1908 – 1999
Who was Quentin Crisp?
From a conventional suburban background, Crisp grew up with effeminate tendencies, which he flaunted by parading the streets in make-up and painted nails, and working as a rent-boy. He then spent thirty years as a professional model for life-classes in art colleges. The interviews he gave about his unusual life attracted increasing public curiosity, and he was soon sought-after for his highly individual views on social manners and the cultivating of style. His one-man stage show was a long-running hit, both in England and America, and he also appeared in films and on TV. Crisp defied convention by criticising both gay liberation and Diana, Princess of Wales.
- Though intelligence is powerless to modify character, it is a dab hand at finding euphemisms for its weaknesses.
- Vice is its own reward. It is virtue which, if it is to be marketed with consumer appeal, must carry Green Shield stamps.
- 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.
- Nothing more rapidly inclines a person to go into a monastery than reading a book on etiquette. There are so many trivial ways in which it is possible to commit some social sin.
- Life was a funny thing that happened to me on the way to the grave.
- 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.
- Euphemisms are not, as many young people think, useless verbiage for that which can and should be said bluntly; they are like secret agents on a delicate mission, they must airily pass by a stinking mess with barely so much as a nod of the head, make their point of constructive criticism and continue on in calm forbearance. Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.
- Life is a game in which the rules are constantly changing; nothing spoils a game more than those who take it seriously. Adultery? Phooey! You should never subjugate yourself to another nor seek the subjugation of someone else to yourself. If you follow that Crispian principle you will be able to say Phooey, too, instead of reaching for your gun when you fancy yourself betrayed.
- This woman did not fly to extremes; she lived there.
- Sex is the last refuge of the miserable.
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