Life is a game in which the rules are constantly changing; nothing spoils a game more than those who take it seriously. Adultery? Phooey! You should never subjugate yourself to another nor seek the subjugation of someone else to yourself. If you follow that Crispian principle you will be able to say Phooey, too, instead of reaching for your gun when you fancy yourself betrayed.
I approach my life with logic. I do not act on impulse or emotion. I very seldom find that I say, 'And then I can't think what came over me, but I did this or that or the other.' I nearly always know how I will act and I nearly always act in that way. I don't catch myself out in embarrassing situations because I've acted without forethought. I calculate what I will do.
My outlook was so limited that I assumed that all deviates were openly despised and rejected. Their grief and their fear drew my melancholy nature strongly. At first I only wanted to wallow in their misery, but, as time went by, I longed to reach its very essence. Finally I desired to represent it. By this process I managed to shift homosexuality from being a burden to being a cause. The weight lifted and some of the guilt evaporated.
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If a man were to look over the fence on one side of his garden and observe that the neighbor on his left had laid his garden path round a central lawn; and were to look over the fence on the other side of his garden and observe that the neighbor on his right had laid his path down the middle of the lawn, and were then to lay his own garden path diagonally from one corner to the other, that man's soul would be lost. Originality is only to be praised when not prefaced by the look to right and left.
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All the golden societies of the past to which historians point and turn their wistful smiles have had what patience-players would call a discard pile. They operated on two levels with a slave class who worked, ate, slept, and died and a leisured class who reclined on one elbow and spoke. Naturally it is from this latter group that we learn what life at that time was like. It often makes charming reading but we can hardly take it to be the whole truth.
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The search for a life-style involves a journey to the interior. This is not altogether a pleasant experience, because you not only have to take stock of what you consider your assets but you also have to take a long look at what your friends call 'the trouble with you.' Nevertheless, the journey is worth making.
Life is a game in which the rules are constantly changing; nothing spoils a game more than those who take it seriously. Adultery? Phooey! You should never subjugate yourself to another nor seek the subjugation of someone else to yourself. If you follow that Crispian principle you will be able to say ''Phooey,'' too, instead of reaching for your gun when you fancy yourself betrayed.
It is not a biopic; it is not a trawl through the facts of somebody's life. It is more an evening with a Shakespearean clown who speaks the truth and was whipped for his pains. Writing the play made me love and loathe my country more: love it that it could create, and has always created, one-offs like Quentin; loathe it for its rejection of him.
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In most cases an act of unwelcome sex is no more bother than being vaccinated, so there's no point going on about it as if it werea fate worse than death. With skill and good manners you can avoid having to make the sacrifice, but should you find yourself in a compromising situation largely of your own making, you should stop defending your virtue and start worrying about your maturity. It will give you something to think about while the savage pumper bangs away.
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Fashion is not style. Nay, we can say more: Fashion is instead of style. Style is an idiom springing spontaneously from the personality but deliberately maintained. If you have no personality, you may be able to save your face and, possibly, your entire anatomy by following the current fashion, but all we shall know about you, when we see you coming down the street, is that you had enough money to buy a glossy magazine and were sufficiently cunning to work out the cut of the garments shown therein.
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Because it is in the nature of things that they become extreme, we have passed down from manliness to cruelty. If I had been told when I was 20 that there was a tavern in the town where the brave and the cruel were gathered together, I would have run all the way and I would have gone up to the largest and leatheriest of the denizens and said: If you truly love me, kill the bartender.
The rest of the world in which I lived was still stumbling about in search of a weapon with which to exterminate this monster [homosexuality] whose shape and size were not yet known or even guessed at. It was thought to be Greek in origin, smaller than socialism but more deadly, especially to children.
Love is the extra effort we make in our dealings with those whom we do not like and once you understand that, you understand all. This idea that love overtakes you is nonsense. This is but a polite manifestation of sex. To love another you have to undertake some fragment of their destiny.
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.
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To minimize my guilt at going to the pictures - to call this wanton pursuit of an effete pleasure by another name - I needed movie companions as drunkards need drinking partners. If I entered a cinema alone, God might plunge his arm through the roof of the auditorium booming in a stereophonic voice, 'And you, Crisp, what are you doing here?' I would never have dared reply, 'I'm just enjoying myself, Lord.'
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One of the special beauties of America is that it is the only country in the world where you are not advised to learn the language before entering. Before I ever set out for the United States, I asked a friend if I should study American. His answer was unequivocal. "On no account," he said. "The more English you sound, the more likely you are to be believed."
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Mainstream people dislike homosexuality because they can't help concentrating on what homosexual men do to one another. And when you contemplate what people do, you think of yourself doing it. And they don't like that. That's the famous joke: I don't like peas, and I'm glad I don't like them, because if I liked them I would eat them and I hate them.
When I was young, we thought that Oscar Wilde was a great nobleman who had thrown his life away for love. Nothing could be less true. He slept with East Enders who were procured for him by Lord Alfred Douglas. He knew them only 'in Braille' - the curtains were never drawn back in the rooms in Oxford where he met those boys. It was the most sordid life you can imagine. And he was bleating about love and dragging the fair name of Mr. Plato into the trial - after a life like that?
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I have known female whores who spoke very bitterly of their calling. "If they don't like my face, they can put a cushion over it. I know it's not that they're interested in." But to the boys this profession never seemed shameful. It was their daytime occupations for which they felt the need to apologize. In some instances, these were lower class or humdrum or, worst of all, unfeminine. At least whoring was never that.
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The search for a life-style involves a journey to the interior. This is not altogether a pleasant experience, because you not only have to take stock of what you consider your assets but you also have to take a long look at what your friends call "the trouble with you." Nevertheless, the journey is worth making.
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