Mike Wallace 1958 interview of Salvador Dali (Part 2)

There was a very interesting interview with Dali by Mike Wallace. Here are the video clips and transcript below:
WALLACE: …in religion. Well now I spoke with you about a year ago and we talked about religion, and you said that as the years go by,you embrace Roman Catholicism more and more with your mind but not yet completely with your heart.DALI: This is true,WALLACE: Why not?

DALI: Because…perhaps it is my early intellectual training and information. But now every day is more approach of this real feeling of religion. Just one month ago– is one tremendous operation of appendix – a broken appendix. After this operation becoming three times more religious than before.

WALLACE: How old are you Dali?

DALI: Never remember exactly, but 54 or 53 or something.

WALLACE: Are you formally involved with your religion? Do you go to church a good deal – do you pray – do you….

DALI: Every day more, but is no sufficient…

WALLACE: Not sufficient….Have you ever had a supernatural vision?

DALI: Visionary things – but no supernatural.

WALLACE: No supernatural. An article about you – you mention your fear of death. An article about you in Life magazine once said that you’re afraid of almost everything from ocean liners to grasshoppers. The article said you won’t buy shoes because you don’t like to take off your shoes in public. And that when you go out you carry a little piece of Spanish driftwood which you keep to ward off evil spells.

DALI: Yes, because remind very very superstitious but this is- I’m sure is is common of every Spanish people, you know. Spanish people is very superstitious.

WALLACE: Do you know anything about politics at all? You say you don’t care about them. Do you know anything about them? Do you know, for instance who the prime minister of Great Britain is?

DALI: Yes, but no – not particularly care of this. Because, for me the important thing is look – the philosophical event of every moment. And now is absolutely sure for instance, monarchy is restored in Spain very shortly.

WALLACE: You think it will be?

DALI: Prince Juan Carlos and Franco agree on its restoration. Is absolutely convincing the monarchy coming back in France very shortly after one military mayor or perhaps one De Gaulle or another….

WALLACE: Do you know – do you know who the Vice President of the United States is? Can you name him…

DALI: Mr. Nixon. Yes, yes – but, but what is possible now – what is possible perhaps tomorrow you put this in quick question and…

WALLACE: And you will answer… What do you enjoy doing most? Do you like to talk, to paint, to eat, to think? What, what do you like to spend your time doing, Dali?

DALI: My manner of expend my time – is the more joy, the more delightful is becoming every day – a little more – Dali.

WALLACE: A little more Dali.

DALI: Because in the beginning of my life, you remember in like at becoming Napoleon…

WALLACE: First you wanted to be a cook – first you waited to be a cook, then you wanted to be a Napoleon.

DALI: Cook and woman – one woman cooking.

WALLACE: You wanted to be a woman, cooking?

DALI: Exactly … a woman cooking. Second, like of becoming Napoleon.

WALLACE: Napoleon.

DALI: A little one like it becoming Dali. And now is every day more Dali.

WALLACE: In a moment I’d like to ask you about an extraordinary power which you claim that you have. You’ve written that you can remember your thoughts and your feelings before you were born.

And I’d like to know what those thoughts and feelings were. And we’ll get Salvador Dali’s answer in just sixty seconds.


WALLACE: Now then, Dali – you said that you can remember not only things that happened to you in your infancy, but even your feelings before you were born. What were they? What did you think about? What did you feel?

DALI: Well I remember very clearly many mansions. How so – not only in black and white but in glorious technicolor….technicolor.

WALLACE: I see, and what specifically.. What were some of these things?

DALI: At some phosphorous and x-luminous-x…..I told these visions to Doctor Freud in London. Freud tell me that it is absolutely true – is the region of intra-uterine memories. Probably my position – fetal position, my pupils is very hurt by my hands. Depend on my position.

WALLACE: Was it – well, what was it like? Was it, was it pleasant before you were born?

DALI: Ah – it was completely paradise.

WALLACE: Paradise…

DALI: From this moment the more divine nature – in the moment of born is the moment of the paradise is lost. This is an ethereal …

WALLACE: Well, under those circumstances I find it difficult to understand your fear of death. If the moment of being born was paradise-lost, perhaps death, for you will be paradise-regained. And therefore I would think that you would….

DALI: This is my hope. But is not absolutely sure. This is the trouble. You see, the death is again the regain of this paradise – this is excellent, but is not, not sure.

WALLACE: Do you, do you enjoy yourself as you live. Do you like yourself? You think – you say that you are a genius. Certainly you have had…

DALI: I enjoy my life every day more.

WALLACE: You do…

DALI: Every week more. Because of Sir Dali – and my admiration for Dali is becoming tremendous.

WALLACE: Yes, What kind of dreams do you have? What are they about, Dali?

DALI: Every time is very agreeable and creative. The last dreams is about the anti-matter angels. Perhaps for five months only dream about archangels, angels, kings and the most beautiful spectacular.

