Enter the Franz Kafka Caption Contest for a Chance to Win a New Book of the Author’s Drawings (Until June 13)

Imagine if Franz Kafka were charged with picking the winning entries in The New Yorker’s weekly cartoon caption contest.

The punchlines might become a little more obscure.

If that idea fills you with perverse pleasure, perhaps you should toddle over to Yale University Press’s Instagram to contribute some possible captions for eight of the inky drawings the tortured author made in a black notebook between 1901 and 1907.

The intended meaning of these images, included in the new book, Franz Kafka: The Drawings, are as up for grabs as any uncaptioned cartoon on the back page of The New Yorker.

In Conversations with Kafka, author Gustav Janouch recalled how their significance proved elusive even to their creator, and also the frustration his friend expressed regarding his artistic abilities:

I should so like to be able to draw. As a matter of fact, I am always trying to. But nothing comes of it. My drawings are purely personal picture writing, whose meaning even I cannot discover after a time.

Kafka seems to have gone easier on himself in a 1913 letter to fiancée Felice Bauer:

I was once a great draftsman, you know… These drawings gave me greater satisfaction in those days—it’s years ago—than anything else.

Artist Philip Hartigan, who referenced the drawings in a journal and sketchbook class for writing students nails it when he describes how Kafka’s “quick minimum movements … convey the typical despairing mood of his fiction in just a few lines.”

You have until June 13 to make explicit what Kafka did not by leaving your proposed caption for each drawing as a comment on Yale University Press’s Instagram, along the hashtag #KafkaCaptionContest.

Winners will receive a copy of  Franz Kafka: The Drawings. Entries will be judged by editor Andreas Kilcher of and theorist Judith Butler, who contributed an essay that you might consider mining for material:

Was it a muffled death? Or perhaps it was no death at all, just a tumbling of intercourse, a sexual flurry?

Yes, that might go nicely with Kafka’s drawing of a seated figure collapsed over a table, below.


Some alternate proposals from contest hopefuls:

I needed to bathe my battered knuckles with my tears.

He studied his newly acquired rare stamp with a powerful loupe.

How can I make sure that all my letters and papers will be destroyed after my death? I know – I’ll ask my closest friend to take care of it!

This last is a reference to Kafka’s literary executor, Max Brod, who defied Kafka’s explicit wish that all of his work be burned upon his death, save The Metamorphosis, and five short stories: The Judgment, The Stoker, In the Penal Colony, A Country Doctor and A Hunger Artist.

Brod cut Kafka’s drawing of the standing figure, above, from his sketchbook and kept in an envelope with a few others. Some of the current caption suggestions for this haunting, never before seen image:

my face is an umbrella to my tears

I couldn’t face myself.

I am the Walrus goo goo g’joob


Of the eight drawings in the caption contest, Drinker, may offer the most narrative possibilities. A representative sampling of the inventiveness that’s come over the transom thusfar:

I, period

Angered by the impudence of the cabernet, i had only the courage to berate its shadow

Waiter! There’s a roach in my wine.

Enter Yale University Press’ Kafka Caption Contest (or get a feel for the competition) here. Entries will be accepted through June 13. Full contest rules are here. Good luck!

Explore the drawings and other contents of Franz Kafka’s black notebook here.

Purchase Franz Kafka: The Drawings, the first book to publish the entirety of the author’s graphic output, here.

Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

The Vincent van Gogh “Starry Night” LEGO Set Is Now Available: It’s Created in Collaboration with MoMA

Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night is one of the most popular and easily recognized paintings on earth. If you haven’t seen it person, you’ve probably seen it reproduced on a postcard, a tote bag, or a t-shirt.

Musician Sheldon Clarke was a Starry Night virgin when he started working as a security officer at the Museum of Modern Art:

I knew nothing about Vincent or Starry Night before I started working here. And I remember the first time I stood at that painting…first of all, I was so amazed at the reaction of the public. There was always a group of people just fighting to look at it or take pictures or take selfies and I was just curious to know like, who is this painter and why is everyone so excited to see this piece?

Now, Clarke is sufficiently well versed to hold forth on both the nature of the artwork and circumstances in which the artist created it. He is, with Senior Paintings Conservator Anny Aviram,  Associate Curator Cara Manes, and Robert Kastler, director of Imaging and Visual Resources, one of four MoMA staffers to give some context, while trying their hands at the new Starry Night LEGO set.

