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Old 18th Jun 2007, 15:52   #41
Ang
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

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- found the description of her loss of faith particularly affecting
Me too - Her loss of faith is not unlike my own in that it was quite a sudden realisation. The difference is that I had a life (I was at university at the time) and she would be left with nothing but a ghost to rely on (her aunt's photograph). Losing the comfort of The Sacred Heart would have been very frightening for her, as she has relied on it for most of her life. It is indeed what she turns to for comfort at the end when there is no longer any hope of a decent life.

I thought that she was attempting to commit suicide - expensive hotel which she would only be able to afford for a few days, 3 bottles of spirits as opposed to her usual two. In the end, since she had been "saved" to a life even more depressing than she had before, I think she decided that belief was preferable to non-belief.
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Old 19th Jun 2007, 2:22   #42
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

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Losing the comfort of The Sacred Heart...
Ya know, heathen here had to google for images of this. I had never seen the sacred heart and had only heard it mentioned in the old Stones song, Far Away Eyes.
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Old 19th Jun 2007, 7:30   #43
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

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Ya know, heathen here had to google for images of this. I had never seen the sacred heart and had only heard it mentioned in the old Stones song, Far Away Eyes.
I wonder what you were picturing she put on the wall as you read the book?

Some other characters (I'm jumping around as I think of things) - Moira and Owen - Judith was Owen's friend from long ago, yet he leaves the room before she enters each week and only comes back when tea is served. He seems to feel no obligation to entertain her on her weekly visit. Judith was smitten with him but he married Moira, who Judith doesn't really like.

Why do we think Moira is the one to sit and chat to Judith each week, allowing her husband to escape?
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Old 19th Jun 2007, 11:04   #44
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

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Why do we think Moira is the one to sit and chat to Judith each week, allowing her husband to escape?
I think that the implication is that Judith and Moira did know each other. Given that Judith's point of view is unreliable, it is possible that they know each other as welll as Judith knew Owen.

Judith comments (I think) that she knew Moira was common, but that she was always friendly to her. I think we can take this with a pinch of salt - Judith is snobbish, and I am sure that she let her condescension show. I wonder if Moira is simply not just a kind person who recognises the loneliness she sees and knows that she can do something to alleviate someone else's suffering.

Ang, you've commented that Moira is trying to assuage her own guilt, at the end of the story, by paying for Judith to be in the home. I don't read this in the story. Judith makes the comment that she has exchanged Moira's friendship for her charity, her pity. This is what I see played out in the actions of Moira to Judith at the end. I don't see much 'Catholic guilt' in Moira, Owen, or their family. I mean that when Moira, Owen, and the children go to see Judith in the home at the end of the novel, this see to be motivated by a mixture of compassion, and sense of obligation, together with badgering. Simply because the characters are Catholic, and because some of them feel guilty, doesn't necessarily mean that all feel guilty, and that all of those who feel guilt feel it because they are Catholics. Whilst this notion of Catholic guilt certainly holds true for Judith, I'm not sure it could be imputed to any of the other characters.
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Old 19th Jun 2007, 11:52   #45
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

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I think that the implication is that Judith and Moira did know each other. Given that Judith's point of view is unreliable, it is possible that they know each other as welll as Judith knew Owen.
Yes, you're right, that's highly possible, although in Judith's mind, it's Owen she knew. I think she refers to Moira as a younger woman, but as Judith is not that old, I suspect she's not that much younger.
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Judith comments (I think) that she knew Moira was common, but that she was always friendly to her. I think we can take this with a pinch of salt - Judith is snobbish, and I am sure that she let her condescension show. I wonder if Moira is simply not just a kind person who recognises the loneliness she sees and knows that she can do something to alleviate someone else's suffering.
Yes, I do think Moira is kind.
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Ang, you've commented that Moira is trying to assuage her own guilt, at the end of the story, by paying for Judith to be in the home. I don't read this in the story. Judith makes the comment that she has exchanged Moira's friendship for her charity, her pity. This is what I see played out in the actions of Moira to Judith at the end. I don't see much 'Catholic guilt' in Moira, Owen, or their family. I mean that when Moira, Owen, and the children go to see Judith in the home at the end of the novel, this see to be motivated by a mixture of compassion, and sense of obligation, together with badgering. Simply because the characters are Catholic, and because some of them feel guilty, doesn't necessarily mean that all feel guilty, and that all of those who feel guilt feel it because they are Catholics. Whilst this notion of Catholic guilt certainly holds true for Judith, I'm not sure it could be imputed to any of the other characters.
I don't think Owen or the children felt guilty at all, but I'm pretty sure Moira did. To attribute it to her Catholicism is probably incorrect on my part.

