When I Think of My Missing HeadAdolfo Couve
Translated by Jessica Sequeira.
Camondo, a painter, wakes up one morning in his studio with his head missing, it having been yanked from his body the night before by Marieta, a model. This is a punishment from the gods, who have already taken away his artistic talent. Now, mysteriously resurrected but not quite intact, Camondo wanders about a seaside town wearing a Franciscan habit stolen from church in an attempt to disguise himself.
Published posthumously, When I Think of My Missing Head, by the Chilean painter and novelist Adolfo Couve, here translated for the first time into English by Jessica Sequeira, is a phantasmagorical literary experiment, an existential puzzle with pieces that fit together by secret logic. With tones that are gothic and surrealist, symbolist and magical, this is a highly original work of terror and fantasia.
Adolfo Couve (Valparaíso, Chile, 1940 - Cartagena, Chile, 1998) trained to be a painter at the School of Fine Arts at the University of Chile, following this with studies at the Art Students League in New York and the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He taught aesthetics and art history at the University of Chile for over thirty years. Already a successful painter, he embarked on a literary career characterized by long periods of silence and the search for perfection. Beginning in 1965, the publication of his first book, he went back and forth from painting to literature. His work includes the novels Alamiro (1965), En los desórdenes de junio (1968), El picadero (1974), La lección de pintura (1979), El pasaje / La copia de yeso (1989), Balneario (1993), La comedia del arte (1995) and Cuarteto de la infancia (1996).