A collaboration between MoMA and LEGO, the set reinterprets Van Gogh’s thick impasto brushwork in 2316 tiny plastic bricks, including a mini figure of the artist, equipped with paintbrush, palette, easel, and an adjustable arm for positioning him at sufficient distance to gain perspective on his world famous work.

The set is the winning entry in a LEGO Ideas competition. Designer Truman Cheng, a 25-year-old LEGO fan and PhD candidate focusing on  medical robotics and magnetic controlled surgical endoscopes. He had long wanted to render The Starry Night in LEGO, bu its execution required a lightbulb moment:

One day, I was just playing with LEGO parts, and I realized that stacking LEGO plates together at random intervals looks a lot like van Gogh’s iconic brush strokes. I couldn’t help but wonder what the full painting would look like with this build style.

As Aviram and Kastler point out, the set cleaves faithfully to Van Gogh’s limited palette. Some LEGO fans report that building up the blue background layers is the most challenging aspect of assembling the 11”x14.5” kit:

I’m 54 and the colors, being kind of close, were playing games with my eyes. LOL This is my favorite LEGO of all time! In closing, if you haven’t heard the song, Vincent  by Don McLean, I suggest you take a listen to this song as you stare at this LEGO masterpiece.

Order LEGO’s Vincent van Gogh – The Starry Night set – currently on back order – from LEGO or from MoMA’s design store.

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

How to Enter a ‘Flow State’ on Command: Peak Performance Mind Hack Explained in 7 Minutes

You can be forgiven for thinking the concept of “flow” was cooked up and popularized by yoga teachers. That word gets a lot of play when one is moving from Downward-Facing Dog on through Warrior One and Two.

Actually, flow – the state of  “effortless effort” – was coined by Goethe, from the German “rausch”, a dizzying sort of ecstasy.

Friedrich Nietzsche and psychologist William James both considered the flow state in depth, but social theorist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, author of Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, is the true giant in the field. Here’s one of his definitions of flow:

Being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.

Author Steven Kotler, Executive Director of the Flow Research Collective, not only seems to spend a lot of time thinking about flow, as a leading expert on human performance, he inhabits the state on a fairly regular basis, too.

Chalk it up to good luck?

Good genes? (Some researchers, including retired NIH geneticist Dean Hamer and psychologist C. Robert Cloninger, think genetics play a part…)

As Kotler points out above, anyone can hedge their bets by clearing away distractions – all the usual baddies that interfere with sleep, performance, or productivity.

It’s also important to know thyself. Kotler’s an early bird, who gets crackin’ well before sunrise:

I don’t just open my eyes at 4:00 AM, I try to go from bed to desk before my brain even kicks out of its Alpha wave state. I don’t check any emails. I turn everything off at the end of the day including unplugging my phones and all that stuff so that the next morning there’s nobody jumping into my inbox or assaulting me emotionally with something, you know what I mean?… I really protect that early morning time.

By contrast, his night owl wife doesn’t start clearing the cobwebs ’til early evening.

In the above video for Big Think, Kotler notes that 22 flow triggers have been discovered, pre-conditions that keep attention focused in the present moment.

His website lists many of those triggers:

  • Complete Concentration in the Present Moment
  • Immediate Feedback
  • Clear Goals
  • The Challenge-Skills Ratio (ie: the challenge should seem slightly out of reach
  • High consequences 
  • Deep Embodiment 
  • Rich Environment 
  • Creativity (specifically, pattern recognition, or the linking together of new ideas)

Kotler also shares University of North Carolina psychologist Keith Sawyer’s trigger list for groups hoping to flow like a well-oiled machine:

  • Shared Goals
  • Close Listening 
  • “Yes And” (additive, rather than combative conversations)
  • Complete Concentration (total focus in the right here, right now)
  • A sense of control (each member of the group feels in control, but still
  • Blending Egos (each person can submerge their ego needs into the group’s)
  • Equal Participation (skills levels are roughly equal everyone is involved)
  • Familiarity (people know one another and understand their tics and tendencies)
  • Constant Communication (a group version of immediate feedback)
  • Shared, Group Risk

One might think people in the flow state would be floating around with an expression of ecstatic bliss on their faces. Not so, according to Kotler. Rather, they tend to frown slightly. Good news for anyone with resting bitch face!

(We’ll thank you to refer to it as resting flow state face from here on out.)

