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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) Jonas
Date: Wed, 26 May 1999 14:16:23 

Robert Borski,

>But how can this be? Hasn't the crash in question taken
>place in the past, thereby vitiating this supposition? Not necessarily. For
>isn't Jonas, a former servitor of the Hierodules, from Yesod? And wouldn't
>his sense of time, like that of his creators, run counter to ours? This
>would allow for Jonas/Sidero to have crashed in the future, harvested what
>he needed from the killed tinker, and then lived his life backwards (at
>least from our frame of reference) until the point he encounters Severian,
>who assists him in his quest to return home, thereby ending his long period
>of exile.

Well, this reading moves very far away from or around the evidence (however
one wants to interpret said evidence) found in the antechamber.  That is,
if Jonas is somehow or other related to the crash-prisoners ("that name was
common in lands where I was young"), and they have been living in the
chamber for umpteen generations after their crash (even assuming there is a
difference between "their" crash and "his" crash) . . . well.

Re: living backwards in time.  While I myself often write of Yesod timeflow
as going in a direction "opposite" that of Briah, I tend to think that
visitors to either universe go with the local flow: Severian does not begin
regressing toward foetushood in Yesod; O, B, & F do not consume waste and
excrete foodstuffs <g>.  More to the point: the time travel employed by O,
B, & F seems to be via the flying saucer; they are not living backwards in
time, they are travelling back to a point (Severian's court), then living
in realtime (his reign on Urth); then travelling back to a more distant
point, then visiting (Baldanders) in realtime; and so on.

Then again, yes, I agree that Jonas has elements of the Wandering Jew about
him, and this aspect is nicely solved when he steps into the mirrors after
having met with Severian.

Finally, for my own purposes I decided that the second class of androids,
the smaller ones like Jonas, would have names based on a metal different
than Iron; so I thought "make it Silver" with the idea that they were
higher ranking/non combatant types.  Copper, Brass, Bronze, etc., might
also apply (they carry connotations of degrees of value; which Iron does
not)--but since Jonas's metal is silvery, I thought Silver good enough.

Of course, this "Silver class" concept dovetails with the Wandering Jew
aspect, too . . .


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

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