As to the nature of Jonas, Hethor, and KLS. I agree whole heartedly that Jonas, Hethor, and KLS are all the same type of sailors lost in the sea of time, trapped in a future they didn't expect.

As for the Miles/Jonas enigma, .... I'm stumped. When I first read it,I always thought it was vague. Then in TUotNS, Gunny (I believe hername is) uses the same kind of Jonas-speak analogies and Sev. questionsher on it. She says its just the way sailors talk. From this Igathered that maybe Miles was never really Jonas and maybe just a sailoras well. HOWEVER, I recently reread the section and its really fishy.Severian thinks he sees Jonas walking next to him when he and Miles arewalking together. When Sev. asks Miles his real name, Miles respondsthat he doesn't know in a very Jonas sort of way.

Theory: Whoever the soldier was, he is long dead. His soul has movedon and can not be returned. Severian, when he pokes the claw into thesolidiers forehead forces the body to come back to life. Since youcan't have a living body without a soul, a doorway is opened for Jonasback into the world of Urth.

The reason that Jonas falls for Jolenta is that she is largely Dr. Talos's artificial creation. That is what he considers right and beautiful; he despises the flesh parts of himself.

Jonas and Hethor talking some kinda foreign language(s). Jonas talking about an Asian-sounding name being common in a place now sunk under the sea back when he was young. Seems like some Asian spacefaring group was topdog on Urth back when Jonas and Hethor first went up and away.

Cyriaca's tale of the Library (III, ch. 6). Rise and long decline of the First Empire.

Speculation puts these three together: Jonas and Hethor come from the time of the First Empire (Cyriaca's tale), which then suggests that the First Empire was created by Asians (since Jonas and Hethor have Asian tongues, as it were), and the Xanthic Lands (populated by what to our eyes appear to be Asians) are the fallen remnants of that particular civilization. That someplace important sank while they were gone could also go towards explaining how they couldn't find a port to land (as Jonas says about the crashlanding).

Or: During the First Empire, if truly an empire it was, one could find a spaceport in any continent on Earth/Urth. I think that Jonas' crashlanding was caused, not by the loss of a single area and its spaceport, but rather the general loss of technology after the end of this Empire.

-Jonas & Miles: what's the connection? Is Miles the personality from whose biological spare parts Jonas was reconstructed after his ship crashed?

 the option you mention is the most comforting one (well, it was for me at least), but I'm afraid the evidence points to something a bit more disturbing . . .

Like Jonas/Miles. Happy version: Miles as the name of his peg-leg; in Yesod Jonas was repaired into a fully biological creature, came back to Urth in the past (Yesod time flow being the way it is), joined the army still hunting for Jolenta, was killed near Orithyia; coincidentally found and resurrected by Severian. Aside from the incredible coincidence, all points function within known bounds: Claw, Yesod, lost souls searching for their loved ones (Dorcas and her husband; alzabo and Casdoe's family), etc.

Disturbing version: Miles a victim; the Claw aids and abets astral body Jonas to hijack the newly resurrected body of an anonymous dead soldier--why? Because Severian needs a friend at that moment (!). This would be an unusual trick for the Claw, but then, that's part of its nature, too--doing the unexpected. Miracles.

Severian seems to believe the disturbing version and (I think) doesn't even consider the happy version. FWIW.

>One interesting thing I did notice is Severian's reviving of Miles. The word >Miles is Latin for soldier (actually, it is nominative or accusative plural), >but it also can mean "thousand." How many people are in a Roman legion? A >thousand, or some variation of it?

Of course, it's also a measure of distance; see Severian's own explanation for the name. And note that even Christ wasn't above the occasional name pun!

I've been thinking about Jonas and Miles lately. I came up with two ideas I think are possible:

1) Severian, after the adventure at the Castle of Baldanders, is basically friendless (his imagined Thecla doesn't count). He wonders north lonely. He comes up a soldier who has died. The soldier, let's call him pre-Miles, has died after some unfortunate mishap. So, Severian puts the Claw in his mouth, and his subconscious despair and loneliness manifest themselves, the Claw recreates the personality of Jonas in the soldier, who wakes up as Miles. It wasn't entirely successful, as Miles isn't much of a friend (barely talks, is aloof), although Severian tries to make one of him. Could this idea work?

