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Old 19th Jun 2007, 22:37   #51
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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 thought the title was a play on words - first meaning, as you've said, her desire for loving relationship, second - her alcohol addiction, and yes, third referring to religion. Judith isn't supposed to be Christ like figure, because her suffering doesn't have redeeming value, but she should, as every Christian, try to imitate Christ by bearing her own cross. And no one is really alone in that, because God in person of Jesus Christ is always near. So if there's no God, as Judith starts to think, it becomes a lonely suffering in a more profound sense. This sounds rather awkward, I know, and probably isn't the only possible interpretation, but anyway, I think there is a religious allusion in the title. And perhaps it doesn't matter all that much that it wasn't the original title, after all Moore accepted it, so he must have thought it wouldn't confuse readers' understanding of the book - at the very least.
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Old 19th Jun 2007, 23:19   #52
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

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Certainly there's nothing about her unattractiveness that couldn't have been rendered moot if she'd been interested in something. It's her hardline vacuousness that makes her ugly. The same characteristic when poured into a tanned, sleek, coiffed and manicured vessel comes through as nothing more than slicked up ugly. I can't help but think of Jane Eyre, unattractive but transformed by her character and strength into a most desirable woman.
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I'm still intrigued by the "ugliness". I agree with your perception of her vacuousness, but on first impression, people were assuming no one could ever have married her, purely on her looks. Is this a cultural thing, or possibly something that may have occured in 1955 but is less prevalent now?
Let's not forget that there was someone else in a similar situation:
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Miss Hearne sat down by the bedside. Jolly Edie Marrinan, always a plain girl, but such fun. Such a hearty, good-natured soul, you knew she'd never get married, but that was because men were so foolish, for she was a wonderful cook and she adored children. A jolly cousin to all the other Marrinans, and she had a big circle of girl friends too, girls who worked and girls like me, Miss Hearne thought, who lived home with relatives. And now: a sick pained woman, crippled by the disease.
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Last edited by m.; 20th Jun 2007 at 8:03. Reason: oh Jesus Christ I opened the thread today and it leapt out at me! Cf. Ang's quote to see what I mean.
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Old 19th Jun 2007, 23:53   #53
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

Your triple interpretation of the title makes elegant and perfect sense, m. And looking on Amazon (which lists books from pre-ISBN days now), I see just one edition titled simply Judith Hearne, which is from 1975 - though there are others from the same year with the longer title.
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Old 20th Jun 2007, 7:24   #54
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

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Let's not forget that there was someone else in a similar situation:

Miss Hearne sat down by the bedside. Jolly Edie Marrinan, always a plain girl, but such fun. Such a hearty, good-natured soul, you knew she'd never get married, but that was because men were so foolish, for she was a wonderfool cook and she adored children. A jolly cousin to all the other Marrinans, and she had a big circle of girl friends too, girls who worked and girls like me, Miss Hearne thought, who lived home with relatives. And now: a sick pained woman, crippled by the disease.
Good point. Interesting that Judith is contributing Edie's singledom to her plainness, yet her own to having looked after auntie for so long until it was too late. Others viewed Judith as ugly, but she does not view herself that way.

Judith has lived in a fantasy world for so long. There must have been hints of reality all along in her life, but we get one brief section of her life when it all hits home. To lose her belief in God (and comfort from the Sacred Heart abover her bed) would be too much, as everything else she thought she had was not really there either.
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Old 20th Jun 2007, 17:35   #55
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

Oooh, just remembered this - what about the priest who's bored with her confession!! Too much. I loved that bit.
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Old 20th Jun 2007, 19:47   #56
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

Last edited by m. : 20th Jun 2007 at 1:03. Reason: oh Jesus Christ I opened the thread today and it leapt out at me! Cf. Ang's quote to see what I mean.


Is it the intrigue of ugliness? So curious, m., what you're thinking. Do tell...
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Old 20th Jun 2007, 20:16   #57
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

Heheh, nothing of the kind. I made an absurd spelling mistake in my quote from Judith Hearne, which I noticed this morning end edited immediately, but it is still in Ang's quote of my quote. I see now I wasn't clear, but you know, just quick comment to the edit, and before coffee too...
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Old 20th Jun 2007, 20:22   #58
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

Very fulish error, m.!
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Old 20th Jun 2007, 20:25   #59
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

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Heheh, nothing of the kind. I made an absurd spelling mistake in my quote from Judith Hearne, which I noticed this morning end edited immediately, but it is still in Ang's quote of my quote. I see now I wasn't clear, but you know, just quick comment to the edit, and before coffee too...
I can't see a spelling error... did JS perform some magic and make it disappear?
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Old 20th Jun 2007, 21:00   #60
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Default Re: Book 32 - THE LONELY PASSION OF JUDITH HEARNE by Brian Moore

No, and you should leave it as it is too!
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