Friday, March 11, 2011

Countdown to Oz ..... Day 7

"Stunt, dwarf, or destroy the imagination of a child and you have taken away its chances of success in  life. Imagination transforms the commonplace into the great and creates the new out of the old" L. Frank Baum
picture courtesy of the Library of Congress

I just checked out the most fascinating book from the library. The Real Wizard of Oz, the Life and Times of L. Frank Baum by Rebecca Loncraine. Haven't even gotten half way through and I know why I am the way I am about WOZ.

The Wonderful Wizard of OZ was finished on October 9, 1900. 111 years ago he finished the beginning of the rest of his life as he put it, as the channel for the 13 volumes he wrote on the subject of OZ. This was not just a place he invented but discovered.

"After he released The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Baum was forced to serve the Land of Oz for the rest of his life. He became trapped inside it, forced to return there over and over again to retrieve more stories about the strange county and its remarkable inhabitants. He had created something so marvelous and universal, but also so unique and human, that it took over his live. Baum's relationship with his own imagination became increasingly peculiar (see I told you I discovered why I love WOZ), complex and troubled after 1900: He didn't feel responsible for the many subsequent Oz stories he wrote, but they couldn't be "discovered" without him: he became trapped in the role of portal to Oz."

We have to remember when L. Frank Baum lived 1856-1919. He was alive during the Civil War, WWI, watched the Indian Wars with the US. Saw electricity become  commonplace in households, horseless carriages, and people flying in an airplane. Anything was possible.

After reading just part of this book by Rebecca Loncraine, I knew I had to share what I had discovered.