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From: "Joshua A. Solomon" <j.solomon@ucl.ac.uk>
Subject: (urth) divine digits revisited
Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 13:31:48 +0000

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

A while back I noticed that "God's fingers" are mentioned in two
of Gene's latest stories. Re-reading "The Eyeflash Miracles" last week,
I noticed that they crop up there too. Originally, I guessed that "God's
fingers" were responsible for the circumstances around which the plot
revolves. I still think that I'm right, but only indirectly. 


The eponymous miracles are perfromed by our genetically enhanced
hero, Little Tib. One of the supporting characters is, among
other things, a theologist. He sees "the hand of God" in these
miracles and he wants to know what Little Tib sees when he is
performing them. Another character derisively suggests that
the theologist is trying to take "God's fingerprints." Little
Tib says that he sees angels.

In this story anyway, the hand of God is responsible for what
Little Tib sees. I.e. his revelations. (He can't *really* see
anything; he is blind.) As revelations are the circumstances
around wich the plot revolves in other Wolfe works (particularly
the Soldier stories and the Long Sun series), my initial guess
was somewhat correct. I am not sure if this interpretation is
consistent with "God's fingers" as rendered in the recent stories.
(Sorry, I've forgotten their titles. Wolfe published 3 in
Asimov's and F&SF in the last year or so. The two that I've been
able to track down both mentioned "God's fingers.")
Anybody else know of any other references to God's fingers?

Joshua A. Solomon
Institute of Ophthalmology
Bath Street
London EC1V 9EL
Voice: (44) 171 608 6924
Fax: (44) 171 608 6846

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