Waterloo Press

Ana Becciú
Night Watch / Ronda de Noche (Available October 2010)
Translated by Cecilia Rossi

ISBN 978-1-906742-26-3

Ana Becciú was born in Buenos Aires and now lives between France, Catalonia and Argentina. She studied Literature at the Universidad Católica Argentina, the Universidad Central de Barcelona, as well as the Sorbonne. She is both a poet and translator, who worked for eighteen years for the United Nations. As a literary translator, she has translated works by Antonin Artaud, Adrienne Rich, Djuna Barnes, Alberto Manguel, Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy, Allen Ginsberg, Anne Carson, Pascal Quignard and Tennessee Williams, among others, and won awards, including the XI Angel Crespo Prize for Literary Translation for Lezioni di tenebre by Patrizia Runfola in 2008. Between 1999 and 2002 Lumen (Random House Mondadori, Barcelona) published her editions of the Poesía completa, Prosa completa and Diarios of Argentine poet Alejandra Pizarnik.
Cecilia Rossi was born in Buenos Aires. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from Cardiff University and a PhD in Literary Translation from the University of East Anglia. She has taught literary translation at MA level at both Middlesex University and the University of East Anglia, where she still teaches. Her original poetry has appeared in various journals such as New Welsh Review and Poetry Wales, as well as anthologised in The Pterodactyl’s Wing (Parthian, 2003). Her translations of Alejandra Pizarnik’s poetry into English have won various awards, including First Prize in the John Dryden Translation Competition and a commendation in the Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry Translation, and have appeared in Comparative Criticism, Modern Poetry in Translation, and Alejandra, a volume of essays published by Syracuse University Press. She is currently on the editorial committee of In Other Words, the journal for literary translators.


     Author photo             Translator photo 
Ana Becciú                 Cecilia Rossi

This first English edition of Night Watch will win new converts to Ana Becciú’s Gnostic strain of passionate lyricism. A sensual, intricately sustained confrontation with absolute absence, this beautifully moving long prose-poem also arms us with love for the long night ahead. Steeped in a long literary tradition of painful epiphanies, this revelatory work is influenced, amongst other poets, by Saint John of the Cross. But its cascading syntax and candid expression of female desire represent, as well, a profoundly new way of approaching the mysterious relationship between body, mind and soul. Becciú’s dense word-tissue, meticulously translated here by Cecilia Rossi, intimately incorporates text and texture, the caress of the gaze and the skin of language itself.

Night Watch stems from mystic poetry and returns to it. ‘I’ cannot live without Song, which is the absolute, in the same way as the soul cannot live without uniting with God. The way is the writing of the poem, the words I drag as a load, the weight of these words I try to hear myself speak so I can see myself exist. It’s not easy now. Was it words that brought you into existence, then?
Ana María Moix

Becciú’s ouvre is distilled, succinct, because such are the requirements of its theme. Her observations of the amorous act consist of brief notes […], more like breath than writing. The love chronicle that Becciú develops in her poems is one of migrations, of transportation (in the religious sense), of measured time, of surprising revelations that don’t allow for detailed explanations or long pages of confidences. Each amorous moment is unique, ungraspable, and hence, must be caught quickly, in speech rather than writing. Because, like Becciú herself says with impeccable clarity in Night Watch, the mouth makes love, with the mouth love is said. Nobody knows this better than Ana Becciú.
Alberto Manguel

Work published within the framework of ‘Sur’ Translation Support Program of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship of the Argentine Republic.


Powered By Website Baker