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Date: Mon, 24 Jun 2002 10:03:23 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: Re: (urth) Thoughts on Undines, and other ramblings

--- Robert Borski  wrote:
> 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,

> > Jay Fred forgot Morwenna/Lomer and Melito/Lomer.
> Hokey smokes! That's a long list--for which I commend and thank thee.

A pleasure.

> 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.

Got it.

> Given that tBotNS contains over 400 named characters,

I was wondering what the number was.

> 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 that case, don't overlook Abdiesus/Eusebia.
> 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.

I think that's a distinct improvement.

> 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.

Good heavens, who are the Other People?  And what are the mythological
references for Barbatus ("bearded", right?  My Penstemon barbatus
is blooming spectacularly right now), Famulimus, and Inire?

Talos is certainly not a human being in the sense of "born of man
and woman", right?  But I don't see why Typhon shouldn't be.

> 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";

Why don't you think Jolenta is her real name?

> 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?).

Or just not fully human?

> To say nothing of many, many others.

Many, many.

Jerry Friedman

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