(urth) Jolenta the beautiful via Talos
scott at skatemonk.com
Mon Oct 30 22:03:43 PST 2006
David Di Giacomo notes: Talos's surgical skill made Jolenta
irresistably attractive to everyone, even Severian's dead grandmother.
I do like this idea, whatever the true source of Sev's notion of a
tryst between Dorcas and Jolenta, or whether it happened or not.
Jolenta was a walking aphrodesiac to many, including Jonas and the
cash-holding members of any potential audience. Instant Marilyn Monroe
treatment, anyone? Sure to increase your box office. However, I think
it is wrong to attribute Jolenta's beauty to any surgical skills of Dr.
Talos. That would be a case of explaining his abilities in terms of our
own age, i.e., he is a doctor so it may have been a kind of plastic
surgery as we know today, or something faster and more advanced. But
the foxy doctor does say after meeting the thin waitress with
straggling hair at breakfast, "I will make you beautiful because we
require you as an actress. It is one of my powers," and more
importantly, "...I must cast the glamour and teach you your lines, all
in a day."
Though not in common usage today (raise the Wolfean caution flag),
the term glamour didn't always mean mere beauty or celebrity as it does
to us, but it is a kind of illusory spell that the faeries of old might
use to make a handful of flower petals seem like gold coins to a human,
or as Zeus might use to look like a mortal woman's husband so he could
gain her bed for a night. As we see later, the glamour rapidly fades
from poor Jolenta, at a terrible cost to her mortal span. The hidden
cost in the deal, she was made to burn more brightly, though more
briefly. She did not have the basic muscular strength to carry her
enhanced frame's fuller thighs and breasts etc., and tired much more
easily than someone who'd developed them naturally. I believe the
Doctor may have cast this glamour through some potion or advanced
bio-mutagen related to Baldanders' weird experiments in his castle
laboratory (the captive boy).
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