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Quentin Crisp, 90, was a flamboyant wit, writer and performer whose extravagant style, eccentric attitudes and flippant aphorisms won him a devoted and admiring following in both his native England and his adopted America. Celebrity came late to Mr Crisp, beginning in 1968 with the publication of The Naked Civil Servant, an autobiography. Its provocative and intriguing title stemmed from Mr Crisp's stint in Britain as a nude model at an art school run by the Government. As a relatively young man, he was said to have adopted a flamboyant lifestyle common among some members of London's homosexual community of the time. This was said to have brought him harassment, persecution and beatings. He spent many years in a variety of arts-related occupations before the publication of his 1968 book brought him renown. A man who seemed to take delight in provoking almost everybody, he was sharply criticized by some members of the homosexual community when he expressed the view that being gay might be an illness. (Martin Weil)

Quentincrisp.com

Even the seemingly indestructible Quentin Crisp had to die some time. His great friend Penny Arcade once made him promise to live to be 100 but he later phoned her to ask to be released from the pledge. He wanted to die at 90 and got his wish. The saddest thing about his death is that he was not in his beloved New York, but in England. I had the pleasure and honour of meeting him on a number of occasions. He was always charming and witty, always "on" as he put it. He was famous for going wherever his fare was paid but he gave far more than he received. His courage was, and will always be, an inspiration to admirers all over the world. (Mike Bell)

The New York Times

A resident of the East Village since 1977, Quentin Crisp was a neighborhood celebrity known for his wardrobe of splashy scarves, his violet eyeshadow and his white hair upswept a la Katharine Hepburn and tucked under a black fedora. His nose and chin were often elevated to a rather imperious angle, and his eyebrows were painstakingly plucked. Moving to the US, Crisp maintained, was his proudest achievement. He loved Americans, he said, for "their belief that personality is the greatest power on earth." As cherished a character as he was by many, Crisp had his detractors, especially gay men who decried his claim that gay pride was an oxymoron. "It's not normal to be gay," Crisp said, "and I think it's very weird to think that it is." His provocative comments aside, Crisp's homosexuality was always front and center in the way he lived, filtered through his particular mix of pride, anger and wit. (Alex Witchel)

The Daily Telegraph

The world will be poorer without Quentin Crisp. He stood apart from the rest of us, not so much because of his lilac hair and epicene manners as because of his genuine individualism. Homosexuality, like other alternative life-styles, can impose a conformity of its own; but Mr Crisp was having none of it. He rejected the mores of the homosexual fraternity just as he had rejected the conventions of the English middle class, enraging many militants by his insistence that homosexuality was an affliction. Quietly and courteously, he insisted on living the life he wanted to live. But it is his personality that will be most missed. In an age when race, sex and sexuality are meant to define our lives, he was palpably happy being his own man.

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