Skip to main content

Distributed for Swan Isle Press

Sebastian’s Arrows

Letters and Mementos of Salvador Dali and Federico Garcia Lorca

Edited, translated, annotated, and with a Prologue by Christopher Maurer

Distributed for Swan Isle Press

Sebastian’s Arrows

Letters and Mementos of Salvador Dali and Federico Garcia Lorca

Edited, translated, annotated, and with a Prologue by Christopher Maurer
“Let us agree,” Federico Garcia Lorca wrote, “that one of man’s most beautiful postures is that of St. Sebastian.”

“In my ‘Saint Sebastian’ I remember you,” Salvador Dali replied to Garcia Lorca, referring to the essay on aesthetics that Dali had just written, “. . . and sometimes I think he is you. Let’s see whether Saint Sebastian turns out to be you.”

This exchange is but a glimpse into the complex relationship between two renowned and highly influential twentieth-century artists. On the centennial of Dali’s birth, Sebastian’s Arrows presents a never-before-published collection of their letters, lectures, and mementos.

Written between 1925 and 1936, the letters and lectures bring to life a passionate friendship marked by a thoughtful dialogue on aesthetics and the constant interaction between poetry and painting. From their student days in Madrid’s Residencia de Estudiantes, where the two waged war against cultural “putrefaction” and mocked the sacred cows of Spanish art, Dali and Garcia Lorca exchanged thoughts on the act of creation, modernity, and the meaning of their art. The volume chronicles how in their poetic skirmishes they sharpened and shaped each other’s work—Garcia Lorca defending his verses of absence and elegy and his love of tradition while Dali argued for his theories of “Clarity” and “Holy Objectivity” and the unsettling logic of Surrealism.

Christopher Maurer’s masterful prologue and selection of letters, texts, and images (many generously provided by the Fundacion Gala-Salvador Dali and Fundacion Federico Garcia Lorca), offer compelling and intimate insights into the lives and work of two iconic artists. The two men had a “tragic, passionate relationship,” Dali once wrote—a friendship pierced by the arrows of Saint Sebastian.

248 pages | 24 color plates | 6 x 9

Art: Art--Biography

Swan Isle Press image

View all books from Swan Isle Press


"All through the twentieth century artists and writers collaborated almost constantly, sometimes with such intensity that it seemed as if they were passing back and forth a single flask labeled ’Inspiration.’ . . . An infinitely more transparent glimpse into an artist’s mind is to be found in Sebastian’s Arrows."

Jed Perl | The New Republic

“Thoughtfully and sensitively conceived, this is an intellectually sound and compelling volume. Highly recommended.”--Choice


"An engaging and lively look at the relationship between Lorca and Dali. . . . This book demonstrates the powerful effect they had on each other and their work."

Rob Stokes | Spain

"Readers interested in either of these Spanish masters will find Sebastian’s Arrows of great interest."

Bloomsbury Review

"Clear and admirably straightforward. . . . A book quite attractive to the eye and hand. It will doubtless appeal to those with an interest in Lorca and/or Dali as it brings together a selection of their own words about themselves."

Canning House | British Bulletin of Publications

"The sense of two brilliant young men testing themselves against each other still comes across."

Financial Times Magazine

Table of Contents

   Christopher Maurer
Oda a Salvador Dalí / Ode to Salvador Dalí
   Federico García Lorca
St. Lucy and St. Lazarus
   Federico García Lorca
St. Sebastian
   Salvador Dalí
Imagination, Inspiration, Evasion
   Federico García Lorca
Sketch of the New Painting
   Federico García Lorca
Works Cited

Be the first to know

Get the latest updates on new releases, special offers, and media highlights when you subscribe to our email lists!

Sign up here for updates about the Press