clerkenwell that the only complete solution to my problems was suicide. I never brought it off. I was afraid... Hopelessness was thinly spread like a drizzle over my whole outlook. But, in an emergency, I could not find a puddle of despondency deep enough to drown in.
Quentin Crisp poverty
Life was a funny thing that happened to me on the way to the grave.
Quentin Crisp funny
If I have any talent at all, it is not for doing but for being.
Quentin Crisp talent
Posing was the first job I did in which I understood what I was doing.
Quentin Crisp sin
Michelangelo worked from within. He described not the excitements of touching or seeing a man but the excitement of being Man.
Quentin Crisp work
When stripped, I looked less like "Il David" than a plucked chicken that died of myxomatosis.
Quentin Crisp luck
The young always have the same problem — how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this problem by defying their elders and copying each other.
Quentin Crisp time
There are girls who do not like real life... Some of these girls are innocent enough to think that these unreal friendships [with homosexuals] will lead to true love — a kind of sexual intercourse that will happen to them without their having to take too horribly much notice. Even those who are sufficiently sophisticated to know that this will not be so persist in these relationships. They provide an opportunity to lavish emotion on a pseudo-man without paying the price that in heterosexual circumstances would be inevitable.
Quentin Crisp love
I found that I had become so spinsterish that I was made neurotic not only by my life of domesticity but by the slightest derangement of my room. I would burst into a fit of weeping if the kettle was not facing due east.
Quentin Crisp life
Health consists of having the same diseases as one’s neighbours.
Quentin Crisp sea
I became one of the stately homos of England.
Quentin Crisp
I now know that if you describe things as better as they are, you are considered to be romantic; if you describe things as worse than they are, you are called a realist; and if you describe things exactly as they are, you are called a satirist.
Quentin Crisp man
The simplest comment on my book came from my ballet teacher. She said, "I wish you hadn’t made every line funny. It’s so depressing."
Quentin Crisp funny
The low dive had set a standard that only middle-aged hooligans could remember and to which they looked back as Mrs Lot at Sodom.
Quentin Crisp age
Even hooligans marry, though they know that marriage is for a little while. It is alimony that is for ever.
Quentin Crisp marriage
Many [hooligans] discover to their shame that they have scruples; they have roots and, greatest disadvantage of all, they have hope. The fathers superior of the order do not try to influence their children in Satan; they merely shake their heads in sorrow. They know that the apostate must work out his own damnation.
Quentin Crisp hope
Another friend began to say, "Well, Quentin has a problem of adjusting himself to society and he..." This sentence was never finished. The ballet teacher expostulated, "I don't agree. Quentin does exactly as he pleases. The rest of us have to adapt ourselves to him."
Quentin Crisp society
He explained to me that he wanted a simple boy-meets-girl story with lyrics. This I felt was quite beyond my capabilities. I did not know any boys who met girls.
Quentin Crisp story
I never understood music. It seemed to me to be the maximum amount of noise conveying the minimum amount of information.
Quentin Crisp music
[To read a novel or see a play was to drink life through a straw — to smoke it through a filter-tip. If we were not afraid of blackening our teeth or riddling our lungs with cancer — if we were a dauntless race of men with strong digestions — we would be able to devour life without the aid of these over-civilized devices.
Quentin Crisp life
To minimize my guilt at going to the pictures — to call this wanton pursuit of an effete pleasure by another name — I needed movie companions as drunkards need drinking partners. If I entered a cinema alone, God might plunge his arm through the roof of the auditorium booming in a stereophonic voice, "And you, Crisp, what are you doing here?" I would never have dared reply, "I’m just enjoying myself, Lord." I remembered too well what happened to Mr and Mrs Adam. A commissionaire with a flaming sword came and asked them to leave.
Quentin Crisp art
It would be impossible to get through the kind of life that I have known without accumulating a vast unused stockpile of rage. Retaliation, though, was a luxury I could never afford. On the physical level I was too feeble. On any other I was not rich enough. I never dared to be rude to anyone. I never knew that I might not need him later. Long after fantasies of sexual excess had ceased to torment me, my imagination was inflamed by lurid day-dreams of having my revenge on the world.
Quentin Crisp life
Mass-murderers are simply people who have had ENOUGH.
Quentin Crisp people
An autobiography is obituary in serial form with the last installment missing.
Quentin Crisp men
'You talk for talking’s sake,' she hissed. I asked if that was bad. 'I mean it,' the girl replied. 'You talk for talking’s sake.' I had heard her the first time and had understood the words but not the contempt with which they were charged. 'Would you be equally annoyed,' I asked, 'if I danced for dancing’s sake? […] I should have said, 'Would you hate me if I lived for living’s sake?' This would have been the total question — the one to which a full reply could have saved the world.
Quentin Crisp time
The consuming desire of most human beings is deliberately to plant their whole life in the hands of some other person. I would describe this method of searching for happiness as immature. Development of character consists solely in moving toward self-sufficiency.
Quentin Crisp life
There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse.
Quentin Crisp work
When I told the people of Northern Ireland that I was an atheist, a woman in the audience stood up and said, 'Yes, but is it the God of the Catholics or the God of the Protestants in whom you don't believe?
Quentin Crisp people
In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.
Quentin Crisp time
It is explained that all relationships require a little give and take. This is untrue. Any partnership demands that we give and give and give and at the last, as we flop into our graves exhausted, we are told that we didn't give enough.
Quentin Crisp relationships
Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level.
Quentin Crisp you
The poverty from which I have suffered could be diagnosed as 'Soho' poverty. It comes from having the airs and graces of a genius and no talent.
Quentin Crisp grace
It's no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years while saying, 'Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer.' By then, pigs will be your style.
Quentin Crisp good
The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we hold of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us.
Quentin Crisp people
Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.
Quentin Crisp truth
The formula for achieving a successful relationship is simple: you should treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.
Quentin Crisp success
Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are.
Quentin Crisp you
If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style.
Quentin Crisp failure
Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone - but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding.
Quentin Crisp love
My mother protected me from the world and my father threatened me with it.
Quentin Crisp world
For flavor, instant sex will never supersede the stuff you have to peel and cook.
Quentin Crisp sex
The British do not expect happiness. I had the impression, all the time that I lived there, that they do not want to be happy; they want to be right.
Quentin Crisp happiness
There are three reasons for becoming a writer: the first is that you need the money; the second that you have something to say that you think the world should know; the third is that you can't think what to do with the long winter evenings.
Quentin Crisp money
You fall out of your mother's womb, you crawl across open country under fire, and drop into your grave.
Quentin Crisp mother
Men get laid, but women get screwed.
Quentin Crisp women
Decency must be an even more exhausting state to maintain than its opposite. Those who succeed seem to need a stupefying amount of sleep.
Quentin Crisp sleep
I simply haven't the nerve to imagine a being, a force, a cause which keeps the planets revolving in their orbits and then suddenly stops in order to give me a bicycle with three speeds.
Quentin Crisp wit
Is not the whole world a vast house of assignation of which the filing system has been lost?
Quentin Crisp world
The young always have the same problem - how to rebel and conform at the same time. They have now solved this by defying their parents and copying one another.
Quentin Crisp time
Believe in fate, but lean forward where fate can see you.
Quentin Crisp war
There was no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesnt get any worse.
Quentin Crisp work
Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. Its cheaper.
Quentin Crisp you

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