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From: tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk (Tony Ellis)
Subject: (urth) Jonas and Hethor as Koreans
Date: 17 Mar 1998 17:03:26 +0100

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

 Jonas and Hethor as Koreans etc

It seems far from likely to me that either Jonas or Hethor are Korean.

C R Culver says that Jonas:
>babbled in Korean in the
>antechamber (Korean is a nasal, monosyllabic language. I am sure it was =
>and not Chinese, because Severian does not speak of tones). 

Jonas is a _robot_, remember. A robot assembled in Korea might
babble in that langauge when delirious, it's true, but it seems far
more likely to me that what Severian is hearing is some form of
computer-speak. The vocal equivalent of 8086 machine code, if 
you like.

And of Kim Lee Soong:
>the fact that they would remember that ancient name from our time
>is staggering and improbable

It doesn't have to date back to "our time". Only a thousand
years or so (maybe a lot less) before Ymar such names may
still have been in use. If we can accept that the prison as an
institution can have lasted that long, I can accept that one of
its earliest prisoners has passed into prison folklore. (It's not
as if they would have had much else to chat about over the

Mantis wrote:
>The text says that the prisoners (most but not all--don't forget
>Lomer and Nicarete) are descendents of crew of a starship that
>crashlanded on or near the House Absolute.  They were looking for the
>Port but they couldn't find one at all.

I hate to use the C-word again, but where does it say this? Jonas
tells us that _he_crewed on a ship that crashed, certainly, but the
prisoners seem to be there for far more mundane reasons.

>"Jonas," an android sailor on the ship, was repaired with biological
>remnants of an Urth shepherd who was killed by the crash.

Mantis, where are you getting this stuff from?!?! :-) Android, yes.
But shepherd? Jonas tell us "He was on the ground... We killed
him by accident, coming in." Personally I've always assumed that
he was talking about entering a sealed environment, and thus
killing a human crew-member somehow. If you're suggesting that
this person was actually in the path of the crashing ship, fair point,
but in that case he could have been anybody: tinker, tailor, soldier,
sailor. Why shepherd?

While I'm being baffled, where does this theory that Hethor is
Kim Lee Soong come from? If Agia says Hethor isn't his real
name that's good enough for me, but why should he be KLS?

You'll all thank me for being such a Doubting Thomas one day,
you know. <g>

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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