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Salvador Dalí's Art and Writing, 1927–1942

Salvador Dalí's Art and Writing, 1927–1942
The Metamorphosis of Narcissus


Part of Res Monographs in Anthropology and Aesthetics

  • Date Published: April 1998
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521639255

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About the Authors
  • This book examines the evolution of Dalí's art during the 1920s and 1930s when he was associated first with the Catalan avant-garde and then with the Surrealist group in Paris. During this period, Dalí's painting style changed radically, a phenomenon which has never been fully accounted for in the extensive literature on this subject. Haim Finkelstein demonstrates that Dalí's writing, in which he explicated theoretical systems such as Paranoia-Criticism and other ideas adopted from Freud, were important for the active and critical role that they played in his development as an artist and often controversial figure. His 1996 study examines these writings in detail as the foundation for the evolution of Dalí's unique artistic vision.

    • First to examine in detail the evolution of Dalí's art in terms of the interaction of his art and writing
    • Traces the decline of Dalí's artistic and creative strength in the light of various developments taking place in the 1930s
    • Analyses the conscious and unconscious motivations underlying Dalí's manipulation of psychosexual notions
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… certainly one of the better books on Dalí I have encountered … the text is an excellent exposition of what was within Dalí's horizon of expectations almost moment by moment. In this respect, the book is exemplary, going well beyond the tendency towards generalisation apparent in almost every other book-length work on the artist.' British Journal of Aesthetics

    ' … this exuberant, well-focused study charts the metamorphosis of an unsure, neurotic Catalan painter into a dynamic, neurotic internationally famous (ex)-Surrealist.' Art Newspaper

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 1998
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521639255
    • length: 354 pages
    • dimensions: 256 x 206 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.7kg
    • contains: 83 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Under the Sign of Saint Sebastian:
    1. Lorcaean aesthetics, Cubism, and metaphysical painting stylistic developments until 1926
    2. Saint Sebastià and the proto-surrealist paintings of 1927
    3. Words and images - freedom and the perception of limits
    4. Fear and desire - the initial phase of Dalí's Aesthetics of Repugnance
    Part II. Under the Sign of the Great Masturbator:
    5. From anti-art to surrealism
    6. Dalí, Buñuel and Un Chien andalou
    7. From Un Chien andalou to The Great Masturbator
    8. Le Grand Masturbateur and the paintings of 1929–30
    Part III. Under the Sign of William Tell:
    9. Revolt, defiance, and scatological provocation
    10. The omnipotence of love - Gala vs. William Tell
    11. The morphological aesthetics of the soft and hard and the search for form
    12. From symbolic functioning to 'Beings-Objects' - Dalí and the surrealist object
    Part IV. Under the Sign of the Angelus:
    13. Paranoia-criticism - concept and theory
    14. From paranoiac intuition to conceptualization - double and multiple images
    15. Paranoiac mechanisms in The Tragic Myth of Millet's Angelus and in Dalí's shorter writings
    Part V. Under the Sign of Narcissus:
    16. The metamorphosis of Narcissus and the dialectics of fragmentation and wholeness
    17. To become Classic - rejection of earlier surrealist attitudes and the abandonment of Freudian theory
    18. I Renounce Nothing: I Continue - observations on Dali's art and writing in the 1940s and after
    Select bibliography

  • Author

    Haim Finkelstein, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel

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