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Women’s scalps hung on a cross in the final scene of Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí’s L’Âge d’or (1930)
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ORWELL ON DALÍ
by Charlie Finch



George Orwell’s long 1944 essay on Salvador Dalí, "Benefit of Clergy," available in As I Please, 1943-45 (Godine Press), offers this corner an opportunity to look at Damien Hirst, for example, through the lens of history. By "benefit of clergy," Orwell tries to name the amoral license seized upon by Dalí (and Hirst) as the equivalent of a priestly function: arbiter and dominator of the moral world, made feeble as a result.

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