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From: mary whalen <marewhalen@yahoo.com>
Subject: Fwd: (urth) Fifth Head of Cerberus
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 1998 19:13:51 

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Date: Tue, 30 Jun 1998 21:42:13 -0700 (PDT)
From: mary whalen <marewhalen@yahoo.com>
Subject: (urth) Fifth Head of Cerberus
To: ranjit@moonmilk.com
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Hello.  My name is Sean Whalen, even if this e-mail that I'm using
says Mare Whalen or something like that.  This is my first message to
the list, and I have some theories, comments, and questions about The
Fifth Head of Cerberus.  Sorry if it's too long.

First of all, in the talks about the first story it seems as if each
clone of Gene Wolfe has the same genes as all the previous ones, as it
seems to be assumed in the discussions I've seen here.  However, since
Wolfe is a Lamarckian, he believes that during the life of a creature
it's characteristics change.  Does he think that this change is
manifested in the genes?  If he does, this would mean that each Gene
Wolfe in the series would start out with the genes that the Gene Wolfe
being cloned had at the time when the cell sample was taken.  Does it
state in the text if Maitre cloned No. 5 from a sample taken from
himself, or if he uses samples from a bank compiled by the original
Gene Wolfe for all of the clones he makes?  I don't remember if it
ever talks about any of this in the book.

I also believe Borski's theory that Aunt Jeannine is an abo who
replaced the original.  I have some more thoughts that support this
idea.  First, Gene Wolfe (the author) has the first name Eugene
(meaning in Greek, wellborn).  So why isn't the sister of Wolfe in the
story have the name Eugenia?  Many other people associated with the
Wolfes have names ending in -ia (Phaedria, Urania) and these are also
Greek forms (also think about Gene, Nerissa, and (I think) Marydol
which are  Greek).  However, Jeannine is a French form of the name. 
This would show a connection with Ste. Anne.  Even more tellingly, the
name Eugenia would contain the element eu-, which means, in addition
to well, TRUE.  Thus, Jeannine is not the TRUE Eugenia, not the
true-born (genos is born) human, but a "French" fake.

GW in tUotNS also would use this kind of naming, that is one name in
sibling pair has i+vowel in the ending but the other doesn't
(Agia/Agilus, Severian/Severa).  So it's Eugenia/Eugene instead of

So, why is she called Jeannine?  Because she wants to conceal her long
life, and probably changed identities after Maitre killed his
"father."  She may have faked her death so that the people she knew
thought Eugenia died around this time, too.  This might be easier than
it sounds since Maitre (an presumably his predecessors) has dealings
with the government and doesn't have his children or clones entered
into the government records so he can sell them (or else he just hides
this from them and the people in on it, the denizens of the Chateau du
Chien, don't tell anyone, and hence wouldn't say anything if Jeannine
turned up, assuming she was someone never entered into government
records like all the rest.  If Maitre's dad treated him like Maitre
treats No. 5 he might not have known about having another relative.

So why doesn't Mr. Million say anything to the others and reveal this?
 He doesn't have any emotions (he says) and thus wouldn't care if
Maitre was fooled.  Also, think about how Jeannine is like Mr.
Million.  She might have absorbed (telepathically?) the memories of
Eugenia, and would therefore be exactly like MM, another's memories
put in storage.  MM may feel toward Jeannine just like Gene 1 felt for

I also have a few thoughts that the ending -ine might be meant to
suggest -ish, that is, not precisely.  I'm not sure if this is
intended at all, however.  But, who else has a name ending in -ine? 
Celestine Etienne, the Lady in Pink!  What else is pink?  The sun!  I
think this indicates that Celestine (one of which's meanings is
"otherworldly") is a native.  Also, pink sun sounds like pink son,
which may indicate she had both a daughter (pink for girls) Phaedria,
and a son David.  The pink sun is also the sun for the system where
david was born, hence the "Star of David."  But who is Celestine?

In his essay, Borski says that Jeannine is probably Seven Girls
Waiting.  I'm not sure, but if she is, maybe Pink Butterfly is
Celestine, who wears pink.

Aside from naming support, if Jeannine were SGW or a Shadow Child, she
could be the source of the information that VRT uses to write A Story,
making it more true than false (maybe).

And if she faked her death before, why not again?  She may not have
died at the end but actually have found some stash of Maitre's (in
spite of No. 5's theory).  She could then pretend to die and use the
money to return to Ste. Anne.

