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Albert Nobbs: A Novella by George Moore

Albert Nobbs: A Novella (edition 2011)

by George Moore, Glenn Close (Foreword)

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425273,462 (3.54)4
Title:Albert Nobbs: A Novella
Authors:George Moore
Other authors:Glenn Close (Foreword)
Info:Penguin Books (2011), Paperback, 112 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned

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Albert Nobbs: A Novella by George Moore



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English (4)  French (1)  All (5)
Showing 4 of 4
This novella served its purpose, apparently, by inspiring the film in which Glenn Close and Janet McTeer put in stunning performances, and Gabriella Prekop and John Banville turned a highly flawed book into a heart-breaking film.

It's late 19th century in Dublin; Albert Nobbs, a successful waiter in an upscale hotel, is forced to share his bed with a house-painter, Hubert Page, during an especially busy time. Albert resists, but finally has to relent. His reluctance is born of the fear that allowing another man into his personal space will result in the exposure of the secret he has been keeping for years---Albert is really a woman. Well, as it turns out, so it Hubert. They have both found it convenient, if not vital, to present themselves to the world as men in order to survive without resorting to prostitution or submitting to otherwise abusive relationships. Upon learning that she is not alone in choosing this lifestyle, Albert is rather more confused than relieved, and must now struggle with her perception of herself. The core of the story is brilliant, if rather poorly executed in the book. And Moore sets it in an inexplicably useless framework of one man telling Albert's story to another years after the fact. We have no idea who this narrator is, nor who he is talking to, let alone how he could possibly know the intimate details of Albert's and Hubert's personal lives. He can't be Albert, because we are told of Albert's eventual death. Could he be Hubert? Just possibly, I suppose, but there is nothing whatever to suggest that we are meant to conclude that. The movie adds and subtracts from Moore's story in ways that I feel only improve it, and the cast alone makes watching it a worthwhile experience. (The always-delightful Pauline Collins appears as Mrs. Baker, owner of the hotel, and Mia Wasikowska is perfect as a maid who Albert contemplates "marrying" after Hubert explains his own cozy living arrangements.) As short as the novella is, don't waste your time reading it. Watch the move instead. Not a recommendation I put forth often! ( )
1 vote laytonwoman3rd | Jul 16, 2017 |
Una joya literaria de la literatura irlandesa, es este pequeño libro que sorprende lo que guarda en sí.

Nos habla de varias vidas, pero hay uno en particular, Albert Nobbs. Un hombre solitario con un universo diminuto, solo él y su vida, su historia. Parece insignificante, sin trascendencia, inocua, pero ahí está el valor, cuando más nimia más significativa es. No solo es un hombre solitario, es un hombre solo, en realidad una mujer vestida de hombre inmensamente sola en el mundo. Muchas veces me he preguntado qué será sentirse totalmente solo, sin amigos, sin parientes, sin familia, sin una pareja, ni siquiera una mascota. Solo tu trabajo y tú. No puedo imaginármelo. Pero el autor lo describe tan claro, tan fácil que parece nada, pero para Albert Nobbs lo era todo, lo fue todo.

Y este inocente y tranquilo hombre o mujer siempre estaba sola, por lo menos hasta que se murió la que fue como su madre, su Aya. De allí las circunstancias de sobrevivir la llevaron a vestirse como un hombre y así estuvo trabajando, ahorrando y viviendo muy recatadamente hasta que Herbert Page se cruzó en su vida y cambió su mundo. No revelaré qué hizo para no desvelar el kit del asunto, pero significó un antes y un después.

Albert empezó a tener sueños de lo que quería en su vida, no quería estar sola y morir sola, quería a alguien en su vida. Es curioso cómo antes no se planteó eso, se volvió casi una obsesión.

