BELLEZA Y FELICIDAD
Selected Writings of Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavón
Translated by Stuart Krimko
As the Argentine economy went into freefall at the end of the last millennium, two young women—Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavón—met and became friends. Fernanda, a painter and poet who also publishes fiction under the nom de plume Dalia Rosetti, and Cecilia, a poet and translator, soon forged the radically creative partnership now known as Belleza y Felicidad.
Belleza began as an art-supply store and storefront gallery whose exhibitions blurred the demarcations between art, community, and commerce. It grew into a small press, publishing unknown young writers alongside some of Argentina’s most respected literary figures in a series of photocopied pamphlets. As Belleza emerged into a movement and inspired a community, Fernanda and Cecilia broadcast its ethos— “a complete program of resistance,” as César Aira once described it—through a prodigious output of poetry and fiction.
Now a generous selection of their literary work spanning the past fifteen years, including their best poems and a sampling of their fiction, is available in English translation for the first time. This intimately informal writing, wherein each author occasionally appears as a character in the other’s work, pushes fingers through the gauze between art and life and flies in the face of canonical Argentine literature, both before and after Borges. Its emotional immediacy and startling aesthetic insights situate Laguna and Pavón among the most vital young poets working in any language.
With an introduction by Stuart Krimko, translator of Héctor Viel Temperley and other Argentine writers, this authoritative volume transmits the urgency and passionate feeling at the heart of one of the most exciting artistic and literary movements to emerge from South America in recent decades.