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The Secret Life of Salvador Dali

4.17  ·  Rating Details ·  1,730 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
Kessinger Publishing is the place to find hundreds of thousands of rare and hard-to-find books with something of interest for everyone
Paperback, 432 pages
Published September 10th 2010 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1942)
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The most striking aspect of Dali is his essential conservatism. Beneath the exhibitionism, the surrealism, the extravagance is a 19th century, perhaps Spanish, clinging to rules, rigor, discipline, hierarchy, and finally religion. He found freedom within tradition, and criticized Picasso for struggling (‘reduced to slavery’) endlessly in the complete freedom of revolution. Here is his frustration at the art school faculty:

I was already in full reaction against cubism. They, in order to reach cub
Yet another Dali book I am unable to rate.
It took me almost a year to read this book off-and-on. It was damn near impossible. For two reasons I almost did the unthinkable and gave up:

1) It is written by a man with a tongue of genius. He has a way with words that throws you off from your pure amazement of their exquisiteness, and hell, all that genius makes for a complicated read. It's hard not to get tripped up. (Exquisiteness? Now that word is certainly not worthy of being called exquisite ...
M. Sarki
Salvador Dalí was thirty-seven years old when he completed this autobiography, his book of secrets, he says. He had become at this more mature age a serious Christian, a Catholic to be exact, and his quest for heaven was really all that mattered to him by then besides the love of his life, Gala, his personal fame and glory, his home and possessions, and the faith in God that has eluded him all his life. The god part was all a surprise to me and I was not expecting to learn of these extraordinary ...more
Sep 23, 2012 Marlena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book changed my life and the way I used to perceive the inner lives of visual artists. It flows like a painting, it's packed with surreal images and symbols that only Dali could relate to. it's a real memoir, nothing fake, nothing hidden, just insane, strange and beautiful like Dali was.
It's number one on my list of favorite books.
However, I do understand why some people might not enjoy it so much, it's not for everyone.
one has to know a little about the artist and surrealism in order to g
Chloe Thurlow
Jan 28, 2011 Chloe Thurlow rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When reading this book one must take into account that Dali was a genius. It is an accompaniment to his work and thus surreal not formulaic. He reveals all his passions, fetishes and obsessions - and he worked on them constantly throughout his life. In the summer every year while staying at his summer retreat in Cadaques, he sent Picasso a postcard with the same message: In July neither women nor snails. What does it mean? What does it matter. Read this book
Feb 28, 2009 Katie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book is the polar opposite of a quick read... this book is a project that may take you months or years of on again, off again, reading. it is worth the struggle, but it should be read in small doses. Much like his art work, it is a bit overwhelming.
Jon(athan) Nakapalau
Dalí on Dalí...and other topics...and "...Of shoes - and ships - and sealing-wax - Of cabbages - and kings -". Just the sort of book you would think he would write.

Motaz Soliman
عجيب و مثير للجدل ..
سريالي .. او هو السريالية زي ما قال على نفسة ..
مغرور أو أكتر من كده شوية .. بس في وسط كلامة حسيت انه بيكافح بالغرور حاجة تانية .. بيحارب الهجوم على غموضه بالغرور .. حاجة كده زي النكوص عند الأطفال ..
حاجة زي العنصرية المضادة ..
المهم ان الكتاب عجبني .. و شخصية الراجل هاتفضل مثيرة
Rafał Karoń
Dec 24, 2016 Rafał Karoń rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Książka była prezentem urodzinowym, dziękuję za sprezentowanie mi tak przemyślanego podarku!
Michael D.
Jan 20, 2013 Michael D. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At my second read, I still thoroughly enjoyed this book. (And yes, second read means I didn't quite make in through on the first go. Also, I believe the translator should be given his share of kudos in deciphering what many agree is pretty much a labryinth of words and phrases, but most importantly - fanciful albeit earnest embellishments. I agree that its probably not for some readers and even that truth itself varies depending on whether or not one likes somewhat boastful storytelling, the art ...more
Dec 02, 2011 Nativeabuse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-again
One of the best books I've ever read, although I admit I read it believing it to be mostly real later to realize that it wasn't. But So entertaining.

