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Sand Paper Press

Belleza y Felicidad

BELLEZA Y FELICIDAD
Selected Writings of Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavón
Translated by Stuart Krimko
(February, 2015)

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 Laguna and Pavón’s literary output is available in English translation for the first time. In this intimately informal body of work, each author appears as a character in the other’s poems and stories, pushing fingers through the gauze between art and life and flying in the face of canonical Argentine literature. 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 translator Stuart Krimko, 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.

“Belleza y Felicidad, both the place and the idea, live on in the irresistible pleasures of Cecilia’s and Fernanda’s poems and stories. Upon revisiting them now I find that they are in fact high-precision lenses for seeing the daily utopias of reality.”

—CÉSAR AIRA—

“This book is a paradise of love. Eminent, charismatic, & frolicsome, it’s also the magic transcription of a friendship, i.e. a romance (several!), the kind I spent my misspent youth envying in Montaigne & La Boetie. Ecstatics of childlike candor & polymorphous grace, Fernanda Laguna & Cecilia Pavón are absolute women, guileless dreamers, saints in sneakers, on sidewalks, in jail, in Zara, on buses, in nightclubs, in bed, about to turn 29, & 37, & 7. I can’t wait for everyone in america to read this book & never be the same again.”

—ARIANA REINES—

“Fernanda Laguna and Cecilia Pavón are legendary writers, domesticating the world in order to make it the subject of their ‘domestic’ poetry. They are voracious and understand everything. Stuart Krimko’s translations capture the totalizing effect of their writings beautifully.”

—CHRIS KRAUS—