Enquanto anoitece

Image: Anna Boghiguian


Comment on the recently published book by Luiz Eduardo Soares.

Maria Bethânia once said that she didn't like the sunset, while dusk is an insecure moment, each one lives it as they can. As night falls, some enjoy the sun setting behind the Dois Irmãos in Ipanema and Leblon and then return to their beautiful, clean and safe apartments thanks to the workers who, while night falls, are waiting for the bus, the train, the subway, the van, or everyone, to return to their homes, with just one certainty, the day's work is not over yet, far from it, the third shift is starting.

Among the many borders that separate the lives of those who live on one side or the other of the Rebouças Tunnel, access to residential buildings draws the attention of those who are not locals, residents do not have the keys to the entrance of their building, nor the control from the garage door. The porters are the owners of the passage, they are the Exus of the property administration, they are the ones who manage who can go up by the social elevator or the service elevator. If the resident leaves fifty times, the doorman opens the door and greets them all. If someone needs help, he's the one who solves it.

If there is a property for rent and/or sale, he is also the one who knows, and he does not necessarily pass this information on, it all depends on the condition that residents give to the reception staff. If they are kind and polite, that's one thing, if they are brown, abused, change names for pleasure, don't say hello, walk with loose dogs, enter the building with the beach sand... everything in life is exchange, teach our Exus.

They are on the main sidewalks talking to their workmates, they know everything that is going on, they know the couriers, maids, drug dealers, service providers of all kinds, most are from the North of the country and live far from the South Zone of Rio de Janeiro, when ascend to what would be the first division of the concierge team, have the possibility of living in a room in the building itself with their family, something increasingly rare.

Like every human being, each doorman has his own private world, his mysteries, his history of inequalities and suffering. No one lives a sacrificed life away from their homeland because they want to, much less being called Cearense when they are born in Pernambuco, spending the hot days in social attire and polished shoes while the others enjoy the evening in swim trunks and bikini on the beach.

while it gets dark presents us with what is behind the apparently calm life of one of those northeasterners who provide “security” for the residents of Leblon. Raimundo Nonato, the protagonist, brings together complementary ambiguities that only a great character has. Its existence is political, and makes us travel easily through the most diverse regions of Brazil at the same time that it mobilizes our preconceptions, displaces our truths about the country's recent history and reveals the glory of its invisible characters.

while it gets dark speaks of loyalty, a rare quality in human beings, presents pain and loss as part of life, not as something unbearable and extraordinary. It values ​​what is most cruel and at the same time divine in the lives of Brazilians: beliefs, affections, diversity and encounters.

Finally, not toplunder” the surprise, impossible not to fall in love with the silences of Raimundo Nonato that – after reading the book – remain screaming in our ears. A masterpiece that only the brilliant Luiz Eduardo Soares could write.

* Letícia Núñez Almeida is professor of sociology at the Universidad de la República do Uruguay. She is the author, among other books, of Border subsystems in Brazil: illegal markets and violence (Gramma).


Luiz Eduardo Soares. while it gets dark. São Paulo, However, 2023, 160 pages.

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