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Date: Tue, 26 Mar 2002 14:38:00 -0800 (PST)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: Re: (urth) eponyms as saints

--- Michael Andre-Driussi  wrote:
> Jerry Friedman quoted and wrote:
> >> Seems to me that real-world eponyms are not devices to tell time, but
> >> by-products of time and culture.  If the word is still in use, then
> the
> >> eponym remains: our busts of the eponyms would include de Sade,
> >> Quisling,
> >> Bowdler, et ali.  If in a hundred years we no longer used the words
> >> sadism,
> >> quisling, and  bowdlerize, then those busts would be removed, the
> >> eponyms
> >> forgotten along with their "words."  (Note the memorial/funereal
> tinct
> >> here.)
> >
> >This is interesting, but my guess is that the eponyms are saints, like
> >the eponyms of San Francisco, Marylebone, people named James, etc.
> That's funny, because I don't normally think of the people of the
> Commonwealth having saints (granted that they are all named after
> Catholic
> saints, but I have never seen this as a literal sign of the saints being
> resurrected, as James Jordan did in his early interview with Wolfe, but
> rather as a clever trick to get big history and alien-ness in one
> coherent,
> convenient package), so I used non-saint eponyms.

You mean there's a Saint Baldanders and a Saint Foila?

But for Pete's sake and heavens to Betsy, if all the people of the
Commonwealth are named after Catholic saints, isn't it obvious who
the eponyms are?

> But of course you are right, they =do= have saints (well one: "St.
> Amand"),
> so the busts become perhaps a sequence of saints and commoners.  From
> high
> to low, altitude-wise at least.

I don't remember St. Amand.  From UotNS?

There's Holy Katharine (sp?), though, and it seems to me that at one
point Severian mentions Barbara as the patron of soldiers.

> Still, another point I wanted to transmit was that while Nessus is
> "eternal," the quarters of the city are definitely not: they have a
> rather
> brief lifespan, in fact, and then they are abandoned to ruin as the city
> moves North. So the busts, despite their seeming antiquity, are not all
> that old, really, and were placed there by recent architects for recent
> tastes.  (I mean, it isn't like they are as alien in culture/distant in
> time as Etruscan busts in medieval Italy.)  With this, I would guess
> that
> the eponyms are known rather than unknown; and since Severian's time
> seems
> to be at a low-tide for churches, I suspect the eponyms to be more like
> guillotine, gerrymander, and shyster than St. Agia (although that
> would've
> made a neat moment!).

St. Agia of the Knife?  Sorry, wrong series.

But we don't put up statues of Lynch, Boycott, or E. Clerihew Bentley. 
Though a monument to the unknown eponym of "jerry-built" might be
nice.  (Okay, that's the last time I'll mention that, I promise.)

Jerry Friedman is not named after the first abbot of Mayo.

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