Queens by Pickles - review by Quentin Crisp

Quentin Crisp

Pitiless Portrait



Quartet 289pp £8.95 order from our bookshop

The time has come when, reluctantly, we are all forced to admit that sex is here to stay. The compulsion to write and talk about the subject incessantly results from the fact that money has fallen into the hands of the young. I have no idea how this happened but, about twenty-five years ago, it did and with money comes power. Adolescents have always wanted more sexual freedom than their elders thought was good for them and now they are able to impose their values upon the rest of us. Today we therefore live in a world where people change their mates with alarming frequency and, when too exhausted to fornicate any more, watch films or read stories about the fornications of others. It stands to reason that, when the topic of heterosexual practices becomes tedious, kinkiness will soon come under discussion and, because men appear to be more boastful than women, there seems to be a greater number of words written or spoken about male homosexuality than about any other deviation from what we used to be allowed to call normality.

This is just such a book and, in it, the word ‘queen’ designates not only excruciatingly effeminate men, but absolutely any gay male.

Queens has no message, which is a relief, but it also has no form which is a defect. It drifts from pseudo-documentary to fiction and back again starting

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