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. .
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. .
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. .
"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'?" .
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. .
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. .
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. .
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." .
[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. .
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. .
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. .
'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. .
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. .
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