Salvador Dali should have been a writer, his writing is so well written, even for a translation!

I gave this away awhile back to someone, and I angerly realize that they probably didn't READ IT!!!! Why do I keep doing this? I need to buy another copy.
Dec 20, 2015 Neri. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Salvador Dali build this monument for his own talent and despicable narcisizm. His talent is undeniable, the artworks are speaking for themselves and this book is also one of his best creations. The writing style is surprisingly good and the whole books is fascinating. It is full of rich language and interesting facts from Dali's life. Enjoyable read for memoir and art fans.
Jan 20, 2009 BurgendyA rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was very unique, brilliant and beautiful as his paintings. Dali's bio leads to his childhood thru his age 37. This interesting and bizzare tale of how his captivated surrealism thru his art.

So I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in getting into the artistic minds of the masters. =)~
Beka Sukhitashvili
Sep 01, 2016 Beka Sukhitashvili rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art, spanish
დიდი მადლობა გალას, მისი არსებობისთვის.

შთამბეჭდავი ავტობიოგრაფიაა, განსაკუთრებით ბოლო ნაწილი. საოცრად კარგად ჩანს ევროპისა და ამერიკის ცხოვრების რითმის და ცალკეული ინდივიდის შინაგანი ბრძოლების დაპირისპირება.
ძალიან დამაინტერესა, მეორე მსიფლიო ომის დასრულების და იმ საშინელი ფაქტების გახმაურების შემდეგ, რა დაემართათ დალის იდეებს...
ندى الأبحر
!يروقني أن تمتلئ فرشاة رجل وجعبته غرورًا
فمن يمكن أن يكتب عن عبقرية دالي أفضل من دالي نفسه؟
David Madden
Aug 07, 2015 David Madden rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like his painted images, Dali's style is bizarre in complex ways. His life is very like his paintings. In his book, he provides sketches that illustrate events and his perspectives on the episodes of his life, along with photographs. He has a brilliant analytical mind and a style to do it justice. He is truly myriad-minded. He was a friend of the avant garde director Bunuel and of the tragic poet Lorca. Page by page, he fills the reader's head full of images and ideas. His book makes the reader ...more
Kevin McAllister
Oct 18, 2014 Kevin McAllister rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One look at Dalai's paintings and you can see that he sees things in a different way. It also becomes clear in his auto biography that he sees things in a different way. But while at times I admired his absolute genius, in writing, his absolute sense of being a genius at times became a bit tiresome.Despite being an amazing man and an artistic genius, in his autobiography, he comes off as being a little bit too full of himself. But overall, a fascinating read.Dali was and still is amazing !
Sep 26, 2013 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great and unique book, by and about a great and unique man (to say the least). I recommend this book to anyone who want's to get a true feel for who Dali was, how his genius worked; his totally unique perspective on life. This book is not an effortless read, but it is certainly worth the effort, both for the value of its contents and because you will come out with improved reading skills, an enlarged vocabulary, and insight into a one of a kind perspective, that will definitely surprise you.
Jun 19, 2012 Heidi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I wish every autobiography was this fascinating. You really feel as though you've entered the perversely complex insanity of Dali's subjectivity. This book is quite a brilliant anomaly of an autobiography; not to mention the delight of his lovely, fantastical prose. I am planning on reading this again.
Oct 14, 2016 Zia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Where's the original book of this that I had with a painting inside dedicated to my Father...this is a slim Replacement for what I had when I was 12 years young....nevertheless...masterful and imaginative and frolicsome and insane!
Dec 31, 2015 Shay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I learned from the first couple of chapters that the less I know about Dali, the better. I couldn't stomach the rampant narcissism and psychopathic behavior. I usually like learning more about an artist and contextualizing it with their work, but I'll pass on Dali, thanks.
Iluzija O. Istini
Svi mi s puno truda rastemo, ovisno o nasim sklonostima, u ono sto jesmo. Toliko sam znala. Iznenadilo me koliko truda treba uloziti da bi se bilo ludo.
Nov 29, 2008 Norah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I started to read this and it was very strange and interesting but then it got weird-weirder-and weirdist. So I stopped.
Jennifer Gutowski
wtf? now i know why dali said, "...i am drugs."
T for Tongue-tied
Dec 19, 2016 T for Tongue-tied rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: art
I'd say it is a bit overwhelming - sick personality, sick book... Of course I utterly love it:)
If you ever wondered if Dali was genuinely nuts, read this book. The most fascinating thing I learned from reading his autobiography was that he purposely cultured his eccentricity and consciously developed a cult of arrogance and genius to create a false image of himself to the media. It goes without saying that he had an overactive brain, a fascination for the bizarre and an innate curiosity that saw art in the most curious things, people and places. Great for art lovers who want insight into ...more
Jan 04, 2017 Alsu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was a very beautiful book. I enjoyed reading Salvador Dali so much because of his juicy writing style and such weirdly interesting (and beautiful in a way) insights on the world.
Jun 11, 2014 verbava rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Все были согласны, что надо делать революцию, но как? С чего начать? И почему? Не все было ясно с самого начала. Поскольку не грозила опасность, что революция вспыхнет сегодня же ночью, и у нас оставалось время, мы заказали еще выпивки на всех и терпеливо дожидались следующего виски.

