Oz in the News 5.11.11

Hollywood relics: You can buy a piece of movie history  As an example of how the business has exploded, Chanes cites Judy Garland’s famous ruby slippers, acquired many years ago for $15,000 by a collector who then donated them to Washington’s Smithsonian. If placed on the market today, those slippers would easily fetch $3 million.  Speaking of The Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch’s infamous crystal ball is in the current catalogue with a $40,000 reserve price on it.

Life Beyond the Yellow Brick Road  “Dancing on the Yellow Brick Road was fun, but the children had to stay in the back of the little people. They had a contract that none of the little girls would have bigger parts,” said Joan Kenmore, 79, a Dana Point resident, dressed in a purple sweat suit surrounded by her collection of Wizard of Oz memorabilia. “I stood in the back, on the far right with my flowerpot hat. We took the same steps as Judy did,” she said, referring to actress Judy Garland, the star.

Android’s Dream: Tik-Tok of Oz  Tik-Tok is a clear symbol for ‘the other’. He is a type of person, and an attitude which is completely foreign to the young American girls who encounter him in their travels. The symbol is made stronger by making the lack of choice literal. While any human’s lack of choice regarding servitude is always social or mental – a situation that one could be rescued from, Tik-Tok’s fate is truly locked in by the most basic elements of his design.

The Oz Quest Theory: Are Four Companions One Too Many?  Recently I’ve been reading a fair number of fantasy and sci-fi (mostly sci-fi, curiously enough) quest novels that follow in the Wizard of Oz rather than Alice in Wonderland vein.  You can tell the difference because in an Alice in Wonderland quest novel the protagonist is almost always on his or her own (Coraline’s a good example of this) with maybe a random helper companion that flits in and out of the action. Wizard of Oz quest novels consist of picking up companions, whether willingly or unwillingly, over the course of the story’s plot. After reading two Oz-like books in a row, I started to notice a strange pattern.  Is it just me, or do most Oz-like stories have the same number and type of companions in a row?

“Seeds” author Richard Horan  Author Richard Horan has just written “SEEDS.”  From the wooded road made of golden hemlock running past L. Frank Baum’s childhood home to the lonely stump of Scout’s oak in Harper Lee’s Alabama, Horan gathers tree seeds and stories from the homes of America’s most treasured authors.  Horan will be in Maine for a book signing at Kennebooks in Kennebunk on Thursday, May 12th at 6:30 PM.

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