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The Secret Life of Salvador Dali (Anglais) Broché – 3 mars 1993


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The Secret Life of Salvador Dali This startling early autobiography takes Dali through his late 30s and "communicates the...total picture of himself (Dali) sets out to portray" -- "Books." Superbly illustrated with over 80 photographs and scores of drawings. Full description

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Couverture | Table des matières | Extrait | Quatrième de couverture
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x9df62f84) étoiles sur 5 45 commentaires
29 internautes sur 32 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9e2af234) étoiles sur 5 "The only difference between me and a madman is that I'm not insane." 30 avril 2008
Par Mark Nadja - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Genius isn't pretty, if we are to deduce that this revelation of the secret life of Salvador Dali is representative of the inner reality of genius in general. For certain, genuine creation isn't pretty, as anyone who's ever witnessed childbirth might attest: it's accomplished by blood, obscenity, mucous, hysterics, farts, and pain. Out of such undifferentiated chaos does one mold the miracle of his creation. So in *The Secret Life of Salvador Dali* we get the "confession" of a man whose life from earliest childhood is replete with incidents, fantasies, attitudes, and behaviors that can only be considered pathological.

But then how much of this memoir is "real" and how much artistic hyperbole is a question open to debate. For Dali consciously mythologizes his life and makes no secret of the fact that much of his "secret life" may not have actually taken place except in his imagination. "The difference," he writes, "between false memories and true ones is the same as for jewels: it is always the false ones that look the most real, the most brilliant." And shortly afterwards he writes of his life that the "all-powerful sway of reverie and myth began to mingle in such a continuous and imperious way with the life of every moment that later it has often become impossible for me to know where reality begins and the imaginary ends." This is Dali's way of winking at the reader--and yet it's an ambiguous wink at best.

For what must always be remembered is that for Dali, the imagination is every bit as "real" in its impact, just as material and plastic, as any historical or anecdotal fact of existence--if anything, the hyper-intensity of Dali's imagination gives his reveries even greater reality. And so Dali, by his own estimation the only true surrealist, presents the story of the first half of his life in its entirety: that's to say, the dreams, visions, and fantasies are given equal weight as the people, facts, and circumstances of conventional autobiography. For the former interact with the latter to produce the uninterrupted "surreality" of the individual life. A man, for instance, who dreams that his best friend has murdered him in his sleep and taken his wife to bed cannot possibly--whether conscious of the fact or not--have lunch with that same friend the next afternoon without his perceptions being altered, right down to his autonomic biological responses, in a very concrete way.

Perhaps the best way to read *The Secret Life of Salvador Dali* is as a kind of absurdist novel about the life and ideas of an eccentric, legendary painter named Salvador Dali. For, indeed, this book very often reads like fiction, studded as it is with bizarre episodes worthy of Kafka or Poe. And yet there is also a good deal of Dali's very down-to-earth philosophy of art in this book: his championing of technique, craft, and discipline, and of the renaissance spirit of the great masters who he admires. These attitudes might surprise many who think of Dali solely as the revolutionary and iconoclastic wild man of surrealism.

Although he's since become synonymous with surrealism, Dali actually considered himself a traditionalist and what made him a real "revolutionary" and ultimately more surreal than the surrealists was, in his view, the fact that he aligned himself with the most conservative aspects of his artistic craft and his Spanish-European-Catholic roots. In fact, it may come as something of a shock to some to find Dali railing against the dissolution of form, of abstraction, of undisciplined experimentation, of the laziness of modern art. From the opening pages when he bombastically declares with mock seriousness his disgust for the formless mush of spinach and his admiration of the rigorous solidity of shellfish, Dali separates himself from the leveling movements in contemporary art, politics, and society, most of which he consigns to the oblivion of the mulch from which the hierarchic tree of a society of true individuals, of the royalty of spirit, art, and culture will inevitably be reborn. Tradition may be chopped down, trampled, burned to ash...but the roots go deeper than revolution. Tradition never dies. Therefore, Dali sides with tradition.

Written when he was barely 38 years old and thus comprising less than half of what would be his allotted life, *The Secret Life* has the feel of a complete autobiography composed from the sober vantage point of the old age Dali cherished and aspired to even as a young man. The text itself is beautifully written/translated--a prose masterpiece of surrealistic metaphor and absurdist hyperbole. An excellent, thought-provoking, and fascinating book from any number of perspectives, *The Secret Life of Salvador Dali* is every bit as unsettling, paradoxical, elusive, contrary, and, ultimately, beautiful, as the paintings for which Dali is so well-known, so misunderstood, and so famous.
36 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9e43b438) étoiles sur 5 Dali: Genius and Spoiled Brat 21 octobre 1998
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Those fascinated by Dali's artwork will want to read this autobiography. Dali provides 400 pages of commentary describing/explaining the symbols of his artwork.. Mostly psychoanalytic approaches. There are a number of descriptions of events that shaped his thoughts from childhood. A great read for anyone seeking companionship in a world that resists weirdness.
33 internautes sur 42 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9e28cfd8) étoiles sur 5 Revealing Self Portrait of a Great Artist 6 décembre 1999
Par D.C.Meyer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book reveals that in addition to being one of the century's greatest visual artists, he was also a tallented and entertaining writer. Dali's personality is all here-- the brilliance, the cruelty, the humor, and the megalomania.
If you compare this with other sources you'll find that the chronology for his youth is off, and (not surprisingly) some incidents are creatively embellished. Still, anyone interested in the artist should read this book first-- it's a great self portrait by a brilliant eccentric artist.
15 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9d98aa20) étoiles sur 5 A striking book of genius, art, and eccentricity 14 mai 1997
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
This book is the ultimate in thought and surrealism. Salvador Dali covers everything from polymorphism to why he doesn't eat spinach, and he does it with a bang! Excellent
17 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9e434fb4) étoiles sur 5 I admired Dali until I read this book 11 mai 2008
Par Doug - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
First of all, let me state that I still really admire Dali's undeniably talented and very imaginative work as an artist. At the time of writing this review, I can still honestly say that Salvador Dali is my favorite visual artist qua artist. However, I never realized how truly horrible of a person he is until I have read this book. In this book, you will find Dali gleefully describing, without any hint of remorse, how he would kick his baby sister in the head amongst other passages where Dali is obviously trying to make the reader uncomfortable, such as his extensive description of getting a piece of dried mucus lodged under his fingernail.

Reading this book really has solidified my perception of Salvador Dali as the kind of individual who takes great pleasure in deliberately confusing, fooling or repulsing an audience. Reading this book will not provide you with insight on the motivation behind Dali's works nor will it offer an honest portrayal of his life. Instead, it will just be an extensive lesson in how Dali would entertain an audience through narration. Sometimes his anecdotes can be quite amusing, which suggests that this book is appropriate for truly devoted fans of the great surrealist. However, I personally found it to be too unpleasant to recommend.
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