WALLACE: You seem to be a mild-mannered man. Are you?

DALI: I don’t understand – mild?

WALLACE: Are you, are you a mild man? Are you a pleasant man to deal with? Are you a friendly man? You seem to be a mild man.

DALI: Everybody love Dali very much.

WALLACE: Everybody loves Dali.

DALI: But they pick on him.

WALLACE: But your paintings – they’re frequently violent. And you’ve written, that in your private life you have had sudden impulses to injure people. As a child you kicked people – you threw a friend off a rocky ledge. As an adult you confessed that you once kicked a legless beggar along the street.

DALI: Exactly. But this is my adolescence period. Now becoming much more quiet in these kind of sadistic things.


DALI: As a contrary – after my religious feelings becoming more strong – these sadistic things of my adolescence disappeared almost completely.

WALLACE: Is that so? And, and when you were a young man, too, you used to try to hurt – you were masochistic as well as sadistic. You used to try to hurt yourself…you’d bind your head until it hurt, because you felt that you could be more creative that way. You do not need that…..

DALI: No – now every of this has disappear because every of my libido now is simply made in the religion and the mysticism.

WALLACE: Well, there’s one story about yourself I’d like to ask you about before you go. When you were courting your wife, Gala you did an unusual thing. As you’ve described it, you smeared your body with your own blood from a cut. You tore your clothes and then you rubbed a jar of evil-smelling fish glue all over yourself. And you planned to present yourself this way in front of your future wife. Why did you do that?

DALI: Because in this moment of weakness in this moment Dali is true is almost crazy before met Gala. My, my brain is very close of one sick pathologic brain.

WALLACE: Your brain, yes…

DALI: In this moment liked seduce Gala in the most terrific manner. I believe from the smell is a more attractive manner for seduce Gala. Gala becoming in love with me appears as probably the real …Gala created the real mysticism or the real classicist of my adult life.

WALLACE: And you have been married now to Gala for how many years?

DALI: Oh perhaps 20 or more, but is still in love with Gala – more than in the beginning. That is something that nobody believe. Perhaps – Dali never make love avec one other woman than Gala.

WALLACE: In 20 years.

DALI: And the people never believe because – everybody….

WALLACE: Why – why shouldn’t we believe? It’s the most sensible thing in the world.

DALI: Yes, but there is no… you should believe – it’s very frequent. But the other people don’t think it’s very exceptional.

WALLACE: Well I don’t think perhaps as exceptional as…

DALI: And now my obsession is the chastity, because….

WALLACE: Chastity…

DALI: …is more important for religious belief.

WALLACE: Dali, I certainly thank you for coming and spending this time. I’m looking forward to the publication of your new book, “Dali” which will be published in the Fall and I understand will have a good many color plates of your paintings in it. Thank you Dali.

DALI: Merci.

WALLACE: To those who raise eyebrows or look down their noses at him, Salvador Dali bristles his remarkable moustache with equal disdain. As he puts it, “I cannot understand why human beings should be so little individualized. Why they should behave with such great collective uniformity.” He says, “I do not understand why, when I ask for grilled lobster in a restaurant, I’m never served a cooked telephone.” I’ll be back in a moment with a special announcement about future plans.


WALLACE: Tonight’s interview ends my series which started a year ago for the Philip Morris Company, the makers of Philip Morris, Parliament, and Marlboro cigarettes and I want to thank the Philip Morris Company, sincerely, for helping me to bring you these programs.

WALLACE: Next Sunday evening – next Sunday evening at ten o’clock Eastern Daylight Saving Time, on many of these stations, I’ll start a new interview series devoted to the theme of Freedom and Survival. The series will be produced in cooperation with the Fund for the Republic and will be designed to encourage public discussion of freedom and justice. We’re going to talk about the problems of the individual in his relationship to big government, big business, and big labor.

WALLACE: We’re going to examine the growing power of political parties and pressure groups, we’ll talk about the responsibility of our mass media…newspapers, magazines, motion pictures and television. We’ll discuss these issues with such men as Supreme Court Justice William Douglas, Aldous Huxley, author of “Brave New World”, industrialist Cyrus Eaton. Next Sunday night on the first program, we’ll open the series with an examination of religious skepticism.

WALLACE: Of the conflict between church and state, of religion and morality in American life. Our guest, you see him behind me, will be one of the world’s leading religious thinkers, the Protestant theologian, Doctor Reinhold Niebuhr. We’ll ask Doctor Niebuhr why he charges that our current religious revival is essentially meaningless. We’ll find out why Doctor Niebuhr says that religion can never abolish injustice and evil in society. That’s next Sunday at ten on many of these stations. Until then, Mike Wallace – goodnight.

ANNOUNCER: The Mike Wallace Interview has been brought to you by the new high filtration Parliament. Parliament – now for the first time at popular price.

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