Each scene as it comes along (and the scenes come along, over and over and over again, intertwining and pouring forth, from one sentence to the next) is filled with the possibility that life, however fragile, and however filled with obstacles, and fear, and pain, is without question worth living.
He turned his experiences into two novels - this Lorde (2004) and an earlier 2002 work Berkeley em Bellagio - albeit ones with a entirely not-literal treatment of thos experiences. The novel itself opens with our narrator, a Brazilian who wrote books that were mostly well received by critics but not the public, arriving at Heathrow from Porto Alegre in Brazil, rather disorientated, his trip a result of an invitation from a rather shadow Englishman, his purposes rather unclear. The narrator is taken by his English sponsor to Hackney - That distant neighborhood in the north of London, full of Vietnamese and Turkish immigrants, outside of what the travel brochures usually showed on the city maps where he is installed in a flat above one of the many Vietnamese restaurants on Mare Street: (as an interesting aside, Mare Street is also now home to a Brazilian centre, opened since 2004. Whether that is a coincidence, if the reason the author was familiar with the area was that there was, in reality although unmentioned in the novel, already a Brazilian community there, or indeed if somehow the novel itself has attracted a Brazilian community to the area, I can't say) His initial journey there from central London was on the 55 bus - and for a long while, his travels centre on that bus route, particularly Hackney, the Oxford Circus terminus of the line, and the Bloomsbury area through which it passes, and where he can walk to from those bus stops: It was a long walk to Oxford Street, where the 55 came and went, but I didnt know any other means of transportation, other routes. Even after a diversion to London Bridge at Borough Market he walks to Oxford Circus and takes the bus back, a journey that makes little logical sense as this bus route map shows: In some respects, Lord belongs to a series of excellent novel dealing with the disorientation of an artist finding himself in a strange (at least to them) city - the linguist in Ferenc Karinthy's Metropole, the musician in Kazuo Ishiguro's masterpiece The Unconsoled and, perhaps most apposite, the writer in Budapest by Chico Buarque, a fellow Brazilian writer and a novel written around the same time. But in Gilberto Noll's work, the strangeness is more around the mental disintegration of his narrator. After the Englishman comes to visit him he immediately rushes him to a hospital in Bloomsbury for treatment (for what is unclear, and perhaps hints that some of the narrator's adventures may have been imagined while, in reality, he was sick in bed). I trusted the opposite would be true: that during that whole stay in the hospital the man who was starting to throb inside me and who I still didnt really know would have a better chance to surface. That when I woke from the anaesthetic I would start to live with another hypothesis about myself and that I would work on it in secret, so that not even my own English friend would be able to notice any change in my character or on the surface of my body. tomorrow none of this will matter, when Ill be able to live the life of that man who is still lying in the Bloomsbury hospital bed, who stayed there as I made this little escape, motivated by the nurses bad intentions. And when the Englishman comes back, Ill see that the experiment has worked. The book seems to be about, if anything the effects of globalisation - the narrator says: I had come to this end of the world for that, to occupy an intermission without end but this isn't a novel to read searching too closely for analogies.
En esta novela en particular, Noll potencia estas perplejidades mediante una situación que es desconcertante en sí misma: la estadía inglesa de un escritor brasilero. Creo que este libro es una gran obra de arte.
Embora curta, esta é uma obra que nas pouco mais de cem páginas que tem consegue deixar o leitor ofegante, um misto de pele arrepiada, algum asco e perplexidade, mas também uma enorme admiração. Não é uma escrita convencional, mas antes romanesca em que a realidade e a fantasia se entrelaçam em processos metamórficos e de alguma dissociação. O mais curioso é que o escritor diz partir de uma residência sua em Londres, mas não assume a autobiografia do mesmo. Mas, realmente, se eu não tivesse ido a Londres, eu não teria escrito esse livro." Apesar destas afirmações, o leitor não deixa de especular até que ponto é que a ficção aqui apresentada não terá tido o seu lugar no mundo real.
Noll published his first short story as part of a 1970 Porto Alegre anthology entitled Roda de Fogo, but his more formal literary debut came in 1980 when his first book of short stories O cego e a dançarina (English title: The blind man and the dancer) was released, for which he received three literary prizes. Noll received early international attention as a participant in the Writer's Program at the University of Iowa in 1982, and when his work appeared in an anthology of new Brazilian writers published in Germany in 1983.