On Style

Photo by Angus McBean: Quentin Crisp, 1940

The difficulty is that once you start to cultivate your image, you do in a sense start to cultivate your exhibitionism. And exhibitionism is like a drug. You take a dose of it after a while that would kill anyone just starting out. So the day does have to come when you say, “Am I doing this to please myself or am I doing it to annoy the neighbors?” You see, the desire to annoy the neighbors is just as ridiculous as the desire to placate the neighbors. What you have to ask yourself is this: If there were no praise, and no blame, who would I be then? Then you know who you are, and what your style is.

Quentin Crisp
The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp (1984)

Photo by Angus McBean: Quentin Crisp, 1940

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