I think Moira was trying to have Judith kept in the home for the remainder of her days. The alternative for someone so kind is to offer Judith a room in her own large house. I didn't see Judith as an invalid in the end, but rather as someone who is homeless. Moira could pay for a separate room and board for Judith, but then she'd be back to the Sunday visits which she tolerated but must have been a chore, when no one else in the family was willing to be so charitable.

Judith's realisation that Moira was merely charitable rather than a friend was, I agree, very moving, and I think Judith was quite perceptive to realize that that is all Moira ever was. This was based on Moira's lack of reaction to Judith's confession that she never liked Moira. (A friend would have been outraged). If there was an exchange of friendship for charity, it was only in perception of reality rather than a real change in Moira's feelings towards her.

All that does not make Moira a bad person. You can't make yourself like someone, and she's the only person who continually tried to be kind to Judith.
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Old 19th Jun 2007, 12:00   #46
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

I wondered about the title. The Lonely Passion of... Obviously passion refers to her desire for (and simultaneous refusal to let herself have) a loving relationship. But with all the religious stuff in the novel, are we also to interpret it as a Passion in the Christian suffering sense? Is she supposed to be a Christ like figure?

I don't see her that way (even though she does suffer), but it strikes me that to use the word Passion in the title of a book with religious themes does invite such inferences. But then, as I mentioned earlier, as far as I am aware, The Lonely Passion of was only added to the title when the film was made. Perhaps Beth can confirm this for us: is your first edition titled simply Judith Hearne? I wonder whether Moore himself came up with the addition to the title, or if it was foisted upon him. Presumably he must have approved, otherwise all editions of the book ever since wouldn't be given the full title.
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Old 19th Jun 2007, 12:28   #47
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

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I wondered about the title. The Lonely Passion of... Obviously passion refers to her desire for (and simultaneous refusal to let herself have) a loving relationship. But with all the religious stuff in the novel, are we also to interpret it as a Passion in the Christian suffering sense? Is she supposed to be a Christ like figure?

I don't see her that way (even though she does suffer), but it strikes me that to use the word Passion in the title of a book with religious themes does invite such inferences...
I don't see her that way either. She does suffer, but it is self-inflicted through her attitudes to others, rather than through sacrifice and goodness. There is nothing she does that is selfless, yet she expects to be treated kindly by everyone she meets.

The only Christian thing she did was go to church, yet she sees herself as more worthy than other "sinners". Sadly, there are plenty of people with that view in the world. I know one or two quite well.

I wonder how much of her looking after her elderly aunt was selfless? If she could do that, you'd think she could have extended kindness beyond that also. Instead, I think her aunt was a crutch so she could feel a martyr.
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Old 19th Jun 2007, 13:28   #48
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

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But then, as I mentioned earlier, as far as I am aware, The Lonely Passion of was only added to the title when the film was made. Perhaps Beth can confirm this for us: is your first edition titled simply Judith Hearne?
The first American edition I borrowed was titled The Lonely Passion.. I checked the frontspage when I read that Moore hated the title.

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I wonder what you were picturing she put on the wall as you read the book?
Well, a big heart, but without all the thorns and glowing.
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Old 19th Jun 2007, 13:29   #49
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

Oh that's interesting Beth. I will have to take a closer look at the Moore biography I have at home and see if I was mistaken about that.
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Old 19th Jun 2007, 13:31   #50
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

Could it be that the first edition and the first Amer. edition differ? If the cover clash that exists today is an indication, there might be other differences that we aren't aware of.
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