або так:

Не верю, что человек настолько лишен фантазии, чтобы у водителей автобусов время от времени не появлялось желание выбить витрину Присуник, чтобы на лету не выхватить несколько подарков для своих семей. Не пон
Интересная книга сумасшедшего гениального человека. Или просто постановочно-пафосного... Хотя этого мы уже не узнаем.

Чего стоит фраза: "В июле – ни женщин, ни улиток"? Или сцена с сотней цыган, разрывающих на испанских улицах слона, распевающих фламенко с последующей сценой жестокости в утробе слона?

Сумасшествие бывает страшным, забавным и великим - и я так и не определилась с тем, какая именно здесь ситуация.
Но чтение увлекательное. Помогает чуть больше понять настолько же гениально-сумасшедши
Oct 12, 2007 Colie! rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: snarky people with great senses of humor and love of art (especially Dali's.)
This book is so pithy I just can't seem to get into it: I love it every time I pick it up, but don't want to disrespect it by not having ample time to absorb it. And the last year of grad school was certainly too sleep-deprived to lavish attention on it, and I'm still far from loyal book worship time. But maybe I'll put a dent in this Christmas vacation. That's how worth it the book is. He's hilarious. It also compliments my new surroundings: the shameless self-promotion is so L.A. Who knew?
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Salvador Domingo Felipe Jacinto Dalí i Domènech, 1st Marquis of Púbol, was a Spanish surrealist painter born in Figueres, Catalonia, Spain.

Dalí was a skilled draftsman, best known for the striking and bizarre images in his surrealist work. His painterly skills are often attributed to the influence of Renaissance masters. His best known work, The Persistence of Memory, was completed in 1931.

More about Salvador Dalí...

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“An elegant woman is a woman who despises you and has no hair under her arms.” 323 likes
“New skin, a new land! And a land of liberty, if that is possible! I chose the geology of a land that was new to me, and that was young, virgin, and without drama, that of America. I traveled in America, but instead of romantically and directly rubbing the snakeskin of my body against the asperities of its terrain, I preferred to peel protected within the armor of the gleaming black crustacean of a Cadillac which I gave Gala as a present. Nevertheless all the men who admire and the women who are in love with my old skin will easily be able to find its remnants in shredded pieces of various sizes scattered to the winds along the roads from New York via Pittsburgh to California. I have peeled with every wind; pieces of my skin have remained caught here and there along my way, scattered through that "promised land" which is America; certain pieces of this skin have remained hanging in the spiny vegetation of the Arizona desert, along the trails where I galloped on horseback, where I got rid of all my former Aristotelian "planetary notions." Other pieces of my skin have remained spread out like tablecloths without food on the summits of the rocky masses by which one reaches the Salt Lake, in which the hard passion of the Mormons saluted in me the European phantom of Apollinaire. Still other pieces have remained suspended along the "antediluvian" bridge of San Francisco, where I saw in passing the ten thousand most beautiful virgins in America, completely naked, standing in line on each side of me as I passed, like two rows of organ-pipes of angelic flesh with cowrie-shell sea vulvas.” 22 likes
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