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Date: Tue, 16 Apr 2002 12:15:11 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerry Friedman 
Subject: RE: (urth) 5HC a good introduction to wolfe? (was Washington  Post article)

--- James Jordan  wrote:
> At 12:15 PM 4/15/2002, you wrote:
> >On Mon, 15 Apr 2002, Dan'l Danehy-Oakes wrote:
> >
> > > More: you are to think that he is an n-th generation clone of our
> own
> > > beloved Gene Wolfe. (I believe it was John Clute who gave a
> canonical
> > > list of arguments for that being Number Five's real name.)
> >
> >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.
> >
> >-Rostrum
>          Methinks Dan'l is right. Gene Wolfe is pointing to the "heart
> of 
> darkness" in everyman/woman, and using himself as an example. Number
> Five 
> and Maitre are what Everyman could be -- and what Gene would be apart
> from 
> saving grace. Remember: Wolfe believes in Original Sin. And there has
> been 
> discussion here of the fact that evidently he has a "depressive 
> personality." It all fits.

     Thanks, fur-bearing one!  This comment and your previous one
were helpful.
     If Wolfe is going to suggest that the main character of "5HC"
is himself, I think it's all right for me to continue the discussion
of his personality.  In his interviews he strikes me as rather
arrogant (of course he has a very big lot to be proud of), and
someone on rasfw called him "nasty", "rude", and "a prick" after
seeing him on a panel; that's consistent with arrogance.  (See
hope this shortene [!] URL works.)  On
the other hand, people have inferred that he has tendencies to
self-doubt and depression, which probably includes self-accusation.
This is exactly the combination that someone would need to see himself
as so arrogant that (if, as you say, he let slip his reception of the
divine grace he believes in) he could embark on a project to find out
why he wasn't as powerful as he should be and make himself into the
anti-Christ in the process.

By the way, am I supposed to think that the Gene Wolfes in 5HC are
*really* becoming the anti-Christ, or are freeing their inner
anti-Christ, just as good Christians believe that God is within
them and try to imitate Christ?

According to the headlines, if Wolfe did want to clone himself, it's
probably possible now.  There could be duplicates available when the
Mr. Million part of the project becomes feasible and if the
starcrossing part does.

Jerry Friedman

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