El autor toca otro tema muy importante en esta historia, la homosexualidad en la mujer. Y lo muestra sin tabús, pero sí en la época que se publicó el libro, lo era, un duro realismo para la sociedad de aquel entonces, tan restrictiva y llena de prejuicios. Allí estaban y existían, las situaciones que las llevó a vestirse como hombres, comportarse como hombres y ganarse el sustento como tales. Pero el autor toca algo más, no solo bastaba ganarse el sustento, deseaban una familia, una pareja, hijos, una casa... y les aterraba estar solas. Pero lograr una convivencia no era una tarea fácil porque ni siquiera era un tema del que se podía hablar.

Moore no solo retrató perfectamente a Albert Nobbs, sino a todos los que trabajaron cerca de Albert, hombres y mujeres como la vida misma de aquel entonces, preocupados por sus trabajos, pobres y con un escaso salario, sin esperanza de abrirse camino para algo mejor. No faltaban los oportunistas, los guiados solo por el interés, los cotillas, los avariciosos y lujuriosos, pero sobre todo, un mundo de hombres donde la mujer pobre tenía muchas menos posibilidades de aspirar a un hogar, solo trabajar sin descanso.

George Moore también delinea temas como mujeres jóvenes embarazadas y abandonadas, el futuro de hijos bastardos, el abuso del trabajador, la esperanza de cruzar el charco y encontrar un futuro mejor, el constante peligro al que es sometida una mujer soltera, sola y pobre, el maltrato a la esposa, el abandono de los hijos, etc.

En resumen esta historia remarca a los marginados por las convicciones sociales, en especial las mujeres, contada desde una visión de un hombre. Y la inocencia que puede haber en un corazón como Albert Nobbs.

Un libro pequeñito pero grande en los pensamientos que podemos extraer a partir de él.

http://warmisunquausten.blogspot.com.es/2013/10/mas-que-homosexualidad-la-soleda... ( )
  Warmisunqu_Austen | Oct 28, 2013 |
The story of 19th-century Dublin hotel-waiter Albert Nobbs, who is actually a woman. She took on men's clothing and a waiter's position as a youth in order to earn a living and now, in lonely middle-age, at the advice of a somewhat surprising visiting painter, seeks to marry a local girl (perhaps one who has gotten herself "in trouble" and will be glad of the offer of stability) and live out their lives in companionship running a shop. The novella's premise is interesting, and it treats its subject matter with a certain pleasing gentleness, but ultimately Albert Nobbs never quite does anything satisfying with its story. ( )
  lycomayflower | Feb 13, 2012 |
What a sad sad tale. Moore's novella, first published in 1918, is first rate. Albert Nobbs is a character you won't soon forget. Thanks to Penguin for publishing this movie tie-in with an introduction by Glenn Close. ( )
  ken1952 | Jan 5, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143122525, Paperback)

Long out of print, George Moore's classic novella returns just in time for the major motion picture starring Glenn Close as a woman disguised as a man in nineteenth-century Ireland.

Set in a posh hotel in nineteenth-century Dublin, Albert Nobbs is the story of an unassuming waiter hiding a shocking secret. Forced one night to share his bed with an out-of-town laborer, Albert Nobbs' carefully constructed facade nearly implodes when the stranger disovers his true identity-that he's actually a woman. Forced by this revelation to look himself in the mirror, Albert sets off in a desperate pursuit of companionship and love, a search he's unwilling to abandon so long as he's able to preserve his fragile persona at the same time. A tale of longing and romance, Albert Nobbs is a moving and startlingly frank gender-bending tale about the risks of being true to oneself. With a foreword by Glenn Close.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:04 -0400)

"Set in a posh hotel in nineteenth-century Dublin, Albert Nobbs is the story of an unassuming waiter hiding a shocking secret. Forced one night to share his bed with an out-of-town laborer, Albert Nobbs's carefully constructed facade nearly implodes when the stranger discovers his true identity--that he's acutally a woman. Forced by this revelation to look himself in the mirror, Albert sets off in a desperate pursuit of companionship and love, a search he's unwilling to abandon so long as he's able to preserve his fragile persona at the same time"--P. [4] of cover.… (more)

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