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Draw Along with Beloved Cartoonist & Educator Lynda Barry: Free Drawing Exercises Online

How do you rescue a day that’s gone pear shaped?

Stopping to drink a glass of water is one of our longtime go tos.

If there’s a box of matches handy, we might perform Yoko Ono’s Lightning Piece.

Most recently, we’ve taken to grabbing some paper and a trusty black felt tip to spend a few minutes doing one of beloved cartoonist and educator Lynda Barry’s all-ages draw-alongs.

Barry began uploading these videos early in the pandemic, for “friends at home who are about to turn four or five or six or seven or any age really.”

Each demonstration begins with an oval. There’s no prologue. Just dive on in and copy the motions of Barry’s slow moving, refreshingly unmanicured hands, captured in a DIY god shot.

Less than four minutes later, voila! A smiling crocodile! (It’s magical how a facial expression can be changed with one simple line.)

The soundtracks to these little narration-free exercises are an extra treat. We’ve always admired Barry’s musical taste. It’s a real mood booster to cover a cheetah in spots to the tune of a marimba orchestra.

Barry’s also a big cumbia fan, conjuring a kitty to Lito Barrientos’ Cumbia En Do Menor, a lion to Los Mirlos’ Cumbia de los Pajaritos, and a Stegosaurus to Romulo Caicedo’s Cumbia Cavela.

Now that you’ve got a cheetah under your belt, you’re ready to progress to a ScorpionLeopard, one of Draw Along with Lynda B‘s “strange animals.”

Barry does offer some commentary as these cryptids take shape.

We suspect her pioneering work with a group of four-year-olds in the University of Wisconsin’s Draw Bridge program leads her to anticipate the sorts of burning questions a pre-schooler might have with regard to these beasts. Her classroom experience is evident. Whereas others might think a steady stream of bright chatter is necessary to keep very young participants engaged, Barry’s thoughtful words develop in real time along with her drawing:

This is a tough animal. It has a big stinger on the back. This is a rough animal… angry.  Put the eyebrows like this. It makes them look angry. What kind of teeth do you think this animal has? I don’t think they have little bitty teeth. I think they have big fangs.

Others in the “strange animal” family: a CatDogSealFish, an octophant, and a catterfly (featuring a cameo by Barry’s inquisitive pooch’s snout.)

Draw along with Lynda Barry on this YouTube playlist.

Related Content 

Lynda Barry on How the Smartphone Is Endangering Three Ingredients of Creativity: Loneliness, Uncertainty & Boredom

Watch Cartoonist Lynda Barry’s Two-Hour Drawing Workshop

Lynda Barry’s Wonderfully Illustrated Syllabus & Homework Assignments from Her UW-Madison Class, “The Unthinkable Mind”

Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

The Rembrandt Book Bracelet: Behold a Functional Bracelet Featuring 1400 Rembrandt Drawings

Admittedly jewelry is not one of our areas of expertise, but when we hear that a bracelet costs €10,000, we kind of expect it to have a smattering of diamonds.

Designers Lyske Gais and Lia Duinker are getting that amount for a wristlet comprised chiefly of five large paper sheets printed with high res images downloaded free from the Rijksmuseum‘s extensive digital archive of Rembrandt drawings and etchings.

Your average pawnbroker would probably consider its 18-karat gold clasp, or possibly the custom-made wooden box in which it can be stored when not in use the most precious thing about this ornament.

An ardent bibliophile or art lover is perhaps better equipped to see the book bracelet’s value.

Each gilt edged page – 1400 in all – features an image of a hand, sourced from 303 downloaded Rembrandt works.

An illustration on the designers’ Duinker and Dochters website details the painstaking process whereby the bookbracelet takes shape in 8-page sections, or signatures, cross stitched tightly alongside each other on a paper band. Put it on, and you can flip through Rembrandt hands, Rolodex-style. When you want to do the dishes or take a shower, just pack it flat into that custom box.

Gais and Duinker also include an index, which is handy for those times when you don’t feel like hunting and pecking around your own wrist in search of a hand that appeared in the Flute Player or  Christ crucified between the two murderers.

The Rembrandt’s Hands and a Lion’s Paw bracelet, titled like a book and published in a limited edition of 10, nabbed first prize in the 2015 Rijksstudio Awards, a competition that challenges designers to create work inspired by the Rijksmuseum’s collection.

