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Quotes of the day: Quentin Crisp

Published Thursday, November 21, 2013 @ 5:35 AM EST
Nov 21 2013

Quentin Crisp (born Denis Charles Pratt, December 25, 1908 – November 21, 1999), was an English writer and raconteur. 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. (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


A pinch of notoriety will do.

An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing.

As we all know from witnessing the consuming jealousy of husbands who are never faithful, people do not confine themselves to the emotions to which they are entitled.

Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.

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.

Even hooligans marry, though they know that marriage is for a little while. It is alimony that is for ever.

Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are.

Father Time is not always a hard parent, and, though he tarries for none of his children, often lays his hand lightly upon those who have used him well; making them old men and women inexorably enough, but leaving their hearts and spirits young and in full vigor.

For flavor, instant sex will never supersede the stuff you have to peel and cook.

Health consists of having the same diseases as one's neighbors.

I became one of the stately homos of England.

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.

I take it to be axiomatic that people are revolted by witnessing the shameless gratification of an appetite they do not share.

If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style.

If Mr. Vincent Price were to be co-starred with Miss Bette Davis in a story by Mr. Edgar Allan Poe directed by Mr. Roger Corman, it could not fully express the pent-up violence and depravity of a single day in the life of the average family.

In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast.

Indeed, is not the whole world a vast house of assignation of which the filing system has been lost?

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.

Life was a funny thing that happened to me on the way to the grave.

Living en famille provides the strongest motives for rudeness combined with the maximum opportunity for displaying it.

Love is the extra effort we make in our dealings with those whom we do not like and once you understand that, you understand all.

Manners are love in a cool climate.

Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level.

Nothing in our culture, not even home computers, is more overrated than the epidermal felicity of two featherless bipeds in desperate congress.

Of course I lie to people. But I lie altruistically- for our mutual good. The lie is the basic building block of good manners. That may seem mildly shocking to a moralist- but then what isn't?

Sex is the last refuge of the miserable.

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.

The English think incompetence is the same thing as sincerity.

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.

The law is simply expediency wearing a long white dress.

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.

The most anyone can expect from a holiday is a change of agony.

The trouble with children is that they are not returnable.

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.

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.

There was no need to do any housework at all. After four years the dirt doesn't get any worse.

To my disappointment I now realized that to know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody.

Vice is its own reward.

Whenever we confront an unbridled desire we are surely in the presence of a tragedy-in-the-making.

You fall out of your mother's womb, you crawl across open country under fire, and drop into your grave.

Categories: Quentin Crisp, Quotes of the day


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