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La felicidad.

La felicidad (Happiness) is Agosin's first collection of stories. Like her poetry, her fiction cuts to the quick, exposing the filth as well as the goodness within the human soul. In "Esclavas" ("Slaves"), she mocks the abusive upper classes--self-satisfied, cruel, and blind to their own vulgarity--who writhe with envy when confronted with the psychic energy and moral freedom of the masses. In the charming story "La costurera de San Petersburgo" ("The Seamstress of Saint Petersburg"), she evokes the grace and simplicity of her own grandmother. Likewise, in "Los muertos" ("The Dead"), she evokes her Russian-born ancestors, ghosts who comfort and console her. In the image of the mother conversing softly with her dead son, which dominates this story, Agosin captures the depth and intensity of maternal love, which transcends even death. Rather than a celebration of her own ethnicity, "Los muertos" is an allegory of archetypal dimensions, for it transcends the contextual to communicate universal human truths. In the disturbing, yet delicately poetic "Recolecta de muertos" ("Collecting the Dead") she transforms the traditional autumnal celebration of death into a kind of fantastical obsession. Death is portrayed as something so beautiful, lyrical, and enticing that it becomes a source of "felicidad."

More poems-in-prose than stories, these pieces are like tiny jewels that reflect dazzlingly a million truths. Instead of complex characters and story lines, they offer the author's meditations on love, commitment, passion, death, birth, and countless other human experiences--all in their own ways fountains of happiness.
COPYRIGHT 1992 Organization of American States
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Mujica, Barbara
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Nov 1, 1992
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