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Re: [mythsoc] Oz

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  • David S. Bratman
    ... I will merely say that a person who prefers the MGM movie to Baum s book will not get the baleful stare from me that a person who prefers Jackson s films
    Message 1 of 11 , Mar 3 3:16 PM
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      At 02:57 PM 3/3/2003 , Ernest wrote:

      >I didn't entirely care for Baum's book, when I finally got to it, although I
      >did read a few more. There is a disquieting quality to Baum's writing
      >(although not nearly as depraved as Roald Dahl's.)

      I will merely say that a person who prefers the MGM movie to Baum's book
      will not get the baleful stare from me that a person who prefers Jackson's
      films to Tolkien's book would.

      - David Bratman
    • Ernest Tomlinson
      ... From: David S. Bratman To: Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 3:16 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Oz ... In some
      Message 2 of 11 , Mar 3 3:50 PM
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: "David S. Bratman" <dbratman@...>
        To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
        Sent: Monday, March 03, 2003 3:16 PM
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Oz


        > I will merely say that a person who prefers the MGM movie to Baum's book
        > will not get the baleful stare from me that a person who prefers Jackson's
        > films to Tolkien's book would.

        In some alternate universe there is an Ernest Tomlinson who was born in
        1988, fell in love with Peter Jackson's movies and watched them again and
        again, and didn't read _The Lord of the Rings_ until 2005. There he is, but
        I haven't the slightest idea what to make of him.

        Ernest.
      • David S. Bratman
        ... If he s like the Ernest I think I m getting to know through this list, he reads the book in 2005 and says, Wow, this is even better than the movies!
        Message 3 of 11 , Mar 3 4:26 PM
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          At 03:50 PM 3/3/2003 , Ernest wrote:

          >In some alternate universe there is an Ernest Tomlinson who was born in
          >1988, fell in love with Peter Jackson's movies and watched them again and
          >again, and didn't read _The Lord of the Rings_ until 2005. There he is, but
          >I haven't the slightest idea what to make of him.

          If he's like the Ernest I think I'm getting to know through this list, he
          reads the book in 2005 and says, "Wow, this is even better than the
          movies!" Then he re-reads it and says, "You know, it's MUCH better than
          the movies."

          The alternate David Bratman who hadn't read LOTR would probably not have
          gone to see the Jackson films at all. He wouldn't think they would
          interest him.* If someone dragged him anyway, he'd enjoy himself and then
          either forget about it entirely, until one day he picked up the book out of
          curiosity and be even more amazed than the alternate Ernest. He'd think,
          "Why didn't someone tell me about Tolkien years ago?"

          - DB

          *The number of bad-to-mediocre sf and fantasy films that the real David
          Bratman has seen only because he considers himself a science-fiction and
          fantasy fan is depressingly large. Mind you, he's enjoyed many of them,
          but even knowing that ahead of time would not have sent him to them if he
          hadn't been going with friends. He almost didn't go to "Star Wars" at all
          when it premiered, and had to be dragged there; his reaction on emerging
          was "not bad". The number of sf/fantasy films he's seen that he actually
          thought were good outnumbers the bad-to-mediocre ones only if you count
          every episode of "The Prisoner" and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" individually.
        • Stolzi@aol.com
          In a message dated 3/3/2003 6:26:58 PM Central Standard Time, ... how sure are you that you re real? Diamond Proudbrook [Non-text portions of this message have
          Message 4 of 11 , Mar 3 6:00 PM
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            In a message dated 3/3/2003 6:26:58 PM Central Standard Time,
            dbratman@... writes:


            > the real David
            > Bratman

            how sure are you that you're real?


            Diamond Proudbrook



            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Berni Phillips
            From: ... He s real because he s loved! -- The Velveteen Wife
            Message 5 of 11 , Mar 3 6:31 PM
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              From: <Stolzi@...>

              > dbratman@... writes:
              >

              > > the real David
              > > Bratman
              >
              > how sure are you that you're real?

              He's real because he's loved!

              -- The Velveteen Wife
            • Jason M. Abels
              ... Not so uncommon. Most kids seem to pass over them these days, and see Wizard of Oz at a very young age. I am quite alone among all the people I know in
              Message 6 of 11 , Mar 4 6:04 AM
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                > Unlike almost everyone here, I'll wager, I didn't read any of Baum's books
                > until a year or two after I saw _The Wizard of Oz_ for the first time.

                Not so uncommon. Most kids seem to pass over them these days, and see Wizard of
                Oz at a very young age. I am quite alone among all the people I know in having
                read *all* of the Baum books before I saw the movie (I avoided the movie until I
                was almost 12 because what I knew of it did not make me hopeful)

                > I shouldn't like the "it was all a dream" gimmick. Did not Tolkien, in his
                > essay on fairy-stories, call this sort of thing putting a good picture in a
                > bad frame? Yet I think it works in _The Wizard of Oz_.

