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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: (urth) Jonas and the sardines (herrings?)
Date: Mon, 31 May 1999 17:46:27 

Okay.  So do we sort of agree that Jonas-the-android-bits was created on Urth?

Now then, let me walk through the current antechamber set: Jonas sees the
love of his looong life, then get bonked on the head and thrown into the
antechamber with all the sardines. The central point for Jonas is that
people don't get out of the antechamber, all the seeming clues that do not
match this point are discarded as red herrings: "Kim Lee Soong" as a name
(it is a signpost to big time because Jonas says it was common in places
now sunken); the one, two, or three spaceship crashes/events (the only time
marker here is that of generations of prisoners since their crash); details
of the original structure of the room; the way that Jonas never sees
Hethor, even when they are both prisoners in the antechamber; etc.

(The mystery of what happened at the city gate is a case of too little
information; in contrast, this reading of the antechamber set offers a
plethora of red herrings.)

The crashprisoners talk of their crash on the grounds of the House
Absolute--or on Urth at least (crash number one), which reminds Jonas of
his crash--on Urth? (crash number two).  After the attack of the exultants
(hey, didn't the exultants attack at the play--no, that was Baldanders who
started it), Jonas becomes sort of unhinged, and believes that he is back
in a ship incident (crash number three--may not be an actual "crash").

(If the prisoners didn't crash in the gardens of the House Absolute, then
they must have been arrested for just trespassing as a body--like Severian,
Jonas, Hethor, and Beuzac.  Lessee, they were looking for a port . . . in
Typhon's time, Citadel Hill was called the Old Port, implying a new Port
somewhere else)

Severian finds the way out--Jonas goes with him.  Free! Now all he has to
do is find Jolenta and declare his love!  Yet, look, here's a mirror . . .
I'll just duck in and freshen up.

Who knows what Jonas has in mind?  He seems to think he can do something
himself--he certainly isn't counting on the Claw to bring him back.  And
yet that is what happens, and maybe this, finally, is the reason why Jonas
is brought in to hijack Miles (if that model is the case): Jonas stepped
into the mirror intending to return to Urth, he wasn't suiciding (we agree
on this, I assume); Severian knew it, and the Claw did, too (if you want to
grant it more intelligence than a dumb object); so EVEN THOUGH Severian
needed a friend out there near the battle front and hence regained Jonas
(we all agree this is a good reason for Severian--it is just a unique use
of the Claw), ALSO Jonas had gone and vowed to return, so it was an
important thing on =his= side, too (even if he wasn't expecting it to
happen that way).

And doesn't =that= seem like a very "deal with the fairies" sort of thing?
Like the protag in "A Cabin on the Coast," Jonas went to the fairies and
somehow paid for his dream of re-construction to take place, and then he
was returned to Urth at the easiest opportunity (either as a spirit to
hijack Miles, or already within the Miles body crafted for him in Yesod),
only to learn that his love had already died.  The moral?  Don't deal with
fairies!  Or "better to have loved and wooed while flawed than to have done
the Charles Atlas thing and let the babe wilt unto death."  Or "she needed
you, man, and you weren't there--her death is on your head--you were the
only one who could have saved her, and you were off at the gym."

Lookee here!  The tin soldier didn't desert the paper ballerina in her time
of trouble--hell no!  He hopped in there, right with her to the end.


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

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