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From: "Tony Ellis" <tony.ellis@futurenet.co.uk>
Subject: Re: Re: (urth) Re: Fifth Head
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 10:28:23 +0000

William H. Ansley wrote:

> I mostly agree. That is why I used the word "supposed" above, but it would
> have been more accurate if I had said:
> "Since the narrator supposes himself to be older that David..."
> However, just because the narrator makes an unwarranted assumption doesn't
> mean it's wrong.

Of course, but on the other hand Wolfe does like to have his is characters make the
wrong assumption for the right reason (like Number Five mistaking the sepia tint of
an old photograph for a novelty artistic process, or Vodalus' disbelief that our word
for the present could be the same as our word for gift). This biases me a little
toward the David-is-older camp.

> In any case, I think it is going too far to say that "we don't have *any*
> reason to believe that the narrator -is- older than David." [*Emphasis*
> added.] It is fairly clear that producing Number Five was a difficult
> process for Maitre whereas producing David would have been relatively
> simple. Surely, if any part of David's reason for being was to be a control
> for Number Five, Maitre would want them to be as close to the same age as
> possible. And surely the easiest way to accomplish this would be for Maitre
> to wait until he had a clone he was satisfied with and then cause David to
> be conceived, making Number Five of necessity older than David.

I like your reasoning. But is David a "control"? As  I recall, all Maitre says is "I
hoped to learn something from an outcrossing." It seems to me just as arguable that
whatever Maitre hoped to learn required him to have David on hand first.

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

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