The Persistence of Memory: A Biography of DalÝ

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Da Capo Press, 1995 - Biography & Autobiography - 465 pages
3 Reviews
Surrealist painter, author, filmmaker, lecturer, performance artist, charlatan, genius, clown, Salvador DalÝ (1904–1989) once asked himself, "Where does the deep and philosophical DalÝ begin, and where does the loony and preposterous DalÝ end?" This evenhanded but exacting biography, based on interviews, unpublished letters, and previously unavailable archives, explores the relationship between his eccentric life and the hallucinatory imagery of the paintings that, like the soft watches, have become twentieth-century icons. The author penetrates the artist's self-mythologizing facade to reveal the man behind the outrageous mustache and cryptic canvasses: his Catalan childhood; his relationships with Garcia Lorca, Bunuel, Breton, Picasso, Miro, de Chirico, Man Ray, Ernst, and Eluard; DalÝ's fixations, phobias, and Surrealist pranks; and his bizarre marriage to Gala—muse, business manager, nymphomaniac, gold digger, and finally tormentor. With reproductions of sixteen DalÝ paintings, The Persistence of Memory offers an unrivaled tour of the absurd and haunting landscape of DalÝ's life.

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In this first major biography since the artist's death, Etherington-Smith has created a brilliant portrayal of the enigmatic Salvador Dali. The author shows the emergence of Dali and surrealism ... Read full review

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Not an easy read, but if you are interested in Dali and/or his work it is worth your while. Describes in great detail Dali's works and his life, which is absolutely outrageous. I enjoyed hearing about Dali's life more that I did reading about his paintings. "Salvador Dali: An Illustrated Life" is a good reference while reading this book to view his paintings. 

About the author (1995)

Meredith Etherington-Smith is the author of a biography of Jean Patou, the European editor of Town & Country, and the editor of Christie's International Magazine.

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