Living on bread and dried beans, or on caviar and champagne?



From the DIARY OF A GENIUS by Salvador Dalì - July 16, 1952

The uniform is essential to win. Very rare are the occasions in my life when I stooped to appear in plain clothes. I am always dressed in Dali uniform. Today, I received a rather old young man who comes to beg me to give him a advice before leaving for a trip to America. The question interests me. So I dress as Dalì and go down to receive him. His case is this: he wants to go to America and be successful in anything, but to be successful. The mediocrity of life in America baffles him. I ask him: "Do you have any habits? Do you like to eat well? ". He greedily replies: “I can live by eating anything! Dried beans and bread every day for years! " "This is bad!" I tell him thoughtfully and taking a worried air. It amazes you. I explained to him: “Eating beans and bread every day is very expensive. You have to earn them by working relentlessly. On the other hand, if you get used to living on caviar and champagne, it costs nothing ". He smiles like an idiot and thinks he is joking. "I've never joked in my life!" I exclaim with authority. Suddenly, he listens to me completely subdued. “Caviar and champagne are things that certain very distinguished ladies, wonderfully perfumed and surrounded by the most beautiful furniture in the world, offer you free of charge. But for this to be the opposite of you who come to see Dali with dirty nails, while I receive you in uniform. Go and meditate on the problem of dried beans! "

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