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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Naked Civil Servant

The book was made into a film in 1975 and followed up
with the sequel "An Englishman in New York" in 2009.
John Hurt's performance is superb.

 

While watching "A Month of Sundays", a brilliantly funny and small miracle of a film, a came across a reference to a book with the intriguing title "The Naked Civil Servant" (apparently derived from the author's work as an art model: employed by schools, models were ultimately paid by the Department for Education and therefore essentially civil employees who were naked during office hours).

I cannot walk past a bookshop nor ignore a reference to a book I haven't yet heard of, and so I started to GOOGLE for it. I was surprised to find that the book is the first part of an autobiography - the second part is "How to become a Virgin" - by a very witty and very gay writer by the name of Quentin Crisp.

Now don't get me wrong: I grew up in a country were homosexuality was illegal and I came to Australia when 'poofter-bashing' was still a national sport, and am as homophobic as the next man, but Quentin Crisp's witty, sarcastic, and self-deprecating writing really drew me in.

His quips - "Life was a funny thing that happened to me on the way to the grave"; "There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn't get any worse" (just don't tell my wife!); for more, click here and here - would put even Oscar Wilde to shame.

I won't be rushing out to buy his books but if I happen to see them in an op-shop, I'll give them a new lease of life at "Riverbend".