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My Yorrick Kaine Deduction (spoiler)
Posted by: Planet Cool (
Date: January 27, 2008 02:14AM

Even though I really enjoy all of the Thursday Next series, I have to say I was a little disappointed when I read about Yorrick Kaine's true identity. Ever since I read that he was a runaway fictional character in LIAGB, I'd been trying to put the clues together and figure out which famous literary character he was. After all there was to him, it was too bad to see that he was from a book none of us readers could have known about.

Here's what I had put together (follow me on this, you guys): Yorrick was a fictional character even though he didn't appear in any of the books in the Great Library; this made me think that he was referenced to but did not actually, you know, show up in the story. Then he seemed interested in altering the past and even the facts (as in, the Volvo incident) to make Denmark look like a longstanding enemy. He's running for a position of absolute power and, with the Ovinator (of course, we didn't know it at that point) is somehow able to make hundreds of people buy into an obviously evil and oppressive policy.

And, it just so happened that while I was reading SR I was also reading another book, as well, and I couldn't help but notice an absolutely remarkable similarity between a major element in that book and Yorrick in Thursday. I put all those clues I mentioned together and deduced: ...that Yorrick Kaine was Big Brother from Orwell's 1984.

"It's so obvious!" I cried out in glee. "Everything matches up! I'm a freakin' genius!" But alas, it was not to be.

Then I read in the main site that Mr. Fforde had originally intended to make Yorrick Acheron's son. I really wish he'd gone with that plotline, because it would have given the series greater continuity and depth (not that it's in need of any, but it would've been nice) and wouldn't give off the impression that Yorrick is someone who's identity as a famous literary character you're expected to figure out. I suppose there was a reason, though; I read it, but I can't remember what it was. Anyway, did anyone else go through an episode like this? Who'd you guys think Yorrick Kaine was before reading the truth?


Tragedy is when I cut my finger. Comedy is when you walk into an open sewer and die. -Mel Brooks

Re: My Yorrick Kaine Deduction (spoiler)
Posted by: MuseSusan (
Date: January 27, 2008 09:00AM

Hmmm…that would have been a really interesting direction for the story to go! I confess I am not strong enough in my knowledge of classic literature to catch the little details that would give it away (if Jasper had intended Yorrick to be an existing fictional character in the first place). However, I reasoned that a character with a name like Yorrick Kaine couldn't possibly be a minor character in an existing classic, since the name is too full of symbolism to be a minor character in most novels. I also knew that Jasper likes to juxtapose first and last names from different sources, so it sounded like a name he would make up. Yorrick seemed to be a pretty obvious reference to Hamlet, and I was half expecting an "alas, poor Yorrick" to show up somewhere. Kaine, of course, sounds like Cain, an excellent name for a meta-literary villain, not to mention all the other variants on that name that appear throughout literature. So I was pretty confident the character had been made up by Jasper, and if not I knew that my complete lack of knowledge of Danish literature (or literature about Danes, apart from Hamlet) would keep me from guessing it even if he was an existing character.

By the way, we're a lot more active over in the Nextian Chat section--in fact, these novel-specific sections tend to sort of die off a few months after the novel is published. So anyway, come on over to Nextian Chat and introduce yourself, but beware of the pie!

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