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From: tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk (Tony Ellis)
Subject: (urth) Re: Jonas & Hethor & Thecla
Date: 24 Mar 1998 16:21:33 +0100

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

 RE>Jonas & Hethor & Thecla

Alga wrote:
>...I think
>that wherever Jonas grew up, it was not on Urth, though it may have been on
>Earth (he knows "Alice" and the Theseus story, though this could simply
>point to a good ship's library).  Every time he refers to Urth, it is as a
>port, not as his home.

Yes. Jonas is a sailor, so it would be natural for him to regard a ship,
or perhaps all space, as his home.

>...But if this were so, Inire's mirrors would be
>time-travel devices if Jonas were to get to his goal, and they seem instead
>to be to be gates to another place (yes, I know how trite the "parallel
>universe" thing sounds, but really, what else?) 

I've always assumed that Jonas simply escapes to a -place- where he
can be repaired, rather than a time. (A place in our universe, that is,
rather than some other.) One of the worlds of the Hierodules, perhaps,
or some other planet that still has a viable technology.

>Robert and Marie, too, could
>have come from that place. 

I think if they come from anywhere it's the past rather than a
parallel Earth, since it's implied pretty strongly that the 
Botanical Gardens extend into Urth's past. But don't forget
that they may simply be "chant-caught" contempories of
Severian. I've always loved that scene for its tantalising ambiguity.

>...the presence of the Claw, or something in his heritage, somehow
>imprints Thecla on Sev in a unique way. Nevertheless, this isn't explained,

Hmm, I could swear that there's at least one point where Sev or
someone -does- assert that the Claw resurected Thecla within
him. But of course I have no idea where <g>. I'll start hunting.

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

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