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A collection of sayings and quotations by Quentin Crisp on life, atheism, teenagers, idiocy, fashion, humor, prayer, inspiration, happiness, self-discovery, creativity, wit, philosophy, battle-of-sexes and originality.

46 Great Quotes By Quentin Crisp That Will Change Your Notion About Life

Quick Facts

Also Listed In

Famous As
English Writer & Gay Icon

Born On
25 December 1908 AD

Died On
21 November 1999 AD

Born In
Sutton, Surrey, UK

Died At Age
90

Quentin Crisp was a British author and storyteller who gained recognition through the television adaption of his autobiography, ‘The Naked Civil Servant’. Born Denis Charles Pratt, he left home to lead a life that was not based on sexuality, and changed his name to Quentin Crisp. Not only did he have a questionable appearance, his sexuality too attracted a sense of curiosity among people. He soon started to speak on his life and views through his one man stage show, which gained popularity in Britain and America. Although critics claimed that Crisp did not do any good to homosexuality, it was evident that Crisp supported the freedom of gender and sexuality. Throughout his life, he remained highly independent and continued to share his beliefs and observations through his books, stories, thoughts, sayings, quotes and movies. His life advocated that positivity and dedication would help one succeed in all spheres of life. Read on the collection of thoughts and quotes by Quentin Crisp on books, death, idiocy and life.

Like the voice of a number of homosexuals, this is an insinuating blend of eagerness and caution in which even such words as "hello" and "goodbye" seem not so much uttered as divulged.

- The Naked Civil Servant, Quentin Crisp

Style, in the broadest sense of all, is consciousness. More specifically it is a consistent idiom arising spontaneously from the personality but deliberately maintained.

- How to Have a Lifestyle, Quentin Crisp

The world now seems a stunningly ignoble place. It has not really grown all that much worse but appears to have done so because we know so much more about it than we did.

- How To Have A Lifestyle, Quentin Crisp

There is no Great Dark Man!!!

- Quentin Crisp

Sex is the last refuge of the miserable

- Quentin Crisp

Exhibitionists have no friends, no friends at all.

- The Naked Civil Servant; How To Become A Virgin; Resident Alien, Quentin Crisp

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.

- The Naked Civil Servant, Quentin Crisp

Men get laid, but women get screwed.

- Quentin Crisp

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

- Quentin Crisp

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

- Quentin Crisp

I learned very early in life that I was always going to need people more than they needed me.

- The Naked Civil Servant, Quentin Crisp

Then my hostess said, "Oh, Denis (as my name was before I dyed it) never plays the part of a man.

- The Naked Civil Servant, Quentin Crisp

Style is not the man; it is something better. It is a dizzy, dazzling structure that he erects about himself using as building materials selected elements from his own character.

- How to Have a Lifestyle, Quentin Crisp

Vice is its own reward.

- The Naked Civil Servant, Quentin Crisp

Sexual intercourse is a poor substitute for masturbation.

- Quentin Crisp

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

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

- The Naked Civil Servant, Quentin Crisp

As soon as I stepped out of my mother's womb...I realized that I had made a mistake,

- Quentin Crisp

Fear and hatred do not seem to find expression in tears.

- The Naked Civil Servant, Quentin Crisp

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

A fair share of anything is starvation diet to an egomaniac.

- The Naked Civil Servant, Quentin Crisp

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

Muddled syntax is the outward and audible sign of confused minds, and the misuse of grammar the result of illogical thinking.

- Quentin Crisp

I like living in one room and have never known what people do with the room they are not in.

- Resident Alien, Quentin Crisp

Quentin Crisp (to handsome young man on the street): "What's the matter, sexy? Don't you like dehydrated fruit?

- Quentin Crisp

Ask yourself, if there was to be no blame, and if there was to be no praise, who would I be then?

- Quentin Crisp

The very purpose of existence it to reconcile the glowing opinion we have of ourselves with the appalling things that other people think of us.

- Quentin Crisp

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

- Manners from Heaven: A Divine Guide to Good Behaviour, Quentin Crisp

Charisma is the ability to influence without logic.

- Quentin Crisp

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

- Quentin Crisp

I recommend limiting one's involvement in other people's lives to a pleasantly scant minimum.

- Quentin Crisp

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.

- Quentin Crisp

It's been agony but I couldn't have done it any other way.

- Quentin Crisp

Treat all disasters as if they were trivialities but never treat a triviality as if it were a disaster.

- Quentin Crisp

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

- Quentin Crisp

However low a man sinks he never reaches the level of the police.

- Quentin Crisp

Neither look forward where there is doubt nor backward where there is regret. Look inward and ask not if there is anything outside you want, but whether there is anything inside that you have not yet unpacked.

- Quentin Crisp

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

The key is never, never work. Nothing is more aging than work. It's not only the strain of getting up in the morning for work, but it's the resentment that settles on your face

- Quentin Crisp

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

- Quentin Crisp

Never keep up with the Joneses. Drag them down to your level. It's cheaper.

- Quentin Crisp

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

- Quentin Crisp

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

- The Naked Civil Servant; How To Become A Virgin; Resident Alien, Quentin Crisp

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

- Quentin Crisp

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.

- Quentin Crisp

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?

- The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp, Quentin Crisp