In spite of my support, I have some questions for Borski.  You state
in your essays on the Cave Canem page that Aunt Jeannine is Seven
Girls Waiting, and that she is a Shadow Child.  Which is it?  Part of
what you say to make her a shadow child is that she called up shadow
selves to listen to her conversations with Marsch/VRT.  As evidence,
you say that a copy editor would not let VRT write - her "girls," as
she called them_ because it is redundant.  But VRT didn't have a copy
editor in prison.  Also, Aunt Jeannine is seen in FHC to call the
prostitutes "my girls" several times.  If Aunt J is not a Shadow
Child, then what do you think the girls are?  If she is a Shadow
Child, why can she singularly create multiple aquastors when the Old
Wise One was formed only from the confluence of two or more minds?

Also, in the essays there is some confusing information.  You say the
original human Aunt Jeannine (who I'll call Eugenia from now on) was
the daughter of the original uncloned Gene Wolfe.  If that is so, she
couldn't be the baby in white being held by a young GW's mother in the
picture.  It's easy to simply change your theory that Eugenia was the
original GW's sister, as it changes no other part.

You also say that in the picture No. 5 saw his parents.  All Aunt
Jeannine said was that she'd show him a picture of his mother, so the
man in the picture may not be him.  However, Aunt J didn't want to
tell him at the time that he was a clone of Maitre who had a different
father, so maybe the pictured man is his dad.  Was that your
reasoning?  If so, it sounds good.

I'd also like to add that as No. 5 was looking at "his" mother in the
picture he wondered about her ethnicity (because she didn't have the
planetary face of Ste. Croix, because she's not descended from the
original GW)   and as he pondered, he thought she might have Celtic
ancestry from Wales, and says "Wales" aloud.  Aunt J doesn't know what
he was thinking, and so she only hears him name a country while
looking at it.  She says he's right.  I think she mean that the photo
was taken in Wales.  The photo is also described as being just white
and shades of brown.  This always made me seem that it was a very old
picture.  Just when was the first GW born?  Is there some other
explanation for the coloring?

Not that it matters, but there are 7 stars visible in the Pleiades,
though one is so faint it's difficult to see.  That one is Merope. 
There are also many more stars in that constellation that are too
faint to be seen with anything except a telescope.  This doesn't
change your reasoning about her similarity to Merope, though.

Ste. Croix means Saint Cross, as in cross-breeds!  This might support
the theory that Celestine is an abo and cross-breeds with Maitre, and
other things like this.  Also, maybe, that VRT is a cross-breed, but
I'm not sure about this.  I'm sure it has some meaning, as there is
plenty of talk about cross-breeds in the book.

The two planets are also not tidally-locked.  That is, they don't both
always show the same face to the other.  This is odd in double-planet
systems.  Maybe Wolfe just didn't have that scientific information at
the time.  Pluto with tidally-locked Charon wasn't recorded in 1972.

I'm not sure how much is true in A Story by John V. Marsch, but could
Marsch (because it sounds like marsh) have an association with the
Wetlanders?  I know it seems that he is like Eastwind in the book
because of analogies such that he is circumcised and is killed by
Sandwalker (who's like VRT).  Also, his middle name begins with V and
Volturnus was the Roman god of the east wind.

The father of Sandwalker and Eastwind is Bloodyfinger in the story and
RT, VRT's father, can't use his hands well and has red hair.  Is there
any connection you can think of dealing with the fact that
Bloodyfinger is drowned by the Wetlanders in A Story?

Also, this may have no significance at all, but if VRT's name is
Victor Roy Trenchard (I think it is), each of his names might stand
for one of the people in the St. Anne/St. Croix system.  Victor for
the English because they defeated the French?  French because they
defeated the natives?  Hillmen because they defeated the Wetlanders? 
(I think English because it is an English name, but it comes from
Latin so I'm not sure).  Roy for the Celts who were caught BETWEEN the
English and French in the Napoleonic Wars (which are mentioned when
Marsch sees RT in the book)?  Trenchard for the French?  As I said,
this may mean nothing.

As a comment, a lone Shadow Child is named Wolf, a lone wolf (a pun). 
Are there any puns/meanings for the members of larger groups?

I don't remember if this was said when the correspondents of the
constellations was discussed, but Sandwalker says their name for the
Milky Way is the Waterfall.  I don't remember if this was determined
in mantis's list.

More important than any of that, however, are my theories of the
origins of the different races on Ste. Anne, assuming A Story is at
least partly true.

Long ago, one of two things happened.  The first is that ancient
humans (or probably some other hominid race related to them) from
Earth came to Ste. Anne and developed or gave themselves shapechanging
abilities (or else no humans came there and the shapechangers are
entirely natural native inhabitants).  They spent time changing into
different things and forgot about Earth.

Then, much later, other humans came to Ste. Anne.  Some of the
shapechangers decided to take on the forms of the humans.  Some stayed
shapeshifters.  Those who took on human form either forgot about
(unlikely, if so Wolfe would probably say something like it's because
humans have souls, and those souls are linked to their material form)
or else just wanted to live as humans and did so without telling the
children they later had.  These became the Hillmen, and probably the
Wetlanders, too.

