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The Naked Civil Servant (Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics) Paperback – May 1, 1997
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From Library Journal
Published at the height of the sexual revolution?1968, to be exact?Crisp's memoir flaunting his homosexuality nonetheless raised plenty of eyebrows, even though he had been completely open about it for more than 30 years. Though quite humorous, the book is still sensitive to the feelings of anyone looking for acceptance for any reason.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From the Back Cover
"As soon as I stepped out of my mother's womb...I realized that I had made a mistake", Quentin Crisp declares, giving a small hint of the witty and wry approach he takes toward the life he describes with uninhibited exuberance in this classic autobiography, which is both a comic masterpiece and a unique testament to the resilience of the human spirit. Crisp not only came out as a gay man in 1931, when the slightest sign of homosexuality shocked public sensibilities, but he did so with grand and provocative flamboyance, determined to spread the message that homosexuality did not exclude him or anyone else from the human race. His hilarious descriptions of encounters with parents, friends, employers, soldiers and sailors, and the law reveal the strength and humor of an honest man, determined to face the world with the uncensored, unapologetic truth about himself.
Top customer reviews
The writing is wonderful. Over time, Mr. Crisp came under much criticism from the queer community for some of his less popular opinions, but he was never swayed to change his mind and become a politically correct hypocrite, thank heaven. He celebrated the individual, and his style was, in essence, self-acceptance, if not self-love. His humor was charming and witty. I remember when one television interviewer asked Mr. Crisp about his dyed hair, and Mr. Crisp answered,"Some people have asked if it's a wig; but of course a wig would look more natural." I confess I've stolen that line, having a character in one of my short stories proclaim it.
I return to this book again and again, and find much to admire, to adore. Perhaps Mr. Crisp wasn't happy in his homosexuality, but he has helped me to celebrate my own. A positive light, however bent.