- "Poetry of America" by Salvador Dali [Selected Works]
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Poetry of America

The Cosmic Athletes

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Dali gave the following explanation in a taped interview in the summer of 1966:

"What the American people like best is: first, blood - you have seen all the great American movies, especially the historical ones; there are always scenes where the hero is beaten in the most sadistic way in the world and where one witnesses veritable orgies of blood! Second, Americans like soft watches. Why? Because they are always looking at their watches. They are always in a hurry, terribly pressed for time, and their watches are horribly rigid, hard, and mechanical. Therefore, the day when Dalí painted for the first time a soft watch, this was a great success! Because for once this awful object, which marked minute by minute the ineluctable sequence of their lives and reminded them of their urgent business, all of a sudden had become as soft as Camembert cheese when it is at its best, when it starts to run. Next, the greatest passion of the American people is when they see little children killed. Why? Because, according to the greatest psychologists in the United States, the massacre of the innocents is the favourite theme, the one which is found in the innermost depths of their subconscious minds, since they are constantly annoyed by children, so that their libido projects itself filling the cosmic surfaces of their dreams. If Americans adore bloody orgies and the slaughter of the innocents and soft watches which run like real French Camembert when it is just right, it is because what they love most in the world are 'dot,' or bits of data, those information bits that symbolise the discontinuity of matter. It is for that reason that all today's Pop art is made up of information 'dots.'"

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