The Persistence of Memory: A Biography of Dalí
Surrealist painter, author, filmmaker, lecturer, performance artist, charlatan, genius, clown, Salvador Dalí (1904–1989) once asked himself, "Where does the deep and philosophical Dalí begin, and where does the loony and preposterous Dalí 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 This evenhanded but exacting biography, based on interviews, unpublished letters, and previously unavailable archives, explores the relationship between his eccentric life and the hallucinatory imagery of the paintings that, like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; Dalí'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 Dalí paintings, The Persistence of Memory offers an unrivaled tour of the absurd and haunting landscape of Dalí's life.