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Gala, a magnet for the senses between Éluard and Dalí

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Gala is a kaleidoscope, she is an infinite woman, she crosses the short century on the front line, a true rock star of the 1900s. She loves art, the beautiful world and living rooms and is the muse of Paul Éluard and Salvador Dalí. They love her unconditionally: «my sister, my friend, my lover», and then «my sacred child», and again «my being», and finally «my Eternity», writes the French poet; “I love Gala more than my mother, more than my father, more than Picasso and even more than money,” says the surrealist painter. A magnet for the senses that also attracts Anna di Cagno’s curiosity. The journalist and writer outlines it in hers Gala Éluard Dalí. For interposed men, through a sensual tale full of femininity. If it were a season, this book would be summer.

The fictionalized biography

Nicoletta is a young graduate student, she leaves Turin for the castle of Púbol, in Catalonia, to collect material on the role of Gala and the body of women in the art of the ‘900. It is a meeting that will change both women. Gala, born in 1894, in Kazan, Russia, with the name of Elena, meets the French poet in 1912 in Davos where she is to treat a severe form of tuberculosis. He pushes him to publish his first poetry collection, they move to Paris and get married in 1917. In 1929, then, Dalí, «the distillate of his land, which contains all its follies and charm», bursts into it. Gala is a model, artist, art dealer. The divorce from Éluard arrives, the second marriage in 1934, the stay in the USA. Since 1974 Gala has lived in the castle gift of Dalí and it is here that Anna di Cagno portrays her remembering that «whoever chooses art no longer owns anything. Not even a secret ».

A suitcase full of secrets

Gala, on the other hand, has many because, if you live on a stage next to men who are titans of history, you have a privileged point of view, between grandeur and ambitions. There are art and cultural elites, follies and oddities, incredible parties and dinners. And Gala has decided: «I will let you – she says to Nicoletta – into that blind corner of my life in which no one has ever been able to look out». Thus, the pages become a biographical novel, told through glances, confessions and an enigmatic suitcase full of letters and poems, which will reveal everything, even an invitation that is an eternal categorical imperative: “Take your life in your hand, little moth, and go to him ».

Gala Éluard Dalí. For interposed men, Anna di Cagno, Morellini, pp. 174, € 17.90

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