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Date: Wed, 25 Sep 2002 14:13:10 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: Re: (urth) Jonas <> Pinocchio 

--- Michael Andre-Driussi  wrote:
> Jerry Friedman and Roy Lackey disagree with my casting Jonas as wanting
> to
> become fully bio.  I guess I should have preped my statement with
> qualifiers, since while I believe "Jonas Pinocchio" is a possible
> reading,
> and may be required for some, I myself do not hold it too tightly,
> preferring Tin Man and Tin Soldier.
> Since I was responding to the posts of others, it seems I should have
> written something like "Such a reading would seem to require that Jonas
> =
> Pinocchio, whereas 98% of the time we talk of Jonas = Tin Man and/or
> Jonas
> = Steadfast Tin Soldier.  OTOH, if Jonas = Pinocchio, then Miles
> represents
> his wish come true, in contrast to Jonas = Tin Man, where Miles
> represents
> the opposite of his wish, a cruel torment which is then furthered by the
> knowledge that Jolenta has already died."

I like that version better, although my version wouldn't say that
Jonas equaled any other literary character.  Maybe a matter of taste
in interpretation.

> Jerry wrote:
> >Can we
> >imagine a prosthetic-bearing bio in love with a chem wanting to become
> >fully a chem?
> Putting aside the "doing it for Love" angle . . . Uh, would that be the
> horde of boys who play at being robots?  Represented in animation by
> Fry,
> the 20th century guy in "Futurama," who tells Bender he wanted a robot
> friend (or to be a robot?) since he was five years old; and Fry has
> fantasies about being a robot?   Andy Warhol's phrase "I want to be a
> machine"?

There's a big difference between fantasizing and going to a surgeon.

In one sense, I have to agree with you, since I gather there are
people who have limbs amputated for sexual reasons.  (Cf. another sf
Wolfe.)  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but it's got to
be the very very tail of the bell curve.  As Roy pointed out, Jonas
hasn't always wanted to be biological--far from it--so I really can't
see him wanting something so drastic to get closer to Jolenta.

> All the starry-eyed singularity adventists who long to be
> "uploaded"?

Whole different thing.  As far as I can tell, they imagine it's going
to be like being a bio human, only better, or like being a demigod.

> This is hard to imagine?


> (Jerry asked for the source of Steadfast Tin Soldier: Hans Christian
> Andersen.)

Thanks!  I'll check it out.  Andersen was a very small part of my

> But then Roy goes further, into his "lusty robot" kick:
> >All the more reason to wonder what he wanted with Jolenta.
> Again, Roy, you seem to be saying that Love is impossible without, er,
> compatible sexual interface devices.  I mentioned this before, I don't
> recall that you answered: Is Love impossible for Jonas because he is a
> robot, or is it impossible because his beloved is a bio, or is
> non-sexual
> Love simply impossible?

Here I agree with you even if I have to disagree with Roy.  ObNewSun:
the bit where Severian mentions women who desire (love?) men who are
impotent save with men like themselves, and men who desire women whose
legs are locked with paralysis.  I don't remember whether the context
of this had to do with Jonas and Jolenta.

Jerry Friedman

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