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From: tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk (Tony Ellis)
Subject: (urth) Re: name of a name
Date: 1 Apr 1998 14:13:12 +0100

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

 RE>name of a name

Damien wrote:
>Hey, I'm dancing as fast as I can!  (Four books out last year; one of them,
>THE WHITE ABACUS, just won the Aurealis Award for best sf novel of the 

The heartiest of hearty congratulations, Damien! I'll start looking out for
your name in this hemisphere.

Gene Wolfe" as the narrator of Cerberus:
>On p. 6 of my pb edition, he finds in the library books that are plainly by
>Kate Wilhelm, Virginia Woolf, Bernard Wolfe and Vernor Vinge (by mistake as
>VVinge).  `I never found any books of my father's'.  U.s.w..

Very astute of you  to have spotted this. (Either that, or very 
stupid of me to have missed it.) I suppose if Wolfe is a typical
American-Irish name then it's reinforced slightly by the photograph
of his mother Number Five sees, where he declares her to be of Celtic

All the same, I think I would say "can be theorised to be" rather
than "can be determined to be"... We can't be sure his name isn't
Witherspoon. :-) And where are you getting Gene from? The
Gene-geneticist pun is the sort of thing Wolfe loves, of course...

While I'm writing... what are we supposed to make of the 
strange building Number Five (or Gene) sees in the 
photograph? "...a very long wooden house only a story in height,
with a porch or veranda that changed its architectural style
every twenty or thirty feet so as to give almost the impression
of a number of exceedingly narrow houses constructed with
their side walls in contact."

I did think of a motel, but the fact that this is a sepia photo
suggests something a little older. Is wooden, one-storey
terraced housing characteristic of a particular time or place?

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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