Jerry Cornelius

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Jerry Cornelius is a fictional secret agent and adventurer created by science fiction / fantasy author Michael Moorcock. Cornelius is a hipster of ambiguous and occasionally polymorphous sexuality. Many of the same characters feature in each of several Cornelius books, though the individual books have little connection with one another, having a more metafictional than causal relationship. The first Jerry Cornelius book, The Final Programme was made into a 1973 film starring Jon Finch and Jenny Runacre. Notting Hill in London features prominently in the stories.

The series draws plot elements from Moorcock's Elric series, as well as the Commedia dell'Arte. Moorcock hints in many places that Cornelius may be an aspect of the Eternal Champion. Characters from the Cornelius novels show up in much of Moorcock's other fiction: "The Dancers at the End of Time" series has a character called Jherek Carnelian who is the son of Lord Jagged of Canaria, and there are several hints in the series that Lord Jagged may be a guise of Jerry Cornelius; the Cornelius-series character Una Persson also appears in the "Dancers" series and the Oswald Bastable books, and may also be the character Oona in the later Elric books; Colonel Pyat has his own non-SF series of books by Moorcock, beginning with Byzantium Endures.

At least five other variants of the name occur in other Moorcock works (Jerry Cornell, Jehamiah Cohnalias, Jhary-a-Conel [Corum, Runestaff], Lord Jagged of Canaria from The Dancers at the End of Time, and the anagrammatic Corum Jhaelen Irsei). A space pirate named Captain Cornelius (who like Jerry is associated with the commedia dell'arte character Pierrot) appears in Moorcock's Doctor Who novel, The Coming of the Terraphiles.


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