Group Read, August 2017: The Heart of the Matter
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Back to Graham Greene now.
I'm still waiting on my copy.
Colonialism -- what a bizarre and horrible system it was. This book, like Anderson's, really highlights the ghastly position that European women, in particular, found themselves in when accompanying "their men" to these places. The picture that Greene paints of Louise, and her relationship with Scobie, is just endlessly depressing.
I've gotten to the end of Part I and the final paragraph is portentous and philosophical and very troubling. I had to put the book down to think about it. And then we landed!
I'm not a Catholic so I am hoping some person of that faith will comment about the portrayal of Catholocism in the book. I know Greene converted to Catholocism so I wonder if his view of the church was still more of an outsider than a person who had been raised in the faith from birth.
That's all I'm going to comment on right now because I don't want to spoil the book for the others who are reading it.
I am also thinking that, like in some Eva Bowen books, this one is partly about how the English inability to discuss emotions in any way at all is a disaster. If Catherine's death (this is not a spoiler) had ever been aired, if she had been properly mourned, everything here would be different. That death seems to be the silent catalyst between everything that's going wrong in Scobie's life.
I find this book so depressing that I'm going to have to read something light and mindless as soon as I am through with it!
Why do so many great writers have to pen such depressing books?
Review is on my thread.
I don't know what to think of Scobie. He appears to be a man who is ready to do everything for the women he loves, but actually he never really takes a stand for any of them. Most of all he seems keen on dying and enjoying his rising level of misery. As >8 annamorphic: suggests the death of Catherine seems like the real heart of the matter, even though very little is written about it.
I can only say that he had bad luck in friends, women and religion so the poor guy lead a dogs life. It was nice to see how kindly he was remembered though by those who
I didn't like the women at all, especially his wife. Quite happily ditching her husband but then