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From: Pedro Jorge Romero <bempjr@redkbs.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Digest urth.v009.n002
Date: Sat, 04 Apr 1998 23:10:51 +0100

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

> There seem to have been several posts along these lines,
> including Rostrum's ingenious "Jeannine = Jean 9", but surely
> the narrator is number 5 because he is the 5th head of
> Cerberus, which is to say, of his family. As his father says,
> if he was counting clones the narrator would be Number
> Fifty, not five.
> This is why Aunt Jeannine initially says "That number's
> either far too low or too high." It's too low because there are
> more like 50 clones, and it _seems_ too high to her
> because she doesn't know about David. But if you count
> her, the narrator, his "father", Mr Million and David you get
> five.

Aunt Jeannine is counting members of the family (that's why she says
"Living" after that). She does not seem to be aware of what is going on.
Actually I think that the number refers to the generation of clones. #5
is the fifth and his "father" is #4. Each previous one creating the next

We know the numbers do not apply to members of the family, because when
David goes to the lab, he is plain David. And if the "father" is using
the number because he and #5 share the same name (Gene Wolfe, that is),
#2 would be a far more obvious choice.

David is not a clone, because he has blond hair while #5 is brown

> As for who is Number One, I'm not sure that question applies,
> but I suppose you could say it's the father, as he's the current
> master of the brood.

Well Mr Million is the great-grandfather of #5, so that would make him
#2. The "father" is number #4 and the grandfather is mentioned in the
text and he would be #3. So, who is #1 is an open question.


Pedro Jorge (who too wants to be a lurker again, but Fifth is too good a
book not to discuss about it)

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

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