Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2017

Document Type

Thesis

Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors

Department

Spanish

First Advisor

Nina Molinaro

Second Advisor

Núria Silleras-Fernández

Third Advisor

Robert Ferry

Abstract

Salvador Dalí, the famous Spanish artist, is most well-known for his eccentric personality and surrealist paintings. Most people, however, are unfamiliar with his excursion into the literary realm. This thesis analyzes his only novel, Rostros ocultos (Hidden Faces) (1944) through the lens of his very own paranoiac-critical method. This method was created by Dalí as a means to systematize the multiple interpretations that may stem from any given visual image or object. Perhaps the most important aspect of this method is the use of the double image, or the representation of an object that simultaneously represents a completely different object. Additionally, Dalí strove to demonstrate that reality is not merely a fixed entity to which we respond, but rather a construct created from an individual’s interpretation of the world. Rostros ocultos focuses on the lives of six protagonists living in France during World War II. Many of the central themes of the novel include death and rebirth, repressed sexual desires, Hitler and Nazism, and love as suffering. Upon subjecting his novel to analysis through his paranoiac-critical method, these themes can be better understood. Through this thesis, I hope to prove that the real “hidden face” in Dalí’s novel is that of his paranoiac-critical method.

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