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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 16:06   #11
m.
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Default Re: Book 39: I AM MARY DUNNE by Brian Moore

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"alia memento, ergo ego ero"

Well, if I got it right, it should say " others remember, therefore I will be".

No, you haven't got it right, of this I'm sure (now I'm being INTP). I would translate that "Alii in memoria tenent, ergo ero." But I haven't had anything to do with Latin for a really long time. What really troubles me now is the fact that online dictionaries don't have "memento" as regular verb (like "cogito") so I'm not sure if "memento ergo sum" is correct either... But it must be, no...?

(I haven't started the book yet .)
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 17:07   #12
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Default Re: Book 39: I AM MARY DUNNE by Brian Moore

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No, you haven't got it right, of this I'm sure (now I'm being INTP). I would translate that "Alii in memoria tenent, ergo ero." But I haven't had anything to do with Latin for a really long time. What really troubles me now is the fact that online dictionaries don't have "memento" as regular verb (like "cogito") so I'm not sure if "memento ergo sum" is correct either... But it must be, no...?

Where's Col when we need her? She did Latin at university, as I recall.
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 17:09   #13
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Default Re: Book 39: I AM MARY DUNNE by Brian Moore

I think the present indicative of "to remember" would be memino (from 'meminisse').

It would possibly be "alia memino, ergo ero".

I'll be with you tomorrow for the discuss - I'm half-way through right now.
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 17:36   #14
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Default Re: Book 39: I AM MARY DUNNE by Brian Moore

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It would possibly be "alia memino, ergo ero".
In my opinion this means rather "I remember other things therefore I will be", as "alia" in this sentence can be only plural neutrum accusative. (Somebody kick me for this off-topic .)
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Old 2nd Jan 2008, 17:46   #15
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Default Re: Book 39: I AM MARY DUNNE by Brian Moore

Sorry, I was mis-reading what it was meant to say: you are totally right that I was wrong on the first bit; I remember other things therefore I will be was what I thought it was meant to say. So correction (hopefully, and I'll check my Kennedy's Latin Primer in a mo):

Alii meminent - others remember.... etc
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Old 3rd Jan 2008, 23:14   #16
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Default Re: Book 39: I AM MARY DUNNE by Brian Moore

Finished this today and I think it's on par with Judith Hearne and The Doctor's Wife. I didn't become angry with Mary, as Oryx began to feel. And I didn't think she was entirely passive. I think she was trying to get to the truth of her life, unraveling a bit, with what I took as a hopeful ending. But beyond the events of Mary's day and the garbage accompanying false friends and opportunists, I think there's a case to be made that who she is will endure. The strongest evidence for that might be in her lovemaking with Terence. Dunno for sure, she was certainly coming apart at the seams in places, but I found her a dignified, more cohesive than not character. After all, what someone thinks can be spread fortyleven different ways in all sorts of nonsense and incongruity. But her actions, even looking at suicide but refraining, indicate that she might hold together. Or is it just too cockeyed to think so?
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 9:59   #17
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Default Re: Book 39: I AM MARY DUNNE by Brian Moore

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Mary Dunne seemed like nothing more than a puppet for the various actors in her life, reacting to her strings being pulled and doubting herself so much as to allow others to create-or re-create her memories. Mary's passivity in the face of the likes of Janice Sloane and Ernest Truelove made me want to scream. So, whereas, from the first lines of the story "Memento Ergo Sum" when I was ready to to cheer her on, towards the end I realized her motto should have been "alia memento, ergo ego ero" (Col, how's the latin?)
I had some of the same difficulty with the character as Oryx but I didn't totally despair of her. Her repeated questionings of "who she was" didn't cut any ice with me, and the title seemed an absolute blank - is that the intention? After all, we see least of all of Mary Dunne prior to any of her marriages, so the reader doesn't have any particular frame of reference to understand when Mary is asserting this identity as the 'base' to all the other wallpaperings that have been hung on top. Who is "Mary Dunne"? She's nothing, because all we know of her is through the filtration of her various relationships and her supposed guilt and despising herself.

Except I don't think she does. For all her self-doubt (and moments of true confusion and fear) I never got the sense that she truly felt the blame for anything going wrong in her relationships (although others clearly had crystal-clear faults that contributed to the doom of these). Her weakness was spotlighted (spotlit?) in the last scenes with Truelove - her sheer inability to stand against his statements, rather than letting them define her. And I felt very sorry for Terence.

