19lecture1780wonderfulwizard09SU

19lecture1780wonderfulwizard09SU - Lecture19...

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Lecture 19 1 School of Arts and Letters Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies Summer 2009 AK/HUMA 1780 6.0A Stories in Diverse Media The Wonderful Wizard of Oz : The Novel by L. Frank Baum If my past surveys of students are any indication, you have probably only ever encountered the film The Wizard of Oz , correct? You may not know, then, that although the story is now known primarily by the film, the book was also immensely popular when it first came out. And not only was the first of the Oz adventures popular, but a whole series of books was created about the Land of Oz, many by Frank Baum (1856 1919), and then after his death, by others. After the first publication of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz in 1900 (the book that you read), Baum published a sequel in 1904, The Marvelous Land of Oz (later known as The Land of Oz ). In 1907 he produced another book, Ozma of Oz , which was followed one year later by Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz , The Road to Oz in 1909, and The Emerald City of Oz in 1910. In total, his initial children’s book generated 14 follow up novels, all set or based on events that took place in the magical Land of Oz. But, as I’m sure you noticed, the book creates quite a different atmosphere from the film. Because the chances are that you read the book after already having seen the musical (probably many times), your expectations are predetermined in ways that they haven’t been for some of the other adaptation groupings we’ve encountered, such as "Salomé," for instance. Your ideas about how Dorothy should look, for example, were probably already set when you went to read Baum’s novel. This is similar to The Color
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Lecture 19 2 Purple , which you may also have seen on film before reading the novel. Did you keep envisioning the characters you know from the movie The Wizard of Oz when you were reading, or did they become their own versions because of the "new" story and because of the illustrations? One of the things that make the book ultimately quite different from the film is the difference in genre. Although the film is still aimed at children, its genre is that of the musical. Like My Fair Lady , the musical numbers that are added to the narrative have an affect on the story, and in the case of The Wizard of Oz , the music has had a life of its own. I guarantee you’ll be singing those catchy tunes after you watch the movie. Songs such as “Over the Rainbow” or “We’re off to See the Wizard” still proliferate in our current cultural moment as we encounter them in references, commercials, or other stories. But Frank Baum’s source text comes from a different generic tradition than the musical. His book comes out of an already thriving Children’s Literature tradition with its own set of conventions and devices to create stories. Generic Conventions of Children’s Literature
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19lecture1780wonderfulwizard09SU - Lecture19...

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