Wednesday, 27 February 2019

@amreading Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant.

The ideal woman: Marlene Dietrich?

I thought about her a great deal, wore her clothes, said her Sphinxlike lines, and ruled her kingdom. 

If a man wants unbearable pleasure indefinitely prolonged, he has to invent for himself a woman who is both beautiful and unattainable. We have come a long degrading way from women like Brigitte Helm, Greta Garbo, and Marlene Dietrich to Mlle. Bardot. The fault lies not in our movie stars but in ourselves. Those beauties of the last generation symbolized hopeless love. Today no one has the time to pursue hopeless love. Someone had to come up with a mechanical doll whose only recommendation was her infinite availability. The woman who came to embody this ideal to the full was Marilyn Monroe. Her directors persuaded her to flaunt her astonishing sexual equipment before us with the touching defenselessness of a retarded child. She was what the modern young man most desires in life  -- a mistress who could be won without being wooed.

The ideal novel?

If you describe things as better than they are, you are considered to be romantic; if you describe things as worse than they are, you will be called a realist; and if you describe things exactly as they are, you be thought of as a satirist.

Quentin Crisp book is a satire, which is hard on readers. As one of them said: I wish you hadn’t made every line funny. It’s so depressing.