My Introduction to Oz

>In the midst of reading The Chosen, which is a wonderful book, I’ve decided to attack a Wizard of Oz project as well. I have one week before summer classes begin and I will be bogged down with the reading of educational materials. With this week, I want to examine as much of L. Frank Baum’s Oz as I possibly can, ending the week with a rereading of Gregory Maguire’s Wicked from a new perspective. It’s one thing to read the Maguire and love it, it’s another to know the story he draws from. For example, I listened to the first five chapters of the first book this morning only to find that there is a Munchkin character Dorothy stays with for a night called Boq. In the Maguire, Boq was a Munchkin who had a thing for the “Wicked Witch of the East,” Nessarose. He was turned into, I believe, the Tinman by the Wicked Witch of the West (fondly called Elphaba… now where did Maguire come up with that name, I wonder).

Now I can’t get Kristin Chenoweth’s voice out of my head. I’ve seen the stage version of Wicked and let me tell you that Chenowith and Idina Menzel are mind-blowingly fantastic.


I want to conclude the week with a viewing of The Wizard of Oz (both with and without Pink Floyd, which I’ve never done before), and a viewing of Tin Man, starring Zooey Deschanel, who I love (her sister, too. Hooray for Bones.)

One comment

  1. >Hi, Eli.I came to this weblog via this path — I opened Blogs of Note to see what’s up in there today and then my cat curiosity had me checking out Fake Interviews with Real Celebrities, which led to that blogger’s posting (among others) entitled “Spoilers For Indiana Jones”, which is pretty funny, and then your comment to that posting — because I teach TEFL in Taiwan and consider myself in the extraordinare category as well.But then I saw that you have read Maguire’s Wicked, and well, I got . . . excited.I found Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West in an English-language bookstore in a large shopping mall in Bali on the last Saturday of March during my 8-day vacation there with my wife, and by the time we arrived at Chiang Kai-shek Airport outside Taipei the next evening after a 5-hour flight I had finished a major chunk of it. Totally great stuff, and I look forward to reading its “sequel” Son of a Witch once I can lay my paws on it and any/everything else by Gregory Maguire I might find. As well, I hope to read LFO’s original work one of these days.And in this Oz vein, I recently watched Tin Man, finding the DVD at my neighborhood video store and getting pumped because I had just read Wicked. I didn’t know how long the movie is, but that just made it all the better.Eli, I have your “One Eighth Grader at a Time” blog open as I write this. Man, the world needs more people like you.Myself, I’m actually an Oregonian expat kinda guy, I guess. Been here in Taiwan since January of ’79 after getting a B.A. in Chinese the previous spring. Things happen, they happened, and I am pretty much calling this little island home by now.Okay. I am gonna go take a look at more of “One Eighth Grader . . .”


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