Manuscript ‘The Dream, the Sphinx and the Death of T.’ , 1946
Manuskript zu «Der Traum, die Sphinx und der Tod von T.»

Giacometti wrote short literary texts for the Surrealist magazines, some with vignettes or as typograms, but the most important was composed in 1946 for Albert Skira’s ‘Labyrinthe’. Dreams, exaggeratedly vivid, vision-like sensations, the death of a neighbour that finally allowed him to describe the trauma of a travel companion’s abrupt demise in 1921, clamour to be depicted, but Alberto disdains any chronological sequence. He prefers to see the various episodes simultaneously and develops spatial models designed to enable that – a characteristic of the visual artist’s way of thinking and also of literary-historical significance inasmuch as it prefigures the ‘nouveau roman’. The manuscript contains a number of sketches and variants for these diagrams.

Pencil, pen in brown, black and blue on squared paper
1.0 x 35.3 x 22.0 cm
Kunsthaus Zürich, Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung, Donated by Dr. Peter Uhlmann, 2002
Object number
GS 245
not inscribed
Further information
Copybook, 94 pages, bound
  • Zürcher Kunstgesellschaft | Kunsthaus Zürich (Museum), ab 2002, Leihgabe
  • Alberto Giacometti-Stiftung (Sammlung), 2002, Geschenk
  • Dr. Peter Uhlmann, bis 2002
  • Verbleib unbekannt
  • Alberto Giacometti