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From: Ron Crown <crownrw@slu.edu>
Subject: (urth) Changeling
Date: Thu, 17 Jul 1997 12:27:00 

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

Thanks to Nutria and Mantis for your respective tours de force of
Changeling.  A couple of additional observations to buttress the
Catholic Church scenario:  in addition to the reference to "papa's"
infallibility, there may be a reference to Mariolatry (as it might
appear to some outside the Catholic church) in the statement that "mama"
Palmieri often appeared to dominate "papa."  I don't see papa Palmieri
as Jesus or God; in Rome the pope is "il papa."  No luck on connecting
either Cassonsville or Kanakassee with the St. Louis region (I checked a
gazetteer) but is the Cassonsville Tourist Lodge code for the CaToLic
church?  Peter's impulsive action in stabbing the frog could also be
paralleled by the apostle Peter's action in the garden of Gethsemene
(the apostle is traditionally noted for his changeable nature and
impulsive action; note the three denials of Christ).

Another question:  why are grasshoppers mentioned twice?  The first
time, it's describing the sign on the cafe attached to the motel (the
sign says EAT "like Buddha commanding the grasshopper") and, later, as
Paul and "Pete" are walking out to the river, "Grasshoppers fled in
waves before [them] through the dry grass."

And if character names are so important in this story (as they appear to
be), what does anyone make of "Ernie Cotha?"

Ron Crown

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