Archive > Salvador Dalí 111th Birthday Selfie Competition

A Competition for #DaliDay!

Had Salvador Dalí not died at the age of 84 in 1989, he would have been 111 on 11th May this year. Yes, Eleventy-One! To celebrate, we’re offering a copy of Dalí’s only novel, Hidden Faces as a prize in a unique #DaliSelfie competition. All you need do is delve into your subconscious and massage your creativity to produce a surreal selfie. Dalíesque moustaches real, drawn, stuck on or creatively improvised are compulsory. Send your entry, with your name and postal address, to:

Closing time for entries is 11.11pm on 31st May, 2015. You may also post your entry to our Twitter or Facebook pages. We’ll show a selection of our favourite entries on Dalí’s birthday, 11th May, on our Facebook page. The best entry as judged by Peter Owen himself will be announced at 11.11am on 1st June, 2015 on our Twitter feed and Facebook page.

“Salvador Dalí’s moustache was a thing of legend and, in the early 21st Century, was voted the most recognisable moustache in history. In 1954, Dalí was interviewed and asked if his moustache was intended to be a joke; he responded it was ‘the most serious part’ of his personality.”

Peter Owen holds the first edition of Dalí's Hidden Faces (1973) © Peter Owen 1973

Peter Owen holds the first edition of Dalí’s Hidden Faces (1973) © Peter Owen 1973

In 1973 Peter Owen travelled to meet Dalí at his home at Port Lligat, Cadaqués in Catalonia to negotiate translation rights for the eccentric painter’s only novel. The two of them hammered out a deal next to a phallic-shaped pool. “He was quite mad,” comments Peter, “except when it came to money. He’d then suddenly become incredibly sane. He was the son of a notary, he reminded me, and proclaimed to my wife Wendy, ‘Dalí loves money!'”

Written in 1944, Hidden Faces is “as bizarre and as jewelled as any of his work.” His adjective-laden prose attempts to create visual imagery as richly detailed and startling as his paintings in depitcting the lives of a group of aesthetes in the days before World War II. “For all its showing off,” wrote

peter-with-dalisMargaret Reynolds reviewing it in The Times, “the novel is a serious account of the extremes of experience forced by war. Most surprising is a prophetic scene with Hitler, defeated, in his tower at Berchtesgaden, and gloating over the stolen treasures of the world while listening to Wagner. We can all recognise the masks in Dalí’s art . . . We all remember the moustached mask he wore himself in life. Dalí’s novel is the work of the clown who sees behind the smile. Hidden Faces is an apt title for something so glittering and sinister.”

“Start the first page and you are in the presence of an old-fashioned baroque novel, intelligent, extravagant, as photographically precise as his paintings but not so silly . . . Dalí notices everything.” – The Guardian

“Flames positively lick from Salvador Dalí’s pages.” – Harpers & Queen

Salvador Dalí's signature underneath Peter Owen's on the contract for Hidden Faces © Peter Owen 1973

Salvador Dalí’s signature underneath Peter Owen’s on the contract for Hidden Faces © Peter Owen 1973

“What really strikes the reader is the abounding physical detail of objects, light, spaces, or materials.” – The Times

“So full of visual invention, so witty, so charged with an almost Dickensian energy that it’s difficult not to accept its author’s own arrogant valuation of himself as a genius.” – George Melly

Peter Owen's online content manager James Nye in a #DaliSelfie with Doris Campbell and Groucho Owen

Peter Owen’s online content manager James Nye in a #DaliSelfie with Doris Campbell and Groucho Owen


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