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Salvador Dalí

Books: Recognising the writer, Dalí

A new collection draws attention towards a neglected part of the Surrealist's output

For too long the importance of Salvador Dalí as a writer has been unrecognised, not least due to his own efforts in the later part of his life to obscure himself in the persona of the eccentric celebrity. Yet this was a man whose originality of mind had once attracted the respect of Lorca, Bataille, Breton, Duchamp and Picasso. Our capacity to reassess Dalí’s theoretical texts and the Surrealist poetry and prose pieces is now greatly helped by this publication. Dr Finkelstein has selected and translated the major part of Dalí’s shorter writings beginning with the Catalan texts of the 1920s and including all the most significant of his Surrealist writing. He has, however, been a little too protective of his subject: he excludes Dalí’s contributions to popular journals, which are necessary literary fragments if one is to piece together the complexity of the Dalinian enigma.

o Haim Finkelstein, The collected writings of Salvador Dalí (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999), 480 pp, 11 b/w ills, £50 (hb) ISBN 0521560276

Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Haim Finkelstein, The collected writings of Salvador Dalí (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999), 480 pp, 11 b/w ills, £50 (hb) ISBN 0521560276'

Appeared in The Art Newspaper Archive, 94 July 1999