Signed limited edition of Dali's only novel
DALI, Salvador. Hidden Faces translated by Haakon Chevalier. London: Peter Owen, 1973.
8vo., original vellum-backed marbled paper-covered boards, vellum ruled and lettered in gilt to spine; top edge gilt; white ribbon marker; matching red cloth-covered original slipcase; illustrated with black and white reproductions of paintings by Dali; pp. [ii], 318, [ii]; some light creasing to edges of vellum and the odd very small spot; else fine in fine slipcase.
Limited edition, number 20 of 100 numbered copies signed by Dali. With the accompanying pamphlet Postface to Hidden Faces, comprising Objective Chance and Reverie by Dali.
Hidden Faces was originally written French in autumn 1943, two years after Dali had published his autobiography to great success. Chevalier, a professor at Berkeley University, spent several weeks with Dalí, translating directly into English as Dalí wrote. The novel was completed in two weeks on the estate of the Marquis de Cuevas in Franconia, a mansion in the mountains of New Hampshire next to the Canadian border. Despite the switch in media, Dali's surrealist qualities are easily transposed to paper, as he vividly describes the experiences and love-affairs of a group of aristocrats in pre-war Europe from February 1934 during the Paris riots, to the end of the Second World War. It was poorly received on publication, but revived in 1973 with renewed interest in its only partially hidden autobiographical nature.
Chevalier himself described the novel as: "an epitaph of pre-war Europe (…) It is primarily a novel of decadence. Its basic theme is love-in-death: a treatment in modern dress of the old and perennial Tristan and Isolde myth”.