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New Books From Simon Doonan, on Self-Help and Keith Haring

Are you an “emperor of camp” like Liberace, a burlesque queen living in “a satin upholstered jewelry box” like Dita von Teese, or so idiosyncratic that you belong among “the unclassifiables,” à la Phyllis Diller, who has a room dedicated to her wigs? It doesn’t matter, as long as your home is an aria of personal expression. Lack of money, he adds, should not be an obstacle, since, in aesthetic matters, it tends to be inversely proportional to taste.

THE PROBLEM with many self-help books is that they are gauzy and vague, their principles deracinated from any real-life examples. “How

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