He came to our town (St. Louis) not long before he died as part of a speaking tour. He sat on stage and reminisced. Very funny. A little loopy. He had been in St. Louis before and spoke glowingly of all the water and canals, "like Venice." The audience members looked at each other with a WTF look. But it was just a lapse.
His story of not cleaning his flat - ever - was the highlight. He insisted that after three years things do not look any worse. And his delivery of the line, "The hardest thing is not to lose your nerve," was one of the funniest moments I've ever experienced in a theatre. Such delivery.
BUT of course, OP, you know about his always having a listed telephone number and answering it himself and talking like a human being to whoever happened to call. A friend in New York would talk with him.
Plus his ideas of gay life, gay rights, and gay progress would be considered idiosyncratic to many of us. As out as he was, he was not wholly embracing of the notion of gayness as a full alternative to straight society.
For the longest time I thought he was a breakfast cereal, like Frankenberry's cousin or something.
Montreal dance artist George Stamos is creating a piece based on his experiences with Quentin Crisp.
Growing up he was one of my favorite gays.
My God, he was on the Merv Griffin show!
Completely different man in his private life. He would spot for us at Gold's and was a very aggressive motivator. He was an incorrigible towel snapper once in the locker room. But then you'd see him lisping on tv in a pantsuit with feathered hair and makeup, not at all the macho drill sergeant we knew from the gym.
The English say of Americans they are childishly trusting. And the English consider themselves suspicious and that is part of their sophistication. I prefer the openness of America.
In America, they really like you. Everything sacred in America is regarded with contempt in England.
In England, I was accepted by the gay people and rejected by the world. Here — I am accepted by the world and rejected by the gay people. -- Quentin
You used to live an easy lying down life in the sea. But your curiosity and your courage prompted you to lift your head out of the sea, and gasp this fierce element in which we live. They are seated on Mars with their little green arms folded saying 'we can be reasonably certain there is no life on earth, because there the atmosphere is oxygen, which is so harsh it corrupts metal'. But you learned to breath it.
Further more you crawled out of the sea, and you walked up and down the beach for centuries until your thigh bones where thick enough to walk on land. It was a mistake but you did it.
Once you have this view of your past, not that it was handed to you but that you did it then your view of the future will change. This terror you have of the atom bomb will pass. Something will arise which will breath radiation. You learned to breathe oxygen. So you don't have to worry.
Don't keep looking into the sky to see what is happening, embrace the future. All you have to do about the future is what you did about the past. Rely on your curiosity and your courage and ride through the night.
He said some incredibly stupid things about gay people that were used against us. I remember that, but not the details
[quote]In England, I was accepted by the gay people and rejected by the world. Here — I am accepted by the world and rejected by the gay people. -- Quentin
The gays didn't like him in America because he'd go on TV and say things like 'no one wants to be a homosexual'.
In England at the time most people gay or otherwise took this for granted. Gays in America wanted to move on from that theory.
I used to see him around a lot in NYC back in the '80s. He'd talk very loudly in restaurants. I spoke to him once, he answered my questions very directly and that was that.
I was about 12 when the film about him was first on TV. It was so sad, but really caught the atmosphere of England at a time when being different, especially flamboyantly gay could put your life at risk.
It's amazing how things worked out for him in the end.
You should read his first autobiography, OP.
No longer quite as crisp, I fear.
R5 is right. Very macho in private. And he was a total top.
The YouTube video of his one man show nicely encapsulates his philosophy and persona, OP.
But is there anything specific you'd like to know? I saw him in performance and interviewed him, so ask away.
I guess what I'd want to know r12 is if he was as wacky as everyone says. Also was he partnered?
One of the Stately Homos of England. I remember something he said year ago in An Evening With Quentin Crisp: "Not everyone can be famous, but anyone can be infamous!"
A speaking tour took him to Orlando where he stayed at the home of a columnist for the gay newspaper in that area. The guy's next column began with: "Quentin Crisp stayed over my house."
I envisioned Quentin sleeping in a hot air balloon tethered to the guy's chimney.
I used to have lunch with Quintin in the 90's when he lived in the east village. He was wonderful to talk to and I looked forward to each of our many times together. Quintin would talk about his niece in NJ and happenings in the play he was appearing etc. Not broadway plays, just a small local production he was enjoying. It was mostly personal chit-chat, but he was delightful. I regret he never revealed his naughty butch side, but then it was always lunch and drive around town and we'd go our separate ways.
PS: Quintin loved big fancy cars.
Butch Quentin -- too bad it was never caught on film.
My knowledge of him is similar to that of r16, except I didn't know about the cars, either.