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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: (urth) 5HC: VRT/Number 5 link
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 2000 07:54:31 

Spectacled Bear wrote
>Compare M. Million's lesson in which he asks No. 5 and David about
>the supposed abo artifacts. David argues that the artifacts were not
>important in the lives of the abos compared to their religion and
>culture, and appears to make up some examples - but those examples
>agree in every detail with the descriptions in "A Story"! The trees
>are there, and the flails made of sea-shells, and everything. This
>is astonishing whether "A Story" is true or not - if not, how did
>Marsch pick up those ex tempore bits of colour from David's lesson,
>and if so, how could David possibly have known them?

This has to do, I think, with the weird chthonic/cryptic linkage between
the narrator of "V.R.T." and Number 5, the narrator of "The Fifth Head of
Cerberus."  Both heads seem to share that information: which means it is
"true" (and many others know it as true) or there is a private bond between
those two heads. This link might be only my imagination (as usual!), but I
used it to trace the details you have mentioned, and I think that the
strongest textual evidence for a private psychic link is the fact that in
story #1, Number 5 sees robots gone berserk, killing prisoners in the third
year of his sentence at the frontier prison (70); in story #3, the narrator
VRT/JVM has a dream of robots going berserk and killing him (210), yet
there are no robots in evidence at the urban prison where he is located.

These two guys have only met a few times, and yet they have the same sort
of eerie twin telepathy on display in story #2.  (And they are both young
men guilty of murdering older men, etc.)

In addition to all the other loops, I think that the internal order of the
stories is reversed: #3 (all or at least most) was written by its author
first, then #2, and after he was released from prison, Number 5 wrote #1.
So reading them through in order presented amounts to moving backward in

As we read it the first time, we take story #2 to be an anthropological
reconstruction/daydream, that is, we understand it to be a fiction written
by an Earthman Ph.D.  Revelations in story #3 change this impression.


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

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