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110 Inspiring Quotes by Quentin Crisp

Welcome to our collection of quotes by Quentin Crisp.

Wikipedia Summary for Quentin Crisp

Quentin Crisp (born Denis Charles Pratt; (1908-12-25)25 December 1908 – (1999-11-21)21 November 1999) was an English writer, raconteur and actor. From a conventional suburban background, Crisp wore make-up and painted his nails. During his teen years he worked briefly 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 great curiosity and he was soon sought after for his personal views on social manners and the cultivation of style. His one-man stage show was a long-running hit both in Britain and America and he also appeared in films and on T.V. Crisp defied convention by criticising both gay liberation and Diana, Princess of Wales.




adult black and tan dachshund

Mass-murderers are simply people who have had ENOUGH.

--Quentin Crisp

selective focus photography of black and white bird on stem

I simply haven't the nerve to imagine a being, a force, a cause which keeps the planets revolving in their orbits and then suddenly stops in order to give me a bicycle with three speeds.

--Quentin Crisp

person wearing orange and gray Nike shoes walking on gray concrete stairs

The worst part of being gay in the twentieth century is all that damn disco music to which one has to listen.

--Quentin Crisp

green artificial palm tree on seashore

God, from whose territory I had withdrawn my ambassadors at the age of fourteen. It had become obvious that he was never going to do a thing I said.

--Quentin Crisp

red textile in close up photography

What better proof of love can there be than money? A ten-shilling note shows incontrovertibly just how mad about you a man is.

--Quentin Crisp


black bird flying on white background

What's the matter, sexy? Don't you like dehydrated fruit? (To handsome young man on the street)

--Quentin Crisp

round analog watch with black leather strap on top of white wooden surface

I have to realise that as I am only English and am allowed to live in America, I have to give something in return. And since I cannot build a hospital, or endow a university, I can only give my infinite availability.

--Quentin Crisp

orange room with open door

Other-cheekism is not only a way of purifying the soul, it is also part of every weak person's survival kit.

--Quentin Crisp


worm's eye view photography of pink cheery blossom tree

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

--Quentin Crisp

yellow and red tulip in bloom close up photo

I read all the books I could find about manners, and the extraordinary thing was, in all books up to the end of the Second World War, most were directed at how to comport yourself in the presence of the ladies.

--Quentin Crisp

sunset

Sometimes I wore a fringe so deep it obscured the way ahead. This hardly mattered. There were always others to look where I was going.

--Quentin Crisp

black and blue starry night

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.

--Quentin Crisp

selective focus photo of woman holding sunflower surrounded by sunflowers

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

--Quentin Crisp

solid background

Assoon as I stepped out of my mother's womb on to dry land, I realized that I had made a mistake?but the trouble with children is that they are not returnable.

--Quentin Crisp

yellow flower field under clear sky

It's a strange situation, but people will pay your fare to get you to go and tell them how to be happy.

--Quentin Crisp

black and white butterfly on green leaf

Charisma is the ability to influence without logic.

--Quentin Crisp


bird in the sky

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

--Quentin Crisp

white wall paint beside white wall

The idea that He would take his attention away from the universe in order to give me a bicycle with three speeds is just so unlikely I can't go along with it.

--Quentin Crisp

white boat on sea under white sky during daytime

Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings, they did it by killing all those who opposed them. If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style.

--Quentin Crisp

brown wallpaper

The British do not expect happiness. I had the impression, all the time that I lived there, that they do not want to be happy; they want to be right.

--Quentin Crisp

yellow sunflower in close up photography

I had a friend who had two degrees of being made up: when invited I would say 'Can I make up?' and he would say 'Oh yes -- tinted?', or he would say, 'Oh yes -- clotted?'

--Quentin Crisp

sunset

If love means anything at all it means extending your hand to the unlovable.

--Quentin Crisp

shallow focus photography of purple flower

Love is not enough. It must be the foundation, the cornerstone- but not the complete structure. It is much too pliable, too yielding.

--Quentin Crisp

gray road beside a trees

Vice is its own reward.

--Quentin Crisp

Longer Version:

Vice is its own reward. It is virtue which, if it is to be marketed with consumer appeal, must carry Green Shield stamps.


white and yellow flower in close up photography

The curiosity of the neighbors about you, is a tribute to your individuality, and you should encourage it.

--Quentin Crisp

landscape photo of waters, mountains, and black clouds

The distinction between indoors and outdoors, which in England is usually so marked, was temporarily suspended in a hot gauzy haze.

--Quentin Crisp

white stars in the sky during night time

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

--Quentin Crisp


river between trees under blue sky

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.

--Quentin Crisp

green palm plant during daytime

The continued propinquity of another human being cramps the style after a time unless that person is somebody you think you love. Then the burden becomes intolerable at once.

--Quentin Crisp

sunset

Every day someone notices me and waves to me, or stops and speaks to me, or asks me for an autograph, or photographs me.

--Quentin Crisp


pink

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?

--Quentin Crisp

sunset

I don't hold with abroad and think that foreigners speak English when our backs are turned.

--Quentin Crisp

tan wallpaper

It's no good running a pig farm badly for 30 years while saying, 'Really, I was meant to be a ballet dancer.' By then, pigs will be your style.

--Quentin Crisp

Vincent Van Gogh self portrait painting on wall

Decency must be an even more exhausting state to maintain than its opposite. Those who succeed seem to need a stupefying amount of sleep.

--Quentin Crisp

time lapse photography of lightning during storm

Nothing shortens a journey so pleasantly as an account of misfortunes at which the hearer is permitted to laugh.

