Coinciding with the 25th anniversary of the death of Salvador Dalí, writer and journalist M. R. Tornadijo (www.tornadijo.com) has published Dalí corpore bis sepulto (Dalí, twice buried). The novel, based on a true story, chronicles the plan of a group of citizens to exhume the artists corpse and bury it next to Gala, his muse, at the Púbol Castle in Spain.
The true story behind the novel dates back to February 9, 1989 25 years ago when Tornadijo published a manifesto in several newspapers. On behalf of human dignity and romanticism, read the text, I publicly launch a campaign against the decision by the city of Figueres to bury Dalí away from Gala, without any testimonial evidence whatsoever.
This led to the formation of the Zurich Circle, made up of a group of citizens interested in Dalí who met at Barcelonas Café Zurich to plan the exhumation of the artist's body. The adventure had only just begun.
Dalí died on January 23, 1989, and was buried two days later in a Figueres crypt, next to the toilets of his theater-museum, following a crowded ceremony. From the moment of his death, the artists will and last wishes were fraught with controversy. The mayor of Figueres at the time said that Dalí had told him in private, but without any witnesses, that he wished to be buried in the theater-museum, which is what transpired.
M. R. Tornadijo opened a post office box to receive support against this decision, convinced that the artists true desire was to be buried next to Gala at the Púbol Castle. The painter had purchased, renovated and decorated the castle in 1969 for his muse. In fact, the two tombs for Gala and Dalí were already built in the crypt, which can be visited to this day.
Several sources confirmed this version at the time, including Dalí's attendant of 42 years, Arturo Caminada, his nephew Gonzalo Serraclara, his secretary Robert Descharnes, the mayor of Púbol Benjamín Artigas and, more recently, the artists Irish historian, Ian Gibson.
In addition to the testimonies of people very close to Dalí, several events took place in the last years of his life that demonstrate the spell that Gala still had over him. After meeting in 1929, Dalí remained attached to Gala his entire life. They were married by the courts and church in 1958, and they stayed together, living an unusual lifestyle for those times in Spain, until she died seven years before him, in 1982.
After Gala died, King Juan Carlos appointed Dalí Marquis of Púbol (not Figueres) in appreciation of the painters donation of The Three Glorious Enigmas of Gala portrait to the Spanish State. The artist also decided that his foundation would be called the Gala-Dalí Foundation, in that order. When Gala died, Dalí changed the name of the Gorgot tower in his Figueres museum to Galatea tower. And, a month before his death, already hospitalized, Dalí donated another work, his Elegy to Gala, to King Juan Carlos.
In this novel, fact and fiction blend together as they do in Dalí's work as the reader navigates a world of mystery, mysticism, love and passion for the surrealist painter. The booktrailer can be watched at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkiw2I-5vZ0.
M. R. Tornadijo, who received the Primer Premio de San Sebastián in 1993 for his novel Darius, brings to light 21st century neo-romanticism in his poetry and prose. When I write, he points out, I attempt to give romanticism the value it deserves in our society. This is what led me to go on a quest to get Dalís and Galas remains to rest side by side after a life of mutual devotion. Dalí corpore bis sepulto is a tribute to human dignity, our dying wishes, and love through the lens of one of the most prominent artistic figures of the last century.
Dalí corpore bis sepulto (Dalí, twice buried) is now available in print and in ebook format via www.tornadijo.com
and Amazon. It will soon be available on iTunes.
Neo-romanticism for the 21st century. Just as ideologies have not died out, neither has the romantic utopia. Literary worlds that live passionately to change destiny. Scenes from another time sometimes melancholic, sometimes forlorn. M. R. Tornadijo won the Primer Premio de San Sebastián for his first novel in 1993. Since then, everything is utopia, nostalgia and revelation.