2) Didn't someone say in _Citadel_ during the Ascia campaign that the Hierodules were landing in the north? Perhaps the recently repaired Jonas came back with them, but got killed, and when Sev revived him, the personality of he from whom Jonas got his biological parts was the one revived. Did not we see from the flesh-eaters' talk that any cell in the body can contain the soul of the person (see also Master Ultan's speech in _Shadow_). This possibility is only valid if the person killed by the landing of Jonas' craft was a soldier, or maybe not. I dunno.

What do you think?

>Jonas, who certainly comes from the past, but not that far into the past.<

Careful there. Jonas knew of Korea and the Korean language (he could tell KLS's nationality from his name), so he comes from a time not too remote from modern Korea because a significant amount of linguistic drift has not occurred.

First I will touch on my ideas of how far in the future Urth is. It has = always been my contention that as Ushas had replaced Urth after the = cataclysm, Urth had replaced Earth after some terreble cataclysm befell = it. As in a nuclear war, a few survivors would exist in a sort of dark = age untill a time where civilization could be rebuilt. While their = traditions would have echoes of something familliar the traditions would = be shaped by their new surroundings. Before the cataclysm Earth had = definitly achieved starship travle and probably became a stellar empire. =

 After the cataclysm this empire became fragmented.  The exultants, =

(again, more of a feeling than any hard fact in the book) headed by = Typhon, returned to Earth (now Urth) in an attempt to return the empire = to its final glory bringing with them all manner of machines and relics = from the early days of super technology. The exultants are way too = similar to humans to be any sort of alien race. I see them as being the = genetic outcome of inbreeding within the aristocracy over hundreds = (thousands?) of years to create an offshoot of humanity with desirable = traits. (picture them as the Great Danes or Labradors of the human = world) Being cut off from Urth would only heighten their unique = genetics.=20

We find many things familar that Jonas also finds familar. Example: The = name kimleesoong, the city of Athens and the story of Theseus, the = practice of kingship in the middle ages, among others. Obviously being = a sailor and a robot he is not from our time, yet he is also not so far = in the future to live at a time when Korea has been forgotton. It is my = contention that he is from a time before the cataclysm, before Typhon = and Ymar and every other character mentioned. Kim Lee Soong is also = from this time and is in the same prediciment as Jonas, having returned = to find no starports, and is forced to crash land. Kim is NOT Hethor. = We are told all in the antechamber are decendents from ONE mythic = figure, kimleesoong. Whether they all actually true descendents is a = moot point -- they all have come to beleive they are seventh generation = descendents just as their parents have. Any family spending more than a = few generations in the antechamber would come to believe they are = seventh generation descendents of kimleesoong. This kimleesoong = obviously has a myth surrounding him, being the Adam figure of the = Antechamber and we hear about this myth from the little girl. She says = "When the navigator was buried there were black wagons and people in = black clothes walking." chap XVI. That's right, kimleesoong IS the = navigator, and the navigator is dead. We are not told they are = descended from 'a crew', we are told they are descended from a single = individual the only other mythic figure we hear about is 'the navigator' = and I believe they are the same person.

Is Jonas Korean? I don't think so. He states that Kim Lee Soong is a = name that was common when we was 'a boy' (new robot) in places 'now = under the water' (Korea). He also says that Jonas was also a common = name of this time. Jonas is NOT a Korean name! I really believe that = if Jonas was Korean, Wolfe would have given him a Korean name. Jonas = tells us he was born to the south on the coast and we have no reason to = believe otherwise. If the Commonwealth is in South America, then Jonas = is from S. Am at a time far in the past. Hell, English can be nasally = and monosylabic at times, we don't know what they speak in the = Commonwealth.

