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From: "Robert Borski" 
Subject: Re: (urth) Thoughts on Undines, and other ramblings
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 12:18:06 -0500

Jay Fred appending the following long list of nested names:

> You missed one that may have simply been too obvious, and was
> mentioned in this thread: Diuturna/Juturna.  Also Cyriaca/Ymar,
> Merryn/Ymar, Meschiane/Thea, Hethor/Thea, Hethor/Roche,
> Vodalus/Talos, Jolenta/Talos, Jolenta/Ultan, Jolenta/Jonas,
> Squanto/Jonas, Squanto/Ultan, Kimleesoong/Miles, Kimleesoong/Melito,
> Kimleesoong/Lomer, and Loyal to the Group of Seventeen/Mannea.  If
> you're allowed to use a letter more than once that was in the first
> name once, as in Cyriaca/Cyby and peryton/pteriope, then you have
> Abdiesus/Erebus, Abdiesus/Abaia, Barbatus/Abaia, Malrubius/Abaia,
> Hethor/Drotte, and many more.  Ash can be extracted from many names
> (because he's the descendant of many of the characters?), as can
> Eata.
> Jay Fred forgot Morwenna/Lomer and Melito/Lomer.

Hokey smokes! That's a long list--for which I commend and thank thee.

Some preliminary thoughts.

I deliberately did not include place names in the list because I was working
exclusively with character names; besides Diuturna/Juturna, there's also
Famulorum/famula and Ossipago/Os. Whether you see a connection between place
name and character--in other words, are these nested clues?--remains for
each individual reader to decide. (I've already commented on the Famulorum
and Os connections in one of my NYRSF essays.)

Given that tBotNS contains over 400 named characters, it's also inevitable
that there should be a number of paired names that fall into the category of
nested names (perhaps cryptonyms is a more descriptive word). Obviously, not
all of them can be valid--so the problem becomes one of postulating
relationships between each set of names. I can do this for all the names in
my original list, and for a number of the pairs in yours. (E.g.,
Jolenta/Talos; Jolenta/Jonas; Kimleesoong/Lomer.) The rest I'm still
thinking about--especially the Abdiesus pairs, given he seems a rather
mysterious personage, with cyptonymic links to Abaia and Erebus (it's also
possible that Thrax is Typhon's first capital, before he moves to Nessus).

In light of which, I'd like to rephrase my original postulate, making the
Second Rule of Names to read something like the following: when a second
name in the Book of the New Sun is, if not entirely derivable from the
first, requiring only the addition of a single letter, Wolfe may be implying
kinship of some sort, whether literal or figurative.

As for the First Rule of Names, see "Onomastics" in mantis's Lexicon Urthus,
where the scheme is presented much more clearly than my own rather dim
recall of it: i.e., "People of the Commonwealth are named after saints, or
after mythological figures if they are allied with the Other People. The
Other People and the Hierodules are named after mythological figures,
non-Olympians and Olympians respectively." This definition will probably
satisfy most who want to make Typhon and Talos human beings; petulantly, I
don't. But again, even if we accept mantis's scheme as legit, it's
interesting to contemplate the names that fall outside the box:
Saintly/mythic figures Palaemon and Paeon; robotic alien Ossipago (whose
name should be some variant of iron); necromancer Ceryx (unless Wolfe is
implying he's allied with the Other People), and Father Inire, who name is
neither saintly nor mythic.

And as much fun as all these named characters are, consider the plethora of
characters whose names are never given, but should be identifiable:
Severian's paternal grandfather (the boatman); "Jolenta"; the castellan
Severian is taken to when he returns to Nessus as autarch (his limp
identifies him with Severians' bloodline); and the two nameless wretches
Severian visits in prison, especially the woman who nails children to
furniture, and whom the Claw will not heal (she's compared to Baldanders and
Jolenta--is she too unnaturally transformed?). To say nothing of many, many

Robert Borski


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