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Date: Thu, 26 Sep 2002 09:32:20 -0700
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth) Jonas the Proud

Okay, so Roy continues to ask what Jonas would do with Jolenta once he got
ahold of her, and he insists that whatever Jonas feels, it ain't "Love."
(Or wait: Roy kinda sorta argues that the robots cannot =feel= anything!
So this focus on "Love" might be a bridge of red herrings too far.)

Since I agree that Jonas is more Tin Man, our argument is not there.  I
believe in love at first sight, at least as a literary convention.  I agree
with Roy's assessment of Jonas's obsession (a passion of one kind or
another) and Jonas's sense of his own self worth.

Putting it all together:

Jonas is struck-at-first-sight by Jolenta.

She spurns him, due to his worn prosthetics (as it turns out) and his lack
of wealth.

Jonas says he is going to return when he is repaired, and steps into the

Now then, back to Roy's question: what does Jonas have in mind?  What will
he do to Jolenta?

Obviously he will crush her.  Spiritually.

He will appear in his radiant silver self.  She will see the beauty of him,
she will recognize that he is her equal or superior, and she will abase
herself before him.  Then he will walk away from her (total victory for
pride) or they will become a couple.

If she fails to abase herself, he might be forced to crush her physically
(which, in turn, makes me think of Bester's classic story "Fondly

This may seem odd, at first.  But it appears that Jonas has been wandering
Urth in a daze for decades or centuries, and the sight of Jolenta has given
him a wake-up shock.  Her rebuff to him attacks his pride, and this would
seem to be the locus of his response: revenge.

If it still seems odd, consider how the same thing happens with the same
woman and a different person.  Severian sees the physical perfection and
haughty behavior of Jolenta and he wants to crush it: he goes out on the
boat with her and has sex with her -- some readers have called this an
incident of rape, and judging by Severian's dark thoughts of crushing her,
humbling her, perhaps in this current anaylsis we should consider it a
=failed= rape, since Severian wants to hurt her and she falls asleep.  Thus
we clearly see that the big tent word "Love" which also includes Lust can
also lead to darker spirits.  (As well as an unexpected brotherhood between
Severian and Jonas.)

Still seem strange?  Then note how the same thing happens with Thecla and
Severian.  There he is, happy in love and lust with Thecla, but then she
refers to him as a nice boy or something like that, and he decides to
humble her or destroy her.  Gives her the knife and she opens some veins --
and say, isn't that what happened to Jolenta, too?  Not the giving of the
knife, that is: the opening of veins by a knife.

(There is that weird detail about Miles perking up at the word razor, which
in the past made me wonder if it was somehow related to an original name of
Miles or Jonas, but now it strikes me as having a spooky echo to the fate
of Jolenta -- a fate Miles does not yet know about.)

Again, my appologies to Roy: if robots cannot feel anything at all, this
has been a waste of time and effort.



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