"The best recipe for life I can think of is to imagine what Quentin Crisp would do or say, and then do or say that. To me he was one of the seminal presences of the twentieth century—right up there with, and sharing many of the traits of Garbo, the Queen Mum, and Muhammed Ali."
Guy Kettelhack, editor
The Wit and Wisdom
of Quentin Crisp
Quentin Crisp (1908–1999) is the author of the classic — and flamboyantly eccentric — coming-of-age memoir The Naked Civil Servant. The award-winning film version of The Naked Civil Servant, starring John Hurt, made him an instant international celebrity. Crisp also wrote numerous books and articles about his life and his opinions on style, fashion, and the movies. Often hailed as the 20th-century Oscar Wilde, Quentin Crisp was famous for his aphoristic witticisms. He performed his one-man show, An Evening with Quentin Crisp,
"Quentin Crisp was such a unique individual that no one compares to him. There will probably never be anyone like him. If they try, they will fail."
— Phillip Ward, editor
Dusty Answers
to acclaim in theaters around the world, all the while spreading his unique philosophy: "Never keep up with the Joneses; drag them down to your level. It's cheaper." During the second part of his one-man show, Crisp answered questions from the audience and gave advice to audience members about how to find their individual style and live a happy life. He was always in the "profession of being."

Quentin Crisp was Oscar Wilde's perfect descendant. With his calculated caustic words, open homosexuality and wittilyprovocative attitude toward any kind of conventionality, Crisp caused a bit of a stir in conservative England during the 1950s and 1960s, and even on through the 1970s. In 1981, Quentin Crisp moved to New York City, bringing along his familiar and witty remarks and his eccentricity. Quentin Crisp charmed everyone and became "the face of a modern rebel."
"Quentin Crisp is an international treasure."
— Jonathan Yardley
The Washington Post
Throughout his near twenty-year tenure on Manhattan, Mr. Crisp wrote a variety of books, reviews, appeared in several movies (most notably playing Elizabeth I in Sally Ann Potter's Orlando) and otherwise delighted us publicly and privately with his inimitable grace, wit and genius. Quentin Crisp died on the eve of touring his one-man show in Manchester, England, on 21 November 1999.


When you’re dazed by the game –
muddled – stumped – at sea –
ask: “If there were no praise or blame,
who would I be?”

Guy Kettelhack

Click Quentin Crisp by Quentin Crisp to read what he wrote about himself.
Click bibliography to read a list of Quentin Crisp's writings,
appearances on television and in movies, and much more.

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