Guy Kettelhack
author, former Crisp agent,
editor of
The Wit and Wisdom of Quentin Crisp

Quentin (whom I quote endlessly to the exasperation of everybody: he will not leave my head) said: "Say what you’ve come to say." A simple suggestion which (put interrogatively: "Have I said what I came to say?") has over the years become a more and more useful touchstone for me. However, sometimes you think you’re saying what you’ve come to say when actually you’re defending what you’re too frightened not to. Again Quentin comes to our rescue, this time with only two words: "Never defend." Aha! Now I know I should say what I’ve come to say but never defend. Simple enough. One could almost live a life on that basis. (He did.) It wouldn’t be how most anyone else was living his or her life, but hey, it might work. It would at least be refreshing. Imagine always saying what you’ve come to say and never defending. Very likely you’d never quite feel, think, say, do the same thing twice. You’d be free of the burden of lying. Which means you’d never be boring. For, as Quentin also said, "Only a lie is boring."

It’s the only self-help I’ve ever found useful. (I had and have no other mentor than you, dear Quentin.)

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