I suppose it's more interesting to read about the unstabilities of people's characters but during this book I was noticing that references to other people's lives - Dick's, or her mothers - that appear (and I understand it's only Mary's impression of their lives) to be entirely sane and bumbling down a fairly boring (to her) track, are regarded as something beyond her experience or understanding. Does she ask at some point - how do they do it? And I wanted to say - they just get on with it, with life and the problems it brings, instead of brooding about it. But that doesn't sound very sympathetic, and I did feel a great deal of sympathy for her by the end of the story, despite her inaction during the Truelove visit.

I do think she would hold together and showed enough self-will to begin to creep back from the edge of despair, but that's partly due to Terence and her security in him: not a bad thing.

1/2
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 18:13   #18
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Default Re: Book 39: I AM MARY DUNNE by Brian Moore

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...she was certainly coming apart at the seams in places, but I found her a dignified, more cohesive than not character. After all, what someone thinks can be spread fortyleven different ways in all sorts of nonsense and incongruity. But her actions, even looking at suicide but refraining, indicate that she might hold together. Or is it just too cockeyed to think so?
Although I remarked earlier that it can't all be down to PMT, and I still hold to that, I think she was just having a really bad day, a day which actually started with what could be called a "senior moment" if she was a bit older (forgetting her name). That seemed to unsettle her more than anything, and at her young age, I suppose it should. However, she probably made more of it than others would... somehow it made her think about all her marriages and especially Hat - she is still wondering what happened to him and whether she is at fault. Janice made it worse, and Truelove even moreso. Bad day.

I think she'll hold together fine - it's just a phase.
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Old 4th Jan 2008, 19:46   #19
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Default Re: Book 39: I AM MARY DUNNE by Brian Moore

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I suppose it's more interesting to read about the unstabilities of people's characters but during this book I was noticing that references to other people's lives - Dick's, or her mothers - that appear (and I understand it's only Mary's impression of their lives) to be entirely sane and bumbling down a fairly boring (to her) track, are regarded as something beyond her experience or understanding. Does she ask at some point - how do they do it?
This is a great point, and it popped into my mind as well, though not as cohesively. I also think it was written during a time that was a great heyday for therapeutic analysis, at least in this country. And the prevailing wisdom at that time was that in order to be whole, a person might have to go through some deconstruction. I think.

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Although I remarked earlier that it can't all be down to PMT, and I still hold to that, I think she was just having a really bad day, a day which actually started with what could be called a "senior moment" if she was a bit older (forgetting her name). That seemed to unsettle her more than anything, and at her young age, I suppose it should. However, she probably made more of it than others would... somehow it made her think about all her marriages and especially Hat - she is still wondering what happened to him and whether she is at fault. Janice made it worse, and Truelove even moreso. Bad day.

I think she'll hold together fine - it's just a phase.
And this is what Moore, imo, seized upon and did very well in creating that internal maelstrom. Without getting too horsey, I think there are a lot of defense and coping mechanisms operating in this novel, but not particularly in Mary, with the exception of her attempt at rationalization, a very effective defense. Arf, the wax is starting to drip. But I think the others (Janice, Hat, Ernie) in the novel display all sorts of defense mechanisms- projection, fantasy, even sublimation. Whereas Mary is internalizing, rather than defending. It seems that when people reach the point where they are ready to face themselves and hold themselves accountable, rather than doing everything in the world to avoid that, they are often enroute to better days. Or the Brooklyn bridge?
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Old 6th Jan 2008, 8:27   #20
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Default Re: Book 39: I AM MARY DUNNE by Brian Moore

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I also think it was written during a time that was a great heyday for therapeutic analysis, at least in this country. And the prevailing wisdom at that time was that in order to be whole, a person might have to go through some deconstruction. I think.
Shades of The Golden Notebook in that comment - I was wondering the same thing. I also thought about Revolutionary Road while reading this. It's great reading these books written in the 50s/60s - not the type of thing I would have sought before last year, but now it is probably my era of choice.
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And this is what Moore, imo, seized upon and did very well in creating that internal maelstrom. Without getting too horsey, I think there are a lot of defense and coping mechanisms operating in this novel, but not particularly in Mary, with the exception of her attempt at rationalization, a very effective defense. Arf, the wax is starting to drip. But I think the others (Janice, Hat, Ernie) in the novel display all sorts of defense mechanisms- projection, fantasy, even sublimation. Whereas Mary is internalizing, rather than defending. It seems that when people reach the point where they are ready to face themselves and hold themselves accountable, rather than doing everything in the world to avoid that, they are often enroute to better days. Or the Brooklyn bridge?
Bolded section - so true and impressively sagacious. Being an optimist, I'll take "better days".

So Mary is more evolved emotionally than the others you mention. Yes, I'd buy into that notion.
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