Salvador Dalí

Memories of Surrealism – Text 3

lithograph on paper
Inventory number 494e

English translation from French


This surrealistic object originates in the Dalinian motto: when you pretend to leave in the memory of the aristocratic society, dear to our hearts, an almost unperishable recollection, the best advice you can get is this one: when you are still very, very young, preferably in your teens, kick, as strongly as you can the right leg of the person you love, that is to say of the aristocrat who can help you in life. This aristocrat will say “Ouch!” and will raise his right leg and therefore stand in the precarious position of a stork, since storks stand on one leg. Just at that time Salvador Dali will turn up hypocritically, according to the manners of the Company of Jesus and the theories of St. Ignatius of Loyola, carrying a crutch so that the aristocrat will not fall. So, first a strong kick in the aristocratic leg, then as soon as the aristocrat has become one-legged, Dali rushes in, double faced as ever, bringing the famous crutch in its sheath. (This text can be repeated as many times as you wish and as slowly as possible so that the aristocrat, whilst remaining slightly grateful for not having been thrown to the ground, will remember for the rest of his life having been kicked by Salvador Dali as a young man.)


Dali has chosen Georges de Latour’s painting, which represents a new born child carried under the light of a candle with a luxury of precautions, for a very definite reason: to show that it is with the same delicate care that one should deal with the Great Question, the most transcendental of the super-Einsteinian era, of Albert Einstein, at first super-gelatinous, then Freudian and finally Dalinian, in the direction of the explosive legitimacy of everything looking terribly soft and peaceful.


Films will be completely out in five years. Out, firstly, because nothing good has ever come out of them, except—perhaps—“Le Chien Andalou” which I made and which could have been given to those who would have liked to work a feeling of continuity. Then, and above all, because now exists the ‘video-cassette’ which I just received as a gift from Mr. Rosenberg. Just as squires, at some point, had their homecorpse, they can now own their home-video-cassette; with this they will be able to make their own pseudo- artistic shit and will no longer require film studios, for it is unthinkable, that in order to produce shit one should should have to go through film studios. People will produce their shit every morning without a script, without a photographer, without anything. With video-cassettes, the world will become a monumental garbage dump, where everyone will be able to relieve oneself at ease without any need to go to the movies.


A tribute to Guy de Maupassant: one of his short stories has always been my favorite. You all remember it. It is the one of the baker with a temperature of 102, I believe, and his wife has put some eggs under his armpits for him to brood. Because of the high fever, there is a wonderful moment when the bed is full of little chickens emerging from the unfortunate baker’s armpits: the man is dying in a state of extreme satisfaction, the creative heat of his armpits filling the room with a sweat odour. And this, in addition, at a time when surely hormones did not exist. All the little chickens are running behind you gloriously. The same with all the vegetating surrealistic little lice which I have brooded under my own armpits.


The first idea I ever had about the Eye of Time. I know it well: with it I made a jewel for the Owen R. Cheatham Foundation. A jewel representing a large eye, and in its pupil you can see the wheel-work of a clock and the lens which must preferably belong to someone who has never drunk any liquor, for the bottom must be blueish and pure, like an aquamarine, without the stigma of a liver complaint. The hands on the clock dial move in slow motion, because liver complaints accelerate the pulse of life, as Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, known as Paracelsus, proved in his book on the combustion of stomachs (one could devote, at this juncture, ten pages to Paracelsus, the father of hermetic medicine, born in Einsiedeln, Switzerland in 1493 and who died in Salzburg, Austria in 1541, to his doctrine of correspondences between the outside world and the various parts of the human body; especially to the combustion of stomachs).