Originally published in French in 1979, Rogomelec was the third of Leonor Fini’s novels. All the qualities of the paintings for which she is famed can be found in it: an undermining of patriarchy, the ambiguities of gender and the slipperiness of desire, along with darker hints of cruelty and the voluptuousness of fear. This novella’s ambiguous narrator sets off for the isolated locale of Rogomelec—where a crumbling monastery serves as a sanatorium and offers a cure involving a diet of plants and flowers—and moves through a waking dream involving strangely scented monks, vibratory concerts in a cavernous ossuary, and ritualist pomp with costumes of octopi and shining beetles. As the days unfold, the narrator discovers that the “the celebration of the king” is approaching, the events of which will lead to a shocking discovery in Rogomelec’s Gothic ruins. This first English translation includes 14 drawings by Fini that accompanied the novella’s original publication. [publisher’s note]
Translated by William Kulik and Serena Shanken Skwersky, with an introduction by Jonathan P. Eburne.