Sunday, November 28, 2010

New Addition: The Passions According to Dali.

Newly acquired by the SDBC Library:

The Passions According to Dali
by Louis Pauwels
with Salvador Dali
translated from the original French by Eleanor R. Morse (1985).

The origin of the monologues in this book are the recorded, edited, conversations between Pauwels and Dali circa 1966-1967.  Topics covered are: Gala, death, glory, gold, eroticism, monarchy, god and the angels, the railway station at Perpignan, etc. 

However, don't expect to learn too much about Dali's thoughts on these subjects directly.  As symbolic and subjective as Dali's graphic works are, his words are far more misdirected by symbolism, contradiction, and nonlinear logic.  In essence, Dali seems to apply his Paranoic-critical method to his spoken word just as freely as to his art.

For instance, the chapter on gold begins with Dali recounting his childhood practice of retaining his stools.  Apparently the subject of gold inspired in him a logical connection to something he valued as a child like a precious metal--his poop!

Well, I can't say that there were too many other gems in this book.  For the most part, it's just Dali on a soapbox, pontificating on any number of things that he loosely connects to the subject at hand.  Most of it seems more interesting to himself than to any other person in the world, but that sort of indulgent vanity has always been a characteristic of the self-proclaimed genius.

The main text is 162 pages and features a number of appendices which are largely superfluous, especially the few that are not written by, or about, Dali. 

This book is limited to 500 copies and is therefore extremely difficult to attain.  You can expect to pay $90 and up for a copy of this book which had a sticker price of $27.50 when it was published. 

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