(2015’s second prize went to an assortment of conserves and condiments that harkened to Johannes Hannot’s 1668 Still Life with Fruit. 2014’s winner was a palette of eyeshadow and some eyeliners inspired by Jan Adam Kruseman’s 1833 Portrait of Alida Christina Assink and a Leendert van der Cooghen sketch.)

But what about that special art loving bibliophile who already has everything, including a Rembrandts Hands and a Lions Paw boekarmband?

Maybe you could get them Collier van hondjes, Gais and Duinker’s follow up to the book bracelet, a rubber choker with an attached 112-page book pendant showcasing Rembrandt dogs sourced from various museum’s digital collections.

Purchase Rembrandt’s Hands and a Lions Paw limited edition book bracelet here.

And embark on making your own improbable thing inspired by a high res image in the Rijksmuseum‘s Rijks Studio here.

via Colossal/Neatorama

– Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and creator, most recently of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Explore MoMA’s Collection of Modern & Contemporary Art Every Time You Open a New Browser Tab

There are browser extensions designed to increase your productivity every time you open a new tab.

Others use positive affirmations, inspiring quotes, and nature photography to put your day on the right track.

We hereby announce that we’re switching our settings and allegiance to New Tab with MoMA.

After installing this extension, you’ll be treated to a new work of modern and contemporary art from The Museum of Modern Art’s collection whenever you open a new tab in Chrome.

If you can steal a few minutes, click whatever image comes up to explore the work in greater depth with a curator’s description, links to other works in the collection by the same artist, and in some cases installation views, interviews and/or audio segments.

Expect a few gift shop heavy hitters like Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, but also lesser known works not currently on view, like Yayoi Kusama’s Violet Obsession, a rowboat slipcovered in electric purple “phallic protrusions.”

Violet Obsession’s New Tab with MoMA link not only shows you how it was displayed in the 2010 exhibition Mind and Matter: Alternative Abstractions, 1940s to Now, you can also toggle around the installation view to explore other works in the same gallery.

You can hear audio of Kusama describing how she “encrusted” the boat in soft sculpture protuberances in her favorite pinkish-purple hue “to conquer my fear of sex:”

Boats can come and go limitlessly and move ahead on the water. The boat, having overcome my obsession would move on forever, carrying me onboard

A link to a 1999 interview with Grady T. Turner in BOMB allows Kusama to give further context for the work, part of a sculpture series she conceives of as Compulsion Furniture:

My sofas, couches, dresses, and rowboats bristle with phalluses. … As an obsessional artist I fear everything I see. At one time, I dreaded everything I was making.

That’s a pretty robust art history lesson for the price of opening a new tab, though such deep dives can definitely come at the expense of productivity.

We weren’t expecting the 3-dimensional nature of some of the works our tabs yielded up.

Stop, Repair, Prepare: Variations on Ode to Joy for a Prepared Piano, No.12008 by Jennifer Allora and Guillermo Calzadilla required a live musician to play Ode to Joy from Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony upside down and backwards, from a hole carved into the center of a grand piano.

Frances Benjamin Johnston’s platinum print, Stairway of the Treasurer’s Residence: Students at Work from the Hampton Album 1899–1900, is perhaps more easily grasped if you can’t go too far down the rabbit hole with the artwork appearing in your new tab.

An excerpt from the 2019 publication, MoMA Highlights: 375 Works from The Museum of Modern Art, New York provides a brief bio of both Johnston, “a professional photographer, noted for her portraits of Washington politicians and her images of coal miners, ironworkers, and women laborers in New England textile mills” and the Hampton Institute, Booker T Washington’s alma mater.

Bookmark such bite-sized cultural history breaks, and circle back when you have more time.

Speaking of which, allow us to leave you with this thought from artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, creator of 1991’s time-based installation Untitled (Perfect Lovers), a particularly conceptual offering from New Tab with MoMA:

Time is something that scares me. . . or used to. This piece I made with the two clocks was the scariest thing I have ever done. I wanted to face it. I wanted those two clocks right in front of me, ticking.

Set your Chrome Browser up to use New Tab with MoMA here

Related Content 

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

Free Coloring Books from The Public Domain Review: Download & Color Works by Hokusai, Albrecht Dürer, Harry Clarke, Aubrey Beardsley & More

Did you somehow miss that the Public Domain Review has gotten in on the adult coloring book craze?

If so, don’t feel bad. There were probably a lot of other news items vying for your attention back in March of 2020, when the first volume was released “for diversion, entertainment and relaxation in times of self-isolation.”

