Doña Bárbara Unleashed

From Venezuelan Plains to International Screen

Author(s) Jenni M. Lehtinen

Language: English

Genre(s): Literary Criticism

Series: Iberian and Latin American Studies

  • April 2021 · 224 pages ·216x138mm

  • · Hardback - 9781786836861
  • · eBook - pdf - 9781786836878
  • · eBook - epub - 9781786836885

About The Book

Since its publication in 1929, the story of Doña Bárbara has haunted the collective Latin-American imagination, and has been adapted variously both for the small and big screen. Doña Bárbara Unleashed explores how Rómulo Gallegos’s original story has been kept alive yet altered by subsequent screen adaptations; the book illustrates how film and telenovela adaptations have reinterpreted Doña Bárbara in order to mirror changes in societal norms, such as the role of women in Latin American societies, and audience expectations. Particular attention is given to how spectators in the twenty-first century have played a crucial role influencing the alterations to which Gallegos’s original plot has been subjected. Now Doña Bárbara Unleashed offers an original way of studying screen adaptations by engaging several adaptations of the same source text in dialogue with each other, rather than simply comparing adaptations to the source text. This is a ground-breaking study that further develops readings through more traditional theories of screen adaptations with approaches emerging from fandom studies and audience responses.


‘In this hugely engaging and delightfully written exploration of Doña Bárbara and its popular on-screen afterlife, Jenni Lehtinen presents the eponymous protagonist as a potentially endlessly morphing manifestation of untamed barbarism, glamour, seductiveness and female empowerment. Bárbara becomes a marker of transnational mobility and social and cultural evolution, both in terms of her textual, filmic and televisual incarnations, and in terms of her public reception and re-imagination by audiences and fans. The story of Doña Bárbara becomes the story of shifting conceptions of Latinity and a still unfolding tale of the powerful possibilities of adaptation and transformation.’
-Professor Philip Swanson, University of Sheffield


Series Editors’ Foreword
List of Figures
Introduction: Doña Bárbara, Her Critics, Her Story and Her Fans
1 ‘The Legend of María Transformed into the Doña’ – Fernando de Fuentes’s Launching of a Legend on Screen (1943)
2 ‘From the Point of View of the Woman’ – Doña Bárbara as Seen by Betty Kaplan (1998)
3 Doña Bárbara Reborn – Entering the New Millennium on the Small Screen (2008)
4 Simply La Doña (2016)

About the Author(s)

Author(s): Jenni M. Lehtinen

Jenni M. Lehtinen (Oxon) is an Assistant Professor at Nazarbayev University, Republic of Kazakhstan.

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