Author: Carlos Rojas
Publisher: Penn State Press
Among the many books written on or by Salvador Dalí, this is the first to give a complete, well-documented picture of his life and art. Carlos Rojas's approach to Dalí is somewhere between biography, Freudian analysis, and art and literary interpretation. Dalí is haunted from earliest childhood by the specter of his elder brother who died as a toddler shortly before Dalí was conceived (both brothers and the father bore the same name), as he is haunted by the devouring phantom of his mother, that praying mantis on whose portrait he would like to spit. Dalí is seen as endlessly struggling to affirm his identity and existence. A combination of genius, madman, neurotic, and spoiled brat, Dalí is illuminated by his work, while the known facts of his life, his own writings, those of his sister, and of others, are used to analyze the paintings, which are described in considerable detail. Rojas also provides sustained analyses of Dalí's relationships, including his influential amorous and intellectual affair with Federico García Lorca.