Nersys Felipe... Also in the Radio

Nersys Felipe... Also in the Radio
Fecha de publicación: 
23 August 2023
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Just this August 22nd, when the 101th anniversary of the first airing of Cuban radio is celebrated, writer Nersys Felipe Herrera (Guane, 1935) receives, together with the director from Villa Clara José Gabriel Ramírez Cal, the National Radio Award.

That the institution awarded Ramírez Cal did not surprise anyone, assuming that he is a veteran in the field of radio production. But the news that Nersys, who received the National Literature Award more than ten years ago, obtained this award surprised many, since they did not know that a good part of her work has been adapted by herself for the radio... and for all that must be added her original texts for that media.

Of course, in Pinar del Río, her beloved land, people understood that this Award came in handy for her, since for decades they have listened to her creations on the provincial radio station, Radio Guamá.

On the radio, as in books, the audience most loved by Nersys are children.

She says that only children can handle poets and madmen. A pinch of poet and some load of crazy must have those who write for children.

Whoever writes like her, should be clarified. Because Nersys Felipe does not write from above, giving advice and imposing rules of conduct.

Throughout all these years, her books and her unitary series and radio have avoided the usual didacticism and pettiness in so many volumes for children. She narrates with simplicity, with clear and playful images, but with a depth that is not formal, but a matter of essences.

Let's take one of her most popular stories as an example: Cuentos de Guane. The topic can be difficult, especially in a text designed for children: the death of a loved relative is the starting point of the story. But the narrative is agile, well balanced, full of emotions.

We accompany the protagonist brothers in their future, in the fascinating discovery of a landscape, of a site... And also in an inner journey, which I once pointed out seemed downright Proustian (without Proust's descriptive gloating and structural complexity, of course).

Therein lies the "mystery" on Nersys’s creation: she not only creates for the obvious children, but also for the children that we all carry within. Her public does not have a fixed age: she has spirit.

Throughout the last decades, the writer has avoided the spotlights, television cameras, recorders as much as possible... She has locked herself in her house (in her shell, as she likes to say) to illuminate those wonder worlds.

And they are not marvelous due to their fantastic overloads —in fact, part of her creation is to a certain extent realistic—, but because of the singularity of her gaze, the way she builds her characters, because of the profound simplicity of the plots.

Nersys Felipe has the gift of turning interesting a routine situation... on paperback or on soundwaves. She is also a poetess, and poets see the hand of divinity even in the overwhelming greyness.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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