Quotes by Quentin Crisp

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Quentin Crisp (December 25, 1908 November 21, 1999), was a writer, artist's model, actor and raconteur known for his memorable and insightful witticisms. He became a gay icon in the 1970s after the publication of his memoir The Naked Civil Servant brought to the attention of the general public his defiant exhibitionism and longstanding refusal to conceal his homosexuality.

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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.

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.
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?
If you describe things as better than they are, you are considered to be a romantic; if you describe things as worse than they are, you will be called a realist; and if you describe things exactly as they are, you will be thought of as a satirist.
Life was a funny thing that happened to me on the way to the grave.
My mother protected me from the world and my father threatened me with it.
Sex is the last refuge of the miserable.
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.
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. This idea that love overtakes you is nonsense. This is but a polite manifestation of sex. To love another you have to undertake some fragment of their destiny.
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.
A gentleman doesn't pounce he glides. If a woman sits on a piece of furniture which permits your sitting beside her, you are free to regard this as an invitation, though not an unequivocal one.
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.
To know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Decency must be an even more exhausting state to maintain than its opposite. Those who succeed seem to need a stupefying amount of sleep.
Whenever we confront an unbridled desire we are surely in the presence of a tragedy-in-the-making.
Living en famille provides the strongest motives for rudeness combined with the maximum opportunity for displaying it.
Manners are love in a cool climate.
Because it is in the nature of things that they become extreme, we have passed down from manliness to cruelty. If I had been told when I was 20 that there was a tavern in the town where the brave and the cruel were gathered together, I would have run all the way and I would have gone up to the largest and leatheriest of the denizens and said: If you truly love me, kill the bartender.
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.
However low a man sinks he never reaches the level of the police.
It is not the simple statement of facts that ushers in freedom; it is the constant repetition of them that has this liberating effect. Tolerance is the result not of enlightenment, but of boredom.
Vice is its own reward. It is virtue which, if it is to be marketed with consumer appeal, must carry Green Shield stamps.
The very purpose of existence is to reconcile the glowing opinion we have of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think about us.
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?
The law is simply expediency wearing a long white dress.
I recommend limiting one's involvement in other people's lives to a pleasantly scant minimum. This may seem too stoical a position in these madly passionate times, but madly passionate people rarely make good on their madly passionate promises.
Is not the whole world a vast house of assignation of which the filing system has been lost?
This woman did not fly to extremes; she lived there.
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.
Though intelligence is powerless to modify character, it is a dab hand at finding euphemisms for its weaknesses.
An autobiography is an obituary in serial form with the last installment missing.
Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper.
Few are more sad than the person who reaches the end of their life and says'I never really did anything I wanted to do'.

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