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“Fairy tale without morals,” says Aguinaldo Silva to CNN about autobiography

Aguinaldo Silva finds it funny when he talks about his memoir: “It was almost a fairy tale. A fairy tale without a moral.”

In “My Past Forgives Me – Memories of a Novelistic Life”, at the age of 81, the novelist tells stories of his childhood, youth, career as a journalist and as a soap opera writer.

In an interview with CNN the creator of the iconic Nazaré, from the soap opera “Senhora do Destino”, spoke about how his experiences influenced his stories and characters.

“I lived on the streets from a very young age. I had a life with my family, at school, but I had a much more intense and active life on the streets. This gave me a great deal of life experience and knowledge of people, of the human soul. The result was a very popular side to everything I write. My novels are very popular. The characters are very real because I knew most of them or at least knew how to create them because I based them on people I had always known.”

Aguinaldo Silva’s childhood in Recife

In “My Past Forgives Me – Memories of a Novelistic Life”, the author reveals a bitter story. At the age of thirteen, he was elected Spring Queen, a contest that took place every year at the American Baptist School in Recife, where he studied.

“I was poor, ugly, weird. And worst of all, to my schoolmates, I was undeniably effeminate. And it was then that one of the older boys, seeing me walk by during recess with my embarrassed swan-like walk, had the idea: ‘No electing girls this time. Let’s vote for chicken.’”

Aguinaldo Silva in 3 moments of his past

Regarding the episode narrated for the first time in his memoirs, Aguinaldo Silva observes: “We are made of past grievances. We forget and cannot imagine how much that affected us. This case was a brutal thing, which I had erased from my memory for years. I was almost lynched, I was almost killed by children my own age.”

The author adds the discovery he made while writing about this episode.

“It was at that moment, when I got home and pretended that nothing had happened, that I stopped being a child, because I pretended, right? I pretended like adults usually pretend. It was very important for me to write this scene, and that’s why I decided to open the book with it, the revelation that this kind of formed me or forged me was very important to me, and I only discovered this when I decided to write about the event.”

Young author, journalist and renowned novelist

At the age of 16, while still in Recife, he published his first book, “Redemption for Job”. The success of the book led him to journalism, when he began writing for the newspaper “Última Hora”, owned by Samuel Wainer, which was arriving in the Northeast and looking for young professionals, even those without experience.

“My first book was almost a report, about a house that rented rooms to the neediest people. And it caused a bit of a stir because I was young, the language was bold.”

My first book was almost a report, about a house that rented rooms to the neediest people. And it caused a certain amount of buzz because I was young, the language was bold.

Aguinaldo Silva, in an interview with CNN

At the age of 20, he moved to Rio de Janeiro, where he became a police reporter. The invitation to become a television scriptwriter came years later. At the time, Aguinaldo Silva received a phone call from Daniel Filho, one of the most renowned directors on Brazilian TV, to be one of the scriptwriters for a new series on Rede Globo, “Plantão de Polícia”.

“It was a shock, for the following reason: because I was completely unfamiliar with television. So, I never watched television. I had never seen a soap opera. So I was shocked, but I learned quickly and ended up being called to write soap operas.”

He had a 41-year career, 16 soap operas and several miniseries, including: “Tieta”, “Senhora do Destino”, “Império” and “Tenda dos Milagres”.

Regarding the success of his work, the author notes in the book: “Tieta with her ‘stupid audience’ (the phrase was said by a former Globo executive) raised me to the heavens of the television universe as a star of the first magnitude.”

“When the broadcaster decided that in 2015 ‘Império’ would be its representative at the International Emmy. And wouldn’t you know it, the little devil went there and – competing against soap operas from all over the world – won?”

What does the author think about the wave of remakes on TV?

Away from Rede Globo since 2020, Aguinaldo Silva talks about the four decades dedicated to television drama and remembers key people in this process. “I started working on television at a glorious time. What was happening with the advent of soap operas with Boni, Daniel Filho, and Paulo Ubiratan is that these people were creating a very specific Brazilian language, a language that became a national craze.”

Aguinaldo believes that television no longer plays the same role in national life due to the competition from new media. “Nowadays, we already have Tik Tok and Instagram, which are pure distraction and nothing more. You spend hours watching Tik Tok videos and you don’t learn anything,” he adds.

The author also criticizes the phase of re-recordings of soap operas such as “Renascer”, originally from 1993, which is currently on air in a new version.

“I have some reservations about this thing called remakes. First, because a soap opera is a team effort. It doesn’t have an owner. There’s someone who writes it, but it depends on the cast and the director. And it also depends on the public’s direction, what people want to see at that moment. When everything coincides positively, the soap opera is a success. But it’s a success at that moment, for example, ‘Vale Tudo’. ‘Vale Tudo’ came at the right time, a soap opera written at the right time. Nowadays, it would require certain adaptations to a new reality that might weaken the soap opera. I’m against remakes because of that. Soap operas are successful when they happen.”

With a certain nostalgia, the author also talks about the difference in the pace of television with streaming.

“Today, when a series is approved, it takes at least two years to be ready, and involves all the production work. Television doesn’t. Television worked in the heat of the moment. Sometimes I had situations that I describe in the book, I had to change, an entire sequence of scenes and one night because something had happened. An actor who got sick or, during the censorship period, something threatened to move the soap opera to 11 pm. I think you never know what might happen, but I think that this climate of absolute urgency of the soap opera is what gives it this feeling of liveliness. I mean, the soap opera is alive, right? It is happening in front of the viewer and he doesn’t know what’s coming, right? I think that’s the good thing about soap operas. They have unexpected events that require creativity from everyone, from the cast to the writer to the director of the network itself, who’s going to do what and what’s not going to do? That’s really good, right?” he concludes.


“My past forgives me – memories of a novelistic life”

Publisher: Todavia

Pages: 400

Price: R$ 89.90

Cover of "My Past Forgives Me"

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Source: CNN Brasil

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