Conquest of the Irrational
by Salvador Dali.
On July 20, 1935 in Paris, one thousand copies of this book were printed in English. Seventy-six years later, this rare historical artifact finds its way into my hands.
What can one say about this original Dali manifesto, written in the dawn of his career?
Since its publication, Conquest of the Irrational has been a popular source of quotes for those attempting to summarize Dali's artistic style and motivation.
The book is about 5"x6", has about 18 pages of text, followed by b&w illustrations on heavy card stock. There are 35 reproductions including the back cover and a color plate (also on heavy card stock) opposite the title page. I have included a list of the titles of the plates and a few examples of the plates.
This little book is extremely rare, so your hunt for this may be a long one. The book is worth about $200-$300 for a copy in good condition. Happy hunting!
Les Diners de Gala
Nevertheless, this book is a nice prize for any Dali collection. It is a work of art from cover to cover.
Open Letter to Salvador Dali
by Salvador Dali
A Heineman Paperback, 1967
I think the reason for said obscurity is simple: someone rounded up all of the copies and recycled the paper to make something better. Simply put, this book is a waste of paper and supergelatinous (and any number of Dalinian adjectives) space.
The book is a series of letters apparently penned by Dali to himself. The danger with anything written by Dali is that you may wind up with a bunch of nonsense. Clearly the person(s) who bankrolled this project had no editorial control and received such a dearth of useable material that what was printed is pure crap.
I am sure I recognized at least one essay originally printed in The Minotaur. I think that was done in a few spots just to fill up space.
The bottom line on Dali's so-called letters to himself is that the topics are completely disconnected, and so objectively incomprehensible, that one just doesn't learn anything of substance about Dali from them.
You can buy this book for fewer than $20. However, total crap, don't bother.
Dali by Dali
This is a nice little book of Dali art and writing — though light on the writing and heavy on the art. Comes complete with attractive dust jacket, sturdy cover with textured cloth covering, illustrated end pages, thick heavyweight paper, and binding to last a lifetime. This book is well-made.