Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Dali and Inspiration

I tell this story a lot, and even used it in a short story once, so to all those who know this I apologize. Also, this is from memory, so I apologize to any Dali scholars out there for any inaccuracies.

Although Salvador Dali's greatest work of fiction is his own autobiography (highly suggested, btw), he does have one novel entitled Hidden Faces.

The book's pretty unexciting. It doesn't have the bizarre freeform narrative like de Chirico's fiction, nor does it have the dream like quality of Paul Eluard's poetry and short fiction. Plain and simple, Hidden Faces is a pretty typical romance set in France on the eve of WWI. I was never so let down by an idol in my life. Despite the poor text, Dali did offer some interesting ideas in the introduction.

Dali goes to great lengths to tell about his unnamed painter friends in New York City, patiently waiting for inspiration to hit before starting to paint. Salvador leaves them to write his novel in Maine, and returns six months later with his goal complete. He was amused to find that nothing in New York City had changed. His painter friends still sat in front of their blank canvases, praying for inspiration to favor them with a visit. Dali tossed his novel at them with a chuckle, then moved on to Hollywood to work on some animation dream sequences for Alfred Hitchcock. Dali then rants in his intro about the process of art, that it is a process of small steps that after time will create a whole much larger than the sum.

Anyway, this story kind of echoes what Hemmingson was bitching about on his blog (he has some new complaints about people who refer to their unpublished works as novels instead of manuscripts, but I digress). Art, even bad art, is work and takes time. Time for me to stop blogging and get to it.


1 comment:

LadyLitBlitzin said...

Yep, that's pretty much the size of it. Instead of sitting around thinking about it or talking about it, we've just got to do it. I like that Dali, of all people, sounds like an extremely goal-oriented artist.

I have a friend who is an illustrator and, like clockwork, has gone home every night for like 20 years and drawn, whether he had paying gigs or not. He did as little thinking/talking about art as possible and instead has just done it. I have to give him credit.