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From: m.driussi@genie.geis.com
Subject: (urth) Korean CATCH-22
Date: Sat,  2 May 98 17:28:00 GMT

It really doesn't take excessive imagination to read TBOTNS as
a historical/psychological realistic novel about "the psychological
breakdown and flight into fantasy by a young infantryman named Gene
Wolfe at the frontlines in the Korean War."

After all, Wolfe has said in interviews that Severian's path to the
war is pretty much like his own.  Plus there are tons of details on
Wolfe's Korean War experience in LETTERS HOME.

So, there you have it.

The Citadel of the Autarch = Texas A & M.
Valeria = Rosemary Dietsch.
Atrium of Time = the Dietsches' (front/back)yard in Peoria, Illinois
A.D. 1935.
Jolenta = Marilyn Monroe (Wolfe saw her when she visited the troops).
Triskele = Snooper the dog (one paw crushed by tread).
Pelerines = Red Cross girls.
Pyrotechnic polearms = B.A.R. and the Chinese Forward Observers that
Wolfe saw burned to death by flamethrowers on Hill Chinese 200.
Agia's ploy at Mine = prostitutes working out of caves.
Erebus = USSR (aiding/directing North Korea).
Abaia = Communist China (aiding/directing North Korea).
Ascia = North Korea.
Nessus = Seoul ("there was a time when they [Ascians] laid waste to
Nessus" [IV, ch. 24]; i.e., at beginning of Korean War, Seoul was overrun
Vodalus = Howard Hughes-like anarcho-aristocrat.
Baldanders = the Atomic Bomb (Little Boy/Fat Man) [especially check out
that mushroom cloud formation when flying saucer is parked over his
Typhon = Gen. MacArthur, "American Caesar" as well as "Arthur awakened
from the mountain where he sleeps."
Kim Lee Soong = K-92, one of Wolfe's Korean "katusa" pals.
Jonas = Algis Budrys and/or Hawkeye of M.A.S.H. fame.
I, CLAUDIUS = one of the books Wolfe re-read at the front.
The 18th Bacele of Irregular Contarii = the 1st Battallion of the 17th
[attention 17 watchers!] Infantry (Wolfe's unit).
Orinthyia = Porkchop Hill.
The Samru = troopship Marine Phoenix, which brought Wolfe back to the
US (May 18, 1954).
Marriage to Valeria/ascent to the throne = Marriage to Rosemary (A.D.
1956) and conversion to Roman Catholocism.

Thus and so, Yossarian Severian Gosseyne, drawn into a war he didn't
believe in, finally escaped by losing his grip on consensual reality
and going Sane.


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

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