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From: "William H. Ansley" <wansley@warwick.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Re: Fifth Head
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 1999 23:58:58 

>>Since the narrator is supposed to be older that David, this could explain
>>the order of the roll call. It could also be in order of social rank: the
>>narrator is the clone of Maitre and his heir, while David is a mere natural
>>son, really little more than an experimental control.
>    True, but at the time of the incident the narrator is only seven. It
>isn't until several years later, at about the age of puberty, that he learns
>he is the older brother. Also, he doesn't know he's a clone at that point.
>>From the narrators point of view there would be no rationale for anything
>other than a traditional, alphabetical roll call. Admittedly, it is a small
>point. Perhaps it means nothing. A Wolfe by any other name is still a Wolfe.

I really don't understand your argument here. How is what the narrator of
TFHoC knows about his and David's relative ages or social status
controlling the order of the roll?

Mr. Million is the one taking the roll and surely he would know (even if
the narrator didn't, at that point) that the narrator was older than David
(if he is) and that the narrator was a clone of Maitre and would inherit
_Maison du Chien_.

If you are saying that if the order of the roll wasn't alphabetical the
narrator would have noticed this and commented on it as an oddity, I
disagree. I think it is just as likely (in fact, more likely) that the
narrator would have just accepted the order in which Mr. Million called
their names, especially considering that he must have been quite young when
the lessons started. Also that fact that there were only two names to be
called makes the order of the names much less noticeable; after all there
are only two possibilities.

I think that the narrator, David and Mr. Million, in this scene, should be
considered at least as much a family group (albeit a very nontraditional
one) as a teacher and students who are tied together by no other
relationship. In my experience, family groups sometimes use
non-alphabetical orders for calling roll.

You seem to feel that the only way to interpret the roll call in TFHoC is
alphabetical. I think I have shown quite clearly an alternative roll call
order is at least equally plausible. It seems only reasonable to me that
you should now accept my arguments. But, the contentious history of debate
over TFHoC in this list leads me to expect that you won't.

Well, I suppose that's why they call this a "discussion" group.

William Ansley

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

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