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Titre : THE FIFTH HEAD OF CERBERUS: THREE NOVELLAS .
Éditeur : Charles Scribner's Sons ., New York
Date d'édition : 1972
Reliure : Hardcover
Etat de la jaquette : Dust Jacket Included
Edition : 1st Edition
Octavo, boards. First edition. Collects the title novella, "'A Story,' by John V. Marsh," and "V. R. T." "Three long inter-linked stories with an other-planetary setting. They deal subtly with question of identity and individuality. The title piece uses the idea of human cloning to brilliant and moody effect. This is the book which put Wolfe on the sf map." - Pringle, The Ultimate Guide to Science Fiction, second edition (1995), p. 134. Anatomy of Wonder (2004) II-1280. Survey of Science Fiction Literature II, pp. 770-75. A fine copy in fine dust jacket. (#152183). N° de réf. du libraire 152183
Synopsis : Far from Earth two sister planets, Sainte Anne and Sainte Croix, circle each other. It is said that a race of shapeshifting aliens once lived here, only to become extinct when human colonists arrived. But one man believes they still exist, somewhere out in the wilderness. In THE FIFTH HEAD OF CERBERUS, Gene Wolfe brilliantly interweaves three tales: a scientist's son gradual discovery of the bizarre secret of his heritage; a young man's mythic dreamquest for his darker half; the mystifying chronicle of an anthropologist's seemingly-arbitrary imprisonment. Gradually, a mesmerising pattern emerges.
Critique: A brothel keeper's sons discuss genocide and plot murder; a young alien wanderer is pursued by his shadow double; and a political prisoner tries to prove his identity, not least to himself. Gene Wolfe's first novel consists of three linked sections, all of them elegant broodings on identity, sameness, and strangeness, and all of them set on the vividly evoked colony worlds of Ste. Croix and Ste. Anne, twin planets delicately poised in mutual orbit.
Marsch, the victim in the third story, is the apparent author of the second and a casual visitor whose naïve questions precipitate tragedy in the first. The sections dance around one another like the planets of their settings. Clones, downloaded personalities inhabiting robots, aliens that perhaps mimicked humans so successfully that they forgot who they were, a French culture adopted by its ruthless oppressors--there are lots of ways to lose yourself, and perhaps the worst is to think that freedom consists of owning other people, that identity is won at the expense of others.
It is easy to be impressed by the intellectual games of Wolfe's stunning book and forget that he is, and always has been, the most intensely moral of SF writers. --Roz Kaveney, Amazon.co.uk
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