[LMB] A Civil Campaign and Ivan

Elizabeth Holden azurite at rogers.com
Wed Jan 19 22:02:31 GMT 2011

--- On Tue, 1/18/11, Gwynne Powell <gwynnepowell at hotmail.com> wrote:

> > From: David McMillan skyefire at skyefire.org
> > There's that. There's also the fact that, IMO, Ivan
> > has to a large degree *defined* himself relative to Miles for 
> > a long time.

Well, always. He couldn't remember a time when Miles wasn't there.

>  He's Miles' foil, his drag anchor, the one person who can walk up
> and thwack Lord Auditor Coz upside the head with impunity... 

Can and does.  Figuratively speaking.

> and the person whose inferiority complex relative to Miles is nearly 
> as big as Miles' (used to be) relative to Ivan

Sure: one is the epitome of brains and ingenuity, the other of looks and brawn. Each sees himself as lacking what the other has, and there's an interesting interplay there of admiration and jealousy.

> Ivan is perhaps the *only* immediate peer in Miles' life 
> > who has *always* treated him just like any other 
> > brother/cousin/pal/hyperactive idiot who needs
> > tranquilizers, without *any* of the "handle with care" that 
> > even Aral and Cordelia used 

Elena is hampered by her sex, Gregor by his station and his relative age.

> perhaps part of Ivan's prolonged... not 
> "childhood," maybe "less-than-totally-mature period"... was because Ivan 
> couldn't finish growing up until *after* Miles didn't
> need him in that role anymore

Both of them retained the roles they took on in their late teens - Miles to be wildly adventurous and accomplish great things, Ivan to keep an eye on him and be general dogsbody as needed.

> Really, Ivan almost comes off as a wife being traded in for a
> younger, prettier model.

The job of being Miles' caretaker and confidante shifts to Ekaterin.


> He and Miles have a very teenage-boy relationship, with
> name-calling and one-upmanship and stupid practical jokes.

Miles couldn't have got it elsewhere.

> Of course, Ivan had benefits too - for one thing, he
> learned to cope with just about anything. 

The benefit of being scared silly, yeah.

> (In WA he's barely 17, never
> been off-planet before, he's on the other side of the
> galaxy and he's missed his ship to go and collect Miles, 
> so he just finds himself a free ride - or 
> earns his passage, ahem - and gets through a blockade and
> into a war zone without turning a hair. And he doesn't even 
> realise that it was a challenge.)

Yeah. This is one of many reasons I love Ivan, flaws and all.  Though he'd never make a thing of his own honour and courage (keeping up the reputation of the family failure), he's True Vor all the way.

> I love that scene in ACC where Miles changes the rules of
> their relationship. As you point out, that's the end of their 
> long childhood together. 

Miles it taking a step - several steps - Ivan has not.  True love and marriage, and fatherhood - Nicky's there, and they're expecting to have more children.  Going from adventuring to a responsible and important job. 

And now he has Ekaterin to scold him and help him.

If Miles doesn't need Ivan any more, his life has changed a lot - though he's still a lieutenant, still the one disappearing into the woodwork, still the one being given chores by his mother instead of taking political responsibility or an independent career.  Without Miles, what does Ivan have left?

> Poor Ivan, I hope THE IVAN BOOK shows his true colours at
> last. Though, knowing him, he'll try hard to fade into the background.

He can try.


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