by Tom Swift

I lived through my death before living my life. At the age of seven my brother died of meningitis, three years before I was born. This shook my mother to the very depths of her being. This brother’s precociousness, his genius, his grace, his handsomeness, were to her so many delights; his disappearance was a terrible shock. She was never to get over it. My parents’ excessive despair was assuaged only by my own birth, but their misfortune still penetrated every cell of their bodies. And within my mother’s womb, I could already feel their angst. My fetus swam in an infernal placenta. Their anxiety never left me.

-Salvador Dali, Maniac Eyeball: The Unspeakable Confessions of Salvador Dali (2009)