From: "Dan'l Danehy-Oakes"
Subject: RE: (urth) 5HC a good introduction to wolfe? (was Washington Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 12:54:12 -0700 I wrote Rostrum wrote I wrote: > > > [Y]ou are to think that he is an n-th generation clone of our own > > > beloved Gene Wolfe. > > Really? I thought the name thing was just a joke. Not that the > > character is supposed to have any real relationship or resemblence > > to the real Wolfe. > Just started rereading 5HC. I'll respond to this (quite possibly by > devouring my share of crow) after I get through the first novella. Okay, I don't think I am up for a corvid sandwich at this point, but only because of my rather cautious wording above: I said you are supposed to think that #5 is a clone of the "real" Wolfe, but I did _not_ say that he is. As Nutria observes, this identification may be symbolic, but is definitely more than _just_ symbolic; Wolfe is pointing to what he himself could, potentially, become. The primary evidence that the "original" may be "our" Wolfe is the photograph of Number Five's mother, first displayed on pp25-6 of the Ace edition: ... a photograph utilizing, as I supposed, some novelty technique which washed away all color save a light brown. It was small, and from its general appearance and crumbling edges very old. It showed a girl of twenty-five or so, thin and as nearly as I could judge rather tall, standing beside a stocky young man on a paved walkway and holding a baby. The walkway ran along the front of a remarkable house, a very long wooden house only a story in height, with a porch or veranda that changed its architectural style every twenty or thirty feet so as to gvie almost the impression of a number of exceedingly narrow houses constructed with their side walls in contact. I mention this detail, which I hardly noticed at the time, because I have so often since my release from prison tried to find some trace of this house. When I was first shown in the picture I was much more interested in the girl's face, and the baby's. The latter was in fact scarcely visible, he being nearly smothered in white wool blankets. The girl had large features and a brilliant smile which held a suggestion of that rarely seen charm which is at once careless, poetic, and sly. Gypsy, was my first thought, but her complexion was surely too fair for that. Since on this world we are all descended from a relatively small group of colonists, we are rather a uniform population, but my studies had given me some familiarity with the original Terrestrial races, and my second guess, almost a certainty, was Celtic. "Wales," I said aloud. "Or Scotland. Or Ireland." "What?" ... My aunt looked at me acutely and said, "You're right. I'll send for you and we'll talk about this when we've more leisure." (That discussion, of course, never comes.) What I would like to know is whether Gene Wolfe actually has this photograph in his possession, and, if so, who it depicts, and where. --Dan'l --