Meanwhile, this second wave found out about the drug on the planet,
started using it, and were warped (perhaps Lamarckismally) into the
small forms they had.  This also (probably) gave them telepathic
powers.  They use their mental powers to keep any other people from
coming to the planet.

Meanwhile, Lamarckism works on the Hillmen.  They didn't need tools as
shapeshifters and don't develop it now.  They thus lose the human
power of tool-use they got from imitating the second wave.  They are
also happy as humans (and some don't know they were anything else) and
so don't use shapeshifting, so it atrophies, though they can't tell
because they never use it.

Then something like what happens in A Story occurs and modern humans
arrive.  The Hillmen may now realize that they can shapechange but
that during the time they didn't know or use it it has atrophied to
merely feature (and maybe limb) changes.

Support for this?  Get ready, this may take a while.  The sun is pink.
 Pink is the color of the dawn.  The only people associated with pink
are the Hillpeople (and probably Wetlanders) who have pink skin and
give the name name Mary Pink Butterfly and others  to one's child. The
light (pink) must come before a shadow forms.  The shadows also cannot
exist unless a true form exists beforehand.  They shadow (repeat) the
actions the Hillpeople's ancestors performed.  The Shadow Children are
really like chilren (small, younger).  The Hillmen are older because
they're as old as the HILLS.

This is also approximately what the Old Wise One first told
Sandwalker.  However, at the end, he becomes confused about who came
first and says maybe the Shadow Children  were there first.  So why do
I think it's what he said first?  When he tells it originally there
are many SC and only one Hillman, so he can distinguish which is which
and knows what   happened .  He can tell because six are different
than one, and that's how the SC think.  All the SC think the same
thing and so that's what forms the group norm.  When there's only one
Hillman and one SC he can't tell which is which, one and one are the
same, right?  He can't figure out what parts of the story go with
which half.  As alga has said, the SC have a real problem with
determining identity normally. Also, in a normal (non-Wolfe) story the
information that a character knows at the end should be more true than
what it was at the beginning because they've learned more.  Wolfe uses
turnabout (again) and has the information at the end be worse than
near the beginning.  Remember how Wolfe once complained about how
readers ask why a character describes something differently than how
it was seen to happen?  He said that they're wrong or lying, it's just
not stated.

However, as I said way at the beginning of this topic, there are two
theories I have.  In this second one the SC come first.  I don't
believe this as much as in the other, but it also has more religious

In the second theory, all humanity and hominids are natives of Ste.
Anne (Anne from Anna from Hannah, meaning grace in Hebrew) which is
like the Garden of Eden.

The some of the humans eat the drug (like the forbidden fruit) or
something like it that evolved into the drug we're familiar with long
after this time.  They gain intelligence that separates them from the
animals and in a "fall from grace" leave Ste. Anne and go to Earth. 
Some still remain.  They can shapechange because all men and animals
are mentally alike, they can become physically alike.  Some who eat it
stay or else some of the one's who didn't eat it eat it much later
after it has evolved and become the Shadow Children.  One group may be
like Cain, the other like Abel.  Later, humans come from Earth and
become Hillmen (return to paradise).

I think that the second theory is probably not true.  There are lots
of holes and require adding too much to what is implied, but I want to
state it anyway for whoever believes it.

If #2 is right, why don't SC use mental powers to prevent Hillmen from
coming?  Why do Hillmen devolve?  Why does Old Wise One first think SC
are more recent?  Why called SHADOW Children?  Why do eaters go if
others who eat it stay, or if later eaters eat what may be the same
thing and don't have to go at that time?

In VRT, when VRT writes that he (he actually writes it as if Marsch
does it, as he does everything else) killed the cat, maybe Marsch
actually killed her and that's why he kills Marsch; the final straw. 
Or else he just writes that Marsch does so, because it would be
consistent with what Marsch would have done if he were alive.

To deal with some symbolism, Ste. Anne and Ste. Croix are a blue
planet and green planet double-system.  In tBotNS, Urth is blue and
Lune is green.  (Earth and Moon have the most similar sizes, thus are
most like a double planet system, between any planet and it's moon in
the solar system, except for Pluto and Charon.  Charon hadn't been
discovered in 1972.  Wonder if this is a coincidence, CERBERUS being
about a double planet and the duality of PLUTO/CHARON being discovered
later in the decade?)  IN tBotLS, there are the planets Blue and
Green.  Why all the blue/green planets?

Finally, isn't there a book called Cerberus:  A Wolf in the Fold? 
I've never read it; does it relate to FHC?

That's all.  Oh, if you want to call me by a Vironese name, call me


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