Home Book editor Delia Fiallo, Master of Telenovela, died at 96

Delia Fiallo, Master of Telenovela, died at 96


In Cuba before the revolution, this form flourished thanks to the sponsorship of companies like Colgate-Palmolive, said June Carolyn Erlick, the editor of ReVista: The Harvard Review of Latin America, and the author of “Telenovelas in Pan-Latino Context” (2018). Writers like Ms. Fiallo have refined her central themes: “Love, sex, death, the usual”.

Ms Fiallo met her future husband, Bernardo Pascual, director of a radio station and TV actor, while they were both working in radio. They got married in 1952. (Their daughter Delia said it was love at first sight, as in one of her stories: “She thought, ‘This man is going to be mine, ese hombre is going to ser mío. ‘”)

After the couple moved to Miami in 1966, Mr. Pascual worked in construction and then started a business that built parking garages. “The family joke is that in exile Bernardo went from the arts to the concrete”, Ms. Fiallo told the Miami Herald in 1987.

Ms. Fiallo first tried selling her scripts in Puerto Rico, for $ 15 an episode, but Venezuelan broadcasters offered her four times as much; To prepare, she immersed herself in the culture of Venezuela, a country she barely knew, by reading novels and interviewing Venezuelan exchange students in Miami to learn local idioms.

She drew her themes from current events, but also from romance classics like “Wuthering Heights”. She often broached social issues – rape, divorce, drug addiction – which often meant running up against censorship. A late 1960s drama “Rosario,” a sympathetic exploration of the trauma of divorce, was suspended for a time by the Venezuelan government. In 1984, the government threatened to cancel “Leonela” if Ms. Fiallo did not kill one of its characters, a female drug addict.

“Some friends say I could have chosen a more literary genre,” Ms. Fiallo told the Miami Herald. “But that’s what I feel most comfortable with. You can reach more people this way than with any book. Novels are full of emotion, and emotions are the denominator. common to mankind.


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