The Intruder. An Intimate Portrait of Gala Dalí

La intrusa. Retrato íntimo de Gala Dalí
Galaxia Gutenberg, Barcelona, 2018
La intrusa. Retrat íntim de Gala Dalí
Galàxia Gutenberg, Barcelona, 2018


Gala Dalí was a woman who wished to be secretive. Although the men with whom she shared her life were to become so famous they would eventually become universal figures, she decided to remain in the background, to the extent that her image became that of a cold, haughty, selfish and unapproachable woman.

In fact, Gala was a very different kind of person. In this biographical account, Monika Zgustova reveals the determined, courageous and passionate woman that she was: someone who knew how to pursue her main objectives and to become a decisive influence in the lives of three men who, when they were with her, became major figures in the world of poetry and art: Paul Éluard, Max Ernst and Salvador Dalí. For all three, Gala was much more than a lover: she was the partner who would assist them in their work and criticise it, and who gave them the strength and confidence to emerge as great creators. She met the three of them when they were between the ages of seventeen and thirty. And it was through Gala and with Gala that they achieved what they did.

Monika Zgustova reveals aspects of Gala’s life that until now have been ignored or little known: her relationship with her adoptive father and his family; the teenage friendship she had with the poet Marina Tsvetaeva and her sister Asia; how the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and the years leading up to it marked her for life; how, at age twenty-two, she crossed the Europe of the First World War, from Moscow to Paris, to meet up once more with her beloved Paul Éluard; how, out of love for Salvador Dalí, she went to live with him in a bare, seaside hut in the middle of winter, where an attack of pneumonia almost killed her.

This book shows us a Gala who was a lot more complex, charming and passionate than the one we have been told about up until recently: the portrait of a woman who broke with all the stereotypes of her time to become a pivotal figure in the art and literature of the twentieth century.