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Description - The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp

In 1931, gay liberation was not a movement--it was simply unthinkable. But in that year, Quentin Crisp made the courageous decision to "come out" as a homosexual. This exhibitionist with the henna-dyed hair was harrassed, ridiculed and beaten. Nevertheless, he claimed his right to be himself--whatever the consequences. The Naked Civil Servant is both a comic masterpiece and a unique testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780140861600
ISBN-10: 0140861602
Format: Audio cassette
(140mm x 107mm x 17mm)
Pages: 2
Imprint: Penguin Audiobooks
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 28-Sep-1995
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - The Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp

US Kirkus Review » Punctiliously polite and urbanely offensive, Crisp's singular vita induces a desolate shudder. A fabulously plumed and heavily mascara-ed ostrich, Quentin Crisp recounts a life spent as homosexual provocateur in the streets of London where he walked with the infinite care of a man deliberately adorned to attract the taunts, kicks, and blows of the uncomprehending. And in the 1920s, when Crisp first took to flaunting his sins, the uncomprehending included just about everyone. Once begun, "exhibition is like a drug" - the life could not be dropped despite the penury to which his frequently jobless condition reduced him. When he worked, it was as a commercial artist and artist's model, living in a series of rooms-to-let, cultivating by degrees the advantages of squalor ("after the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse"), finding friends among those sufficiently reckless, curious, or down-and-out to accept his company. In fact Crisp, by his own telling, was the mildest of men who suffered from the certain knowledge that he was in every way inferior to any heterosexual. That such convictions produced an odd inversion of values - as cheerless as Genet's, if as blithely expressed as Wilde's - should surprise no one. Here is a man who despised flowers, except when artificial, disliked animals because people were bad enough, and came to conclude that anything done for money was sacred, while anything done for love was probably balderdash. Crisp's closing reflections - he is now approaching 70 - on how changing sexual mores have deprived him of his propaganda value, fitting him only for extinction - are suitably ironic, though Michael Holroyd in an invaluable introduction assures us that Crisp has reached his prime in the television age and is now enshrined as one of London's favorite eccentrics. It's hard to gauge the readership for this - but they will surely find one another. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Books By Quentin Crisp

Naked Civil Servant by Quentin Crisp
Paperback, May 1997
Morbid Tales by Quentin Crisp
Hardback, May 2004
How to Go to the Movies by Quentin Crisp
Paperback, December 2003