Finally, the reasons for Jonas' dementia have been guessed at. Someone = mentioned that maybe he had found the survivors of his ship and realizes = that they are far removed from those he once knew. I don't agree and = have a different theory. Jonas states his mission in chap XVIII: "...I = am leaving you. Now I have the chance, and it is the chance I sought = for years as I went up and down the seven continents of this world = seeking the Hierodules and tinkering with clumsy mechanisms." Jonas = crashes and his only goal has been to return to the stars. Urth holds = nothing for him any more, it is not the place he once knew. The only = reason he'll come back once he is repaired is to retrieve Jolenta. Then = why does Jonas go crazy in the antechamber? Or as he puts it "I feel as = if I were waking up... I think perhaps I'm going sane, and that is as = bad or worse." Jonas has come to a realization. "Remember, years = before I met you I had become one of you." Jonas has been in a trance = all this time, almost believing the lie he has created, that he is at = home on Urth and one of its people. Jonas finally comes to the = realization that he doesn't belong in the antechamber. For him, all of = Urth is an antechamber and when he talks of escaping he is talking about = the confines of Urth as much as the confines of the antechamber. Jonas = sees (and I presume Wolfe intended us to see as well) that the = antechamber is a small replica of Urth. Jonas, when speaking of the = antechamber, could just as well be describing all of Urth when he says, = "Externally they have been shaped completely by this place where they = have spent all their lives. Yet beneath that are... Family memories... = traditions... that have been handed down to them, generation to = generation, from the original prisoners from whom they are descended. = They don't know what some of the words mean any longer, but they cling = to the traditions, to the stories, because those are all they have; the = stories and their names." Wolfe is not just using the antechamber as a = cute plot device, he is using it to shed further light on the nature of = Urth. All they have are the STORIES and the NAMES, two themes that run = deep in the Urth cycle. When Jonas makes the connection he looses it = and realizes he has to escape, make himself whole, because he has been = broken for a long time.

Welcome. Well, now we know where you stand on the Jonas issue. But how do you interpret and/or resolve the Miles issue?

Is . . .

(1) Miles a random mule ridden by Jonas (i.e., the Claw resurrected the dead soldier and added a second soul/spirit directly from Beyond at the same instant);

(2) Miles the repaired biological prosthetic derived from the Urthman (presumed sleeping?) on the grounds of House Absolute crushed by the crashlanding of the starship who now has a larger role (some different non-sailor personality) in the one-body partnership (i.e., the Claw =only= resurrected the repaired being who had somehow returned from Beyond and was traipsing around with the Army looking for, and writing undeliverable letters to, Jolenta).

(3) Miles something else entirely.

(On the nexus of body/spirit, comings and goings re: Yesod [Jonas, Miles, the Cat], I remind myself and anybody else about the group ceremony with the Cumaean. Severian's astral body left his physical body, looking down on it; and what he saw of the others, their astral bodies [especially the Cumaean's sleek reptilian body with many eyes; and in another place alltogether, the Old Autarch's taurian form . . . ].)

>We are told all in the antechamber are decendents from ONE mythic >figure, kimleesoong.

Well, we're told that KLS is the prisoner from whom the family Jonas questions count their descent. That's not quite the same thing. The very fact that the discrete group of prisoners who question Jonas can be called a "family" tells us that the inhabitants of the antechamber aren't one homogenous body. If they were all descended from KLS, or even thought they were, wouldn't they all be one family? And notice that Jonas talks about "the original prisoners from whom they are descended", rather than "original prisoner".

Jonas is an Old Testament name, suggesting (perhaps tentatively) that this character comes from a pre-Conciliator period (let alone the whole issue of how the biblical "Jonah" story shapes the Urth adventures of Jonas). Jonas and Miles: Severian isn't the only one who sees Jonas in Miles. The Pelerine who sees Thecla in Severian comments that Miles is "like that too". Jonas really is there somehow. How he gets there, and what happens to his previous body, is another question!

  • This topic reminds me of something. At the end of the tale of the student and his son (a re-write of Homer's Odyssey) in the ante-chamber scene from T.C.O.T.C. Jonas mentions certain characters of the story returning to Athens. He actually names that city, implying that he maybe knew the original Homeric version of the story. Maybe he even knew Athens from his time travelling.

Crom 20093012

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