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. . . Ozma as Model

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  • John D Rateliff
    Yes, I know about the jam story (cf. www.tiptree.com), though I don t know enough about Sheldon to know if it s true. Re. the Freddy the Pig books, you have me
    Message 1 of 6 , Dec 14, 2006
      Yes, I know about the jam story (cf. www.tiptree.com), though I don't
      know enough about Sheldon to know if it's true.

      Re. the Freddy the Pig books, you have me at a disadvantage. My local
      library in the town where I grew up didn't have them, and I never
      heard of the books until I was nearly thirty, when someone pointed
      out the "To and Again" subtitle of FREDDY GOES TO FLORIDA as a
      possible parallel to THE HOBBIT's "There and Back Again". I've still
      never read any of Brooks' work. I will point out that a quick check
      shows not a single copy of any book from the series on the shelves in
      three large local bookstores here (Elliott Bay Books, the best of the
      independents, and also the nearest Borders and Barnes & Noble),
      though they can special order. Seems they were popular during their
      initial run (1927 to 1958), went out of print and pretty much
      disappeared thereafter, and were revived in recent years by Overlook
      Press (the name speaks for itself) as those who'd enjoyed them as
      children wanted copies to share with their own kids or grandkids. The
      same check in two of the above stores shows multiple copies of
      WONDERFUL WIZARD on the shelves (seven different editions on the same
      shelf in one store) and virtually none of the other books (the sole
      exception being one copy that had two of the sequels bound with the
      first story).
      So my guess wd be yes, the Freddy books have slipped down into
      the same nitch Oz would have were it not for the famous film. That's
      the fate of many a series, I'm afraid; the best way to avoid it is
      for a work to be exceptional in and of itself (WIND IN THE WILLOWS,
      THE HOBBIT) or to be tied to a famous movie (OZ), or both (ALICE,
      POOH), or for a book in the series to win the Newbery (DOLITTLE,
      PRYDAIN, &c).


      > <David Bratman wrote>
      > That really depends on your definition of "survived" and "known" and
      > "public consciousness", doesn't it? No doubt Oz is better known
      > today than
      > if the film had never been made, but there are few other childrens'
      > books
      > of that period that are as well remembered without the help of
      > films. Even
      > Pooh, famous as he'd be without any adaptations, is known today
      > just as
      > much for the Disney films, if the films' popularity and that of
      > film-based
      > illustrations is any judge. There is a Pooh shop in the Hundred
      > Acre Wood
      > today: I've been there. Thirty years ago when I first visited
      > there was
      > none, nor any Pooh directions on the trails either.
      > How about Freddy the Pig? Never had a major movie, definitely less
      > well
      > known today than Oz is. Would you say that those books have not
      > survived,
      > that they're known only to specialists and have slipped out of public
      > consciousness? Or would you say that without the MGM Oz film Oz
      > would be
      > less-known today than Freddy, that the Freddy books have more survival
      > value on their own merits than Oz does?
      > I would answer a firm no to both these questions.
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