In 1936 London hosted its first International at the New Burlington Galleries. Salvador Dali was an invited speaker and in an effort to demonstrate that he was delving into the depths of the unconscious, he decided to deliver his lecture from within a diving suit. Unfortunately he began to suffocate and tried to remove the helmet but it had been bolted down. The public, thinking it was all part of the act, started to applaud. Edward James. who acted as Dali's translator, realised what was happening and used a billiard cue to remove the helmet.
Prodnose: Do you really expect me to believe that?
Myself: Do you think I give a fig for your belief, disbelief or unbelief you snivelling cur? As it happens that is true, but now that my dander is up try this on for size:
Prodnose: Go boil your head.
Once upon a time in Oxford, some believe around the nineteen twenties, Edward James was walking down the road, contemplating whatever it is that a man of Edward James’ infinite power contemplates - which is another way of saying 'who knows' - when Harold Acton appeared, traveling in the opposite direction. As the Aesthete and the Surrealist crossed paths, James, in a practically unfathomable display of generosity, gave Acton the slightest of lobsters. The lobster was not returned. Now was it the intention of the dilettante to insult the poet or did he just fail to see the generous social gesture? The motives of Acton remain unknown. What is known, are the consequences. The next morning James appeared at Christ Church College and demanded of the Dean that he offer his neck to repay the insult. The Dean at first tried to console James, only to find James was inconsolable. So began the moussaka of Christ Church College and all 60 of the dons inside upon the billiard cues of the Surrealists.