By the time the second volume made its debut less than two months later, the first had been downloaded some 30,000 times.

Tell your scarcity mentality to stand down. You may be late to the party, but all 40 images can still be downloaded for free, “to ease and aid pleasurable focus in these oddest of times.”

It’s our belief that odd times call for odd images so we’re reproducing some of our favorites below, though be advised there are also plenty of calming botanical prints and graceful maidens for those craving a less challenging coloring experience.

Behold Saint Anthony Tormented by Demons by Martin Schongauer (c. 1470-75), above!

And below, the 13-year-old Michelangelo’s reproduction in tempera on a wood panel. Biographers Giorgio Vasari and Ascanio Condivi both told how the young artist visited the fish market, seeking inspiration for the demons’ scales. Perhaps you will be inspired by the barely teenaged High Renaissance master’s palette, though it’s YOUR coloring page, so you do you.

In “Filling in the Blanks: A Prehistory of the Adult Coloring Craze“, historians Melissa N. Morris and Zach Carmichael recount how publisher Robert Sayer’s illustrated book, The Florist, “for the use & amusement of Gentlemen and Ladies” was published with the explicit understanding that readers were meant to color in its botanically semi-inaccurate images:

Comprised of pictures of various flowers, the author gives his (presumably) adult readers detailed instructions for paint mixing and color choice (including the delightful sounding “gall-stone brown”).

Perhaps you will bring some of Sayer’s suggested colors to bear on the above image from Parisian bookseller Richard Breton’s Les songes drolatiques de Pantagruel (1565), a collection of 120 grotesque woodcut figures intended as a tribute to the bawdy writer (and priest!) François Rabelais, or a possibly just a canny marketing ploy.

Next, let’s color this perky fellow from Giovanni Battista Nazari’s famous alchemical treatise on metallic transmutation, Della tramutatione metallica sogni tre from 1599. 

The “winged pig in the world” by Dutch engraver and mapmaker Cornelis Anthonisz doesn’t look very cheerful, does he? He’s on top of the imperial orb, but he’s also an allegory of the corrupt world. Hopefully, this will get sorted by the time pigs fly.

As to Ambroise Paré’s 1598 rendering of a “camphur” … well, let’s just say THIS is what a proper unicorn should look like.

According to an annotated checklist that accompanied the Metropolitan Museum’s Cloisters’ 75th Anniversary exhibition Search for the Unicorn, Paré, a pioneering French barber surgeon, claimed that it live(d) in the Arabian Desert, and that its horn can cure various maladies, especially poisoning.”

There’s a lot to unpack there. Think about it as you color.

Hokusai, Albrecht Dürer, and Aubrey Beardsley, are among the artists whose work you’ll encounter, “arranged in vague order of difficulty — from a simple 17th-century kimono pattern to an intricate thousand-flowered illustration.”

Download Volume 1 of the Public Domain Review Coloring book in US Letter or A4 format.

And here is Volume 2 in US Letter or A4 format.

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

How to Actually Cook Salvador Dali’s Surrealist Recipes: Crayfish, Prawns, and Spitted Eggs

The sensual intelligence housed in the tabernacle of my palate beckons me to pay the greatest attention to food. – Salvador Dali

Looking for an easy, low-cost recipe for a quick weeknight supper?

Salvador Dali’s Bush of Crayfish in Viking Herb is not that recipe.

It’s presentation may be Surreal, but it’s not an entirely unrealistic thing to prepare as The Art Assignment’s Sarah Urist Green discovers, above.

The recipe, published in Les Diners de Gala, Dali’s over-the-top cult cookery book from 1973, has pedigree.

Dali got it off a chef at Paris’ fabled Tour d’Argent, who later had second thoughts about giving away trade secrets, and balked at sharing exact measurements for the dish:

Bush of Crawfish in Viking Herbs

In order to realize this dish, it is necessary to have crawfish of 2 ounces each. Prepare the following ingredients for a broth: ‘fumet’ (scented reduced bullion) of fish, of consommé, of white wine, Vermouth, Cognac, salt, pepper, sugar and dill (aromatic herb). Poach the crawfish in this broth for 20 minutes. Let it cool for 24 hours and arrange the crawfish in a dome. Strain the broth and serve in cups.

Green, the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s former curator of contemporary art, soldiers ahead with  a Styrofoam topiary cone and a boxful of Fed-Ex’ed Louisiana crayfish, masking their demise with insets of Dali works such as 1929’s Sometimes I Spit with Pleasure on the Portrait of my Mother (The Sacred Heart).

