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 Joaquin Cuartas: genius and figure

oaquin Cuartas is a "scribbler", with the best meaning in mind. He has spent most of his life sat in front of a typewriter, his fingers flying over the keys, capturing on the blank sheet the fabulous stories that rush up to his imagination.

Joaquin Cuartas is an endangered species, at least in most of the world: he is a radio soap opera writer.

"I am a man of the radio, the radio is my nurturing mother, undoubtedly I am interested in other media, other arts, but the radio can not be exchanged by any of them."

For many specialists and producers, Joaquin is the most important writer in the radio right now. And even more: next to Felix B. Caignet, Delia Fiallo, Iris Davila and few other names, he is part of the elite club of the most successful and famous Cuban writers for radio of all times.

"But I dont care much about that. I am not interested in knowing which my place in those anthologies is. Whats more, I don't like speaking about me in interviews because the radio is a collective art. A soap opera is much more than a script, so as to make it right, and have people moved by it, many people must work and do it with talent and dedication."

- Why is the Cuban so prone to "soap opera"?

-Not the Cuban, almost the entire mankind is. People have the need to cry and laugh without committing. I merely try to satisfy that need the best I can.

- And why do we still listen to radio soap operas, although an endangered genre worldwide?

-Its simply because people still like it. Another thing is that they are more or less profitable for radio producer of other countries. Our circumstances are others. People still enjoy radio melodrama because is freer, it makes more room for imagination.

- But for a few people the melodrama still is a minor genre...

-Those are the same silly reasons. Why that prejudice for the melodrama? All great writers of all times wrote melodramas: Balzac, Dickens... whats important is not the genre or the means, but the quality of the work. With a can and a stick you can make art, depending on what its played and who plays it.

-Your radio soap opera Cuando la vida vuelve (When life returns), had the largest audience, a landmark for many specialist in the history of Cuban dramatized series.

-That novel paid homage to Felix B. Caignet, the greatest of Cuban radio writers and to his greatest work: El derecho de nacer (The right of being born). It has all the ingredients of the most authentic melodrama of course sprinkled with more contemporary elements. Before writing it I looked at the sky and said: will it be possible, Caignet that so many years later people fall in the same trap again? I wrote it, it was broadcasted and it was a true success. Well yes, people fell for that trap one more time, in the sweet trap.


Source: By Yuris Nórido, CubaSi

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