                I think it worked for the audience. The movie was, I think, geared up towards
                older people as well, and they wouldn't have accepted dorothy simply landing
                outside the farm and running home. I think it was a necessary convention, but an
                unfortunate one.

                > There is a disquieting quality to Baum's writing
                > (although not nearly as depraved as Roald Dahl's.)
                Which is why it made such a good children's book. There was that undercurrent of
                darkness and fear that children know so well

                > I remember particularly
                > the scenes in the sequel where the "Wizard" reappears (can't remember the
                > title of the book, I fear), and gets into trouble with a group of vegetable
                > people.

                Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. I love those little boxes that hold... clouds?
                rain? I don't remember.

                In a scene both amusing and creepy, he fights a vegetable sorcerer
                > by producing pieces of metal, joining them together to form a sword, and
                > with one stroke slicing the sorcerer in half.

                > I was also disappointed how
                > lame were the Wizard's gifts to Dorothy and her companions in his first Oz
                > book, e.g. giving the Scarecrow a "bran-new [sic] brain". The movie is much
                > cleverer.

                Actually, the movie is much simpler. In the book, we see throughout the course
                that, indeed, the scarcrow can reason quite well, the tin woodsman is quite
                gentle and loving, and the cowardly lion is quite brave (to save his friends).
                When they finally get to the wizard, he merely gives them objects which reflect
                what they already have. He does the same in the movie, but I'm not sure why: we
                don't actually know that these three have these qualities (Obviously, the
                Scarcrow doesn't know math very well.)

                There is, of course, the childish sense, especially with the Scarecrow's gift.
                The "pins and needles" come in handy in later books when he has to think and
                work out a problem.

                > One former friend of mine, an older woman, appreciated the Oz film but
                > thought it conveyed a bad message, especially about the role of women.

                Some people read too much into things. It's just a movie.

                > Dorothy takes no direct action in the film; almost everything she does she
                > does by accident--"I was just trying to help!" she says a lot. Meanwhile
                > we're encouraged into sympathy for the Wizard ("I'm a very good man, just a
                > bad wizard") even though, in both Oz and Kansas, he's a liar and a phony.

                That's the same case in the book. Baum was very much a beiever in good
                intentions.


                I've always personally liked The Land of Oz. I boy turning into a girl? How
                delightfully racy for 1907.

                --
                Jason M. Abels
                "The world is coming down around our ears and you're sticking at a few
                vampires!" - Ben Mears, _Salem's Lot_
              • Ernest Tomlinson
                ... From: Jason M. Abels To: Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 6:04 AM Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Oz [I wrote:] ...
                Message 7 of 11 , Mar 7 11:12 PM
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                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Jason M. Abels" <jason@...>
                  To: <mythsoc@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Tuesday, March 04, 2003 6:04 AM
                  Subject: RE: [mythsoc] Oz


                  [I wrote:]
                  > > I was also disappointed how
                  > > lame were the Wizard's gifts to Dorothy and her companions in his first
                  Oz
                  > > book, e.g. giving the Scarecrow a "bran-new [sic] brain". The movie is
                  much
                  > > cleverer.
                  >
                  > Actually, the movie is much simpler. In the book, we see throughout the
                  course
                  > that, indeed, the scarcrow can reason quite well, the tin woodsman is
                  quite
                  > gentle and loving, and the cowardly lion is quite brave (to save his
                  friends).
                  > When they finally get to the wizard, he merely gives them objects which
                  reflect
                  > what they already have. He does the same in the movie, but I'm not sure
                  why: we
                  > don't actually know that these three have these qualities (Obviously, the
                  > Scarcrow doesn't know math very well.)

                  Well, isosceles triangles aside (an inexcusable lapse that "The Simpsons"
                  brilliantly lampooned once...ah, I remember when "The Simpsons" were funny,
                  but that was before your time, young whippersnapper), I disagree that the
                  movie fails to show us the Scarecrow's intelligence, the Tin Woodsman's
                  heart, and the Lion's courage. One of the first things that the Scarecrow
                  does is trick the talking trees into giving up some of their apples, and
                  later, he devises the plan that gets the three amigos into the Witch's
                  castle. The Tin Woodsman is _always_ a sentimental fool, weeping at every
                  opportunity. And the Lion, well..."I'll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked
                  Witch or no Wicked Witch. Guards or no guards, I'll tear 'em apart. I may
                  not come out alive, but I'm goin' in there." (He does then ask his friends
                  to talk him out of it, but he goes in anyway.)

                  Ernest.
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