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From: "=?ISO-8859-1?Q?Cristina_L=F3pez?=" <lforum@arrakis.es>
Subject: (urth) Saltimbanque vs. counterfeit
Date: Sat, 1 Nov 1997 17:07:47 +0100

[Posted from URTH, a mailing list about Gene Wolfe's New Sun and other works]

Nutria, Tony

Saltimbanque comes from the Italian Saltimbanqui and it means a kind of
smooth-tongued travelling salesman who climbs (salta) on top of a bench
(banqui) in the street and begins to describe the wonders of his stuff.
Obviously, most often these wonders are counterfeit so, in a sense, yes it
could be, but

a much more popular meaning of saltimbanqui (at least in Spanish, as far as
I can tell) is "itinerant acrobat" and this one has nothing to do with

However, knowing the careful choice of words typical in Wolfe, I'd bet he
was aware of both meanings, so anything is possible. Anyway, my impression
is that Saltimbanque Street is just a colourist name (Street of the
Strolling Performers) for a street in a lively quarter.

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