From: "Tony Ellis" <email@example.com> Subject: (urth) Re: The Quiet Urth Date: 23 Oct 1997 18:13:48 +0100 [Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works] Jason Voegele wrote: > Anyone up for a >dissection of The Fifth Head of Cerberus? Me me me! > It seems, for some reason, >that Christian symbolism is a good place to start off. Why? No offence intended to anyone, but I think that there is sometimes far too much Christian symbol-spotting in discussions of Wolfe's work. Sometimes a character is just character, and not a Christ figure, or Mother Church, or St Paul the Apostle's Personal Shopper or whatever. Yes, Wolfe is a Catholic, but he is also a polymath, and a terrible punster, and I find plenty of double meanings and conceits in his stories that have nothing to do with Christian themes. >Of course, there's the obvious Satan imagery--666 Maltimbaque (?) St. Ok, let's use this as an example of what I mean. You say Satan imagery, I say pun. 666 is "the number of the Beast", rather than specifically the number of Satan, and 666 Saltimbanque St is the House of the Beast: the "Maison du Chien", or House of the Dog. The protagonist's extended family is also a kind of Beast, the five-headed Cerberus of the title. That's my theory, anyway. What does everybody else say?