--Quentin Crisp


empty road towards mountains

To know all is not to forgive all. It is to despise everybody.

--Quentin Crisp


pink petaled flower

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.

--Quentin Crisp

silhouette of mountain during sunset

The proprietor had hair so red that pigmentation had flowed out into every visible inch of his skin and even into the pinks of his eyes, as the colour of flowering cherry trees stains their leaves.

--Quentin Crisp

photo of clear sky full of stars

Development of character consists solely in moving toward self-sufficiency.

--Quentin Crisp

green leafed plant

I was amazed to receive later a substantial sum for sitting in my room and talking about myself. If only I could get some of the back pay!

--Quentin Crisp

pink tulip in bloom close up photo

Why get married? For human beings, marriage is such an unnatural state. If you want monogamy, it has been said, you should marry a swan.

--Quentin Crisp







man riding on boat on body of water

The English think that incompetence is the same thing as sincerity.

--Quentin Crisp

yellow and purple flower with white background

In Manhattan, every flat surface is a potential stage and every inattentive waiter an unemployed, possibly unemployable, actor.

--Quentin Crisp

sunset

If one is not going to take the necessary precautions to avoid having parents, one must undertake to bring them up.

--Quentin Crisp

white and black soccer ball on grass field

The war between the sexes is the only one in which both sides regularly sleep with the enemy.

--Quentin Crisp

yellow sunflower field under blue sky during daytime

What I wanted most of all was to use sex as a weapon to allure, subjugate, and, if possible, destroy the personality of others.

--Quentin Crisp

green

This woman did not fly to extremes; she lived there.

--Quentin Crisp

man raising arms between greenfield

The Scots are very hospitable; almost as hospitable as the Americans.

--Quentin Crisp


time lapse photography body of water

In England, the system is benign and the people are hostile. In America, the people are friendlyand the system is brutal!

--Quentin Crisp

bare tree on mountain during sunset

Exhibitionists have no friends, no friends at all.

--Quentin Crisp

landscape photography of brown mountains

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.

--Quentin Crisp


wide lake over sunset view

Posing was the first job I did in which I understood what I was doing.

--Quentin Crisp

concert photos

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.

--Quentin Crisp

silhouette of couple

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.

--Quentin Crisp

selective focus photo of brown guitar on white pillow

Believe in fate, but lean forward where fate can see you.

--Quentin Crisp


bird on pier

The simplest comment on my book came from my ballet teacher. She said, "I wish you hadn't made every line funny. It's so depressing.

--Quentin Crisp

selective focus photography of red tulip

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

--Quentin Crisp

blue sky with stars during night time

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

--Quentin Crisp

brown rock formation

Did you know that Allah promises you a seat in Paradise if you kill a Christian?

--Quentin Crisp




blue wall bricks

Our clothes are too much a part of us for most of us ever to be entirely indifferent to their condition: it is as though the fabric were indeed a natural extension of the body, or even of the soul.

--Quentin Crisp



yellow wallpaper

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.

--Quentin Crisp


pair of white lace-up shoes

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

--Quentin Crisp

body of water surrounded with plants under cloudy sky

Women have decided to be people, which is a great mistake. Women were nicer than people.

--Quentin Crisp

round analog watch with black leather strap on top of white wooden surface

I found that I had become so spinsterish that I was made neurotic not only by my life of domesticity but by the slightest derangement of my room. I would burst into a fit of weeping if the kettle was not facing due east.

--Quentin Crisp


red flower in white background

Nearly always when actors are approached by the beauticians, they try to avoid the dabs that the beauticians put on their faces. They dodge them.

--Quentin Crisp

snow mountains under nightsky

Everyone who is honest is interesting.

--Quentin Crisp

person in black and white mask

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

--Quentin Crisp

shallow focus photography of purple flower

I stay in one room, and it's easier to live there, to control it, to make it warm. It seems to me a convenient way to live, and it's cheap.

--Quentin Crisp

silhouette of a person during sunset

Without an element of vulgarity, no man can be a work of art...I have to try and think what an artist is, apart from a hooligan who cannot live within his income of praise.

--Quentin Crisp

sunset

Manners are love in a cool climate.

--Quentin Crisp

yellow green leaf

I never understood music. It seemed to me to be the maximum amount of noise conveying the minimum amount of information.

--Quentin Crisp


long exposure photography of beach

Exhibitionism is like a drug. Hooked in adolescence I was now taking doses so massive they would have killed a novice.

--Quentin Crisp

pink flower

The more people one has to love, the more one's capacity to love stretches.

--Quentin Crisp




yellow sunflower field under blue sky during daytime

It may be true that artists adopt a flamboyant appearance, but it's also true that people who look funny get stuck with the arts.

--Quentin Crisp

empty road towards mountains

If you don't stay in some days, you can't recharge your batteries.

--Quentin Crisp

black wooden door near green plant

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

--Quentin Crisp

orange lily in bloom close up photo

As someone remarked, when told the new atomic bombs would explode without a bang, "they can't leave anything alone."

--Quentin Crisp

flat lay photography of several hanging ornaments

Euphemisms are unpleasant truths wearing diplomatic cologne.

--Quentin Crisp

Longer Version:

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.


yellow sunflowers

I don't believe in convention at all. I do what I have to do to stay alive.

--Quentin Crisp

man in Burton shirt facing ocean

All liaisons between homosexuals are conducted as though they were between a chorus girl and a bishop. In some cases both parties think they are bishops.

--Quentin Crisp

We wish you a perfect day!