How to Become a Virgin
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First published in 1991 and now available in paperback, a second volume of autobiography in which Quentin Crisp, arguably England's best known homosexual, recalls his outrageous exploits and his encounters, both hostile and tender.
already in my mouth. I found that I needed to pay great attention to their pitch, their volume and even to the length of the silences between them. This newly acquired knowledge did not later prevent the gay newspapers of New York from saying that I recited passages from my books not very well and in a whining voice but matters would, I am sure, have been even worse if my entire performance had been an improvisation. I cannot claim that, if I had known early in life how my declining years were to
bad name. 'What do you say now?' 'I say that I have been forbidden to say that this is a straight talk from a bent speaker.' I got the job. Once again mere chance had come to my aid and placed me in what might at least be called the fourth division of the game I longed to play. I was being assisted not merely by the particular misfortune that had befallen Mr Rix but in a general way by the decade in which this had occurred. Before the invention of the Edinburgh Festival with its fringe down to
even going as high as Mr Scavullo, I have become dimly aware that they too are converting me to their own use- that deep down I am only a sentence, perhaps a mere comma - in the forever unfinished essay that each of them is writing about the visible world. It is hardly surprising that, by some means or other, each man is trying to record his personal view of the universe. What is amazing is that nations do the same thing. There are national styles in photography. When, in England, I return at
stood forever on the brink of flirting with my audiences instead of performing for them. In theatrical terms this was a sin; socially it seemed to be a virtue or, to say the least~ useful. During my run at the Players' Theatre many events occurred that were surprising and some that were positively hilarious. One night, when I had been on stage for about twenty minutes, the lights began to flicker and some thumping noises issued from the wings. (Really I should say wing; it was only possible to
acquire the bat's-wing silhouette so greatly to be desired. While the males of Los Angeles widen their contours by every means possible, the females narrow theirs. New Y orkers talk about what they 187 eat; Californians go into ecstasies over what they refrain from eating. During our stay in this heaven on earth, we were invited by Mr and Mrs Elkins to a party at their home on Mulholland Drive. This must be the longest street in the world- the address was in five figures. Our hosts' house was