Green, well aware that some viewers may have trouble with the “brutal realities” of cooking live crustaceans, namechecks Consider the Lobster, the heavily footnoted essay wherein author David Foster Wallace ruminates over ethics at the Maine Lobster Festival.

Green may seek repentance for the sin of poaching lobsters’ freshwater cousins, but Dali, who blamed his sex-related guilt on his Catholic upbringing, was unconflicted about enjoying the “delicious little martyrs”:

If I hate that detestable degrading vegetable called spinach, it is because it is shapeless, like Liberty. I attribute capital esthetic and moral values to food in general, and to spinach in particular. The opposite of shapeless spinach, is armor. I love eating suits of arms, in fact I love all shell fish… food that only a battle to peel makes it vulnerable to the conquest of our palate.

If your scruples, schedule or savings keep you from attempting Dali’s Surreal shellfish tower, you might try enlivening a less aspirational dish with Green’s wholesome, homemade fish stock:

Devin Lytle and Jared Nunn, test driving Dali’s Cassanova cocktail and Eggs on a Spit for History Bites on Buzzfeed‘s Tasty channel, seem less surefooted than Green in both the kitchen and the realm of art history, but they’re totally down to speculate as to whether or not Dali and his wife, Gala, had a “healthy relationship.”

If you can stomach their snarky, self-referential asides, you might get a bang out of hearing them dish on Dali’s revulsion at being touched, Gala’s alleged penchant for bedding younger artists, and their highly unconventional marriage.

Despite some squeamishness about the eggs’ viscousness and some reservations about the surreal amount of butter required, Lytle and Nunn’s reaction upon tasting their Dali recreation suggest that it was worth the effort:

Cassanova cocktail

• The juice of 1 orange
• 1 tablespoon bitters (Campari)
• 1 teaspoon ginger
• 4 tablespoons brandy
• 2 tablespoons old brandy (Vielle Cure)
• 1 pinch Cayenne pepper

This is quite appropriate when circumstances such as exhaustion, overwork or simply excess of sobriety are calling for a pick-me-up.

Here is a well-tested recipe to fit the bill.

Let us stress another advantage of this particular pep-up concoction is that one doesn’t have to make the sour face that usually accompanies the absorption of a remedy.

At the bottom of a glass, combine pepper and ginger. Pour the bitters on top, then brandy and “Vielle Cure.” Refrigerate or even put in the freezer.

Thirty minutes later, remove from the freezer and stir the juice of the orange into the chilled glass.

Drink… and wait for the effect. 

It is rather speedy.

Your best bet for preparing Eggs on a Spit, which Lytle compares to “an herby, scrambled frittata that looks like a brain”, are contained in artist Rosanna Shalloe’s modern adaption.

What would you do if you discovered an original, autographed copy of Les Diners de Gala in the attic of your new home?

A young man named Brandon takes it to Rick Harrison’s Gold & Silver Pawn Shop, hoping it will fetch $2500.

Harrison, star of the History Channel’s Pawn Stars, gives Brandon a quick primer on the Persistence of Memory, Dali’s famous “melting clocks” painting (failing to mention that the artist insisted the clocks should be interpreted as “the Camembert of time.”)

Brandon walks with something less than the hoped for sum, and Harrison takes the book home to attempt some of the dishes. (Not, however, Bush of Crayfish in Viking Herb, which he declares, “a little creepy, even for Dali.”)

Alas, his younger relatives are wary of Oasis Leek Pie’s star ingredient and refuse to entertain a single mouthful of whole fish, baked with guts and eyes.

They’re not alone. The below newsreel suggests that comedian Bob Hope had some reservations about Dalinian Gastro Esthetics, too.

We intend to ignore those charts and tables in which chemistry takes the place of gastronomy. If you are a disciple of one of those calorie-counters who turn the joys of eating into a form of punishment, close this book at once; it is too lively, too aggressive, and far too impertinent for you. – Salvador Dali

You can purchase a copy of Taschen’s recent reissue of Les Diners de Gala online

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What Makes Salvador Dalí’s Iconic Surrealist Painting “The Persistence of Memory” a Great Work of Art

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Ayun Halliday is the Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine and author, most recently, of Creative, Not Famous: The Small Potato Manifesto.  Follow her @AyunHalliday.

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