1. Write a personal reflection on the painting Salvador Dalí THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY. This should be based on your own observations, thoughts, feelings. Please use this portion of the discussion to discuss the formal elements and subject matter.
2. Discuss the cultural changes happening during the period covered in the reading. Compare that culture to contemporary American culture. This should be a personal reflection of the comparison of cultures from your perspective/experience,
not a summary of the text.
You may use the internet to research.
From the textbook:
Among the writers and artists around Breton was the Spanish
painter and printmaker Salvador Dalí (1904–1989). Dalí contributed
the “paranoid-critical method” to Surrealist practice. In this
approach, sane artists cultivate the ability of the paranoid to misread
ordinary appearances in order to free themselves from the shackles
of conventional thought. Dalí demonstrated his method in THE
PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY (FIG. 19–28) by placing limp timepieces
in a very realistic view of the Bay of Rosas near his birthplace
According to Dalí, the idea of the soft watches came to him one
evening after dinner while he was meditating on a plate of ripe Camembert
cheese. One of the limp watches drapes over an amoeba-like
human head, its shape inspired by a large rock on the coast. This
head, which Dalí identified as a self-portrait, appeared in several
paintings and, in combination with the limp watches, may express
the anxiety Dalí felt concerning his own sexuality. Another image
of anxiety in the work is the ant-covered watchcase at the lower
left, inspired by Dalí’s childhood memories of seeing dead animals
swarming with ants. The absurd yet compelling image of ants feeding
on a metallic watch typifies the Surrealist interest in unexpected
juxtapositions of disparate realities. Dalí’s choice of a meticulously
descriptive style makes his irrational world seem more convincing,
thus more unsettling.