Posts Tagged ‘L. Frank Baum’

Liberated Negative Space o’ the Day: Bender Bending Rodriguez and Baum edition

February 8, 2010


Page @ Pierce, San Francisco.

Who knows?

Our big world rolls over as smoothly as it did centuries ago, without
a squeak to show it needs oiling after all these years of revolution.
But times change because men change. The impossibilities of yesterday become the accepted facts of to-day.

Here is a fairy tale founded upon the wonders of electricity and
written for children of this generation.


Dortman, Germany.

Yet when my readers shall have become men and women my story may not seem to their children like a fairy tale at all.

Perhaps one, perhaps two–perhaps several of the Demon’s devices will be, by that time, in popular use.

Who knows?

(L. Frank Baum, Introduction, The Master Key. Bowen-Merrill (Indiana): 1901.)


There is a bright flash, and a being who calls himself the Demon of Electricity appears. He tells [young protagonist and electrical experimenter] Rob that he has accidentally “touched the Master Key of Electricity” and is entitled to “to demand from me three gifts each week for three successive weeks.”

Rob experiences adventures exploring the use of the Demon’s gifts, but eventually concludes that neither he nor the world is ready for them. Rob rejects the Demon’s gifts and tells him to bide his time until humankind knows how to use them. The Demon leaves.

With a light heart, Rob concludes that he made the right decision, and that “It’s no fun being a century ahead of the times!”

(the wiki.)



Who knows … ?






*”‘Others’ may read it.” rad.

Rainy days and Mondays: Inspiration Station and Movie Moment — Wizard of Oz edition

January 18, 2010

Sheets of rain keep falling here. It’s pretty when a little sun comes through, it makes it look like glass. But otherwise it’s overall a very dingy scene and it bums me out even more than a rainy day normally would (I actually like the rain, mainly) because I am waiting to hear from my husband about his grandmother. She’s not expected to live much longer than the next few days; when she passes away, I will fly to Portland to be with him and the family. I simply can’t let him go through that alone, and I would never disrespect my in-laws by even considering not going, to say nothing of the fact that I would like to say goodbye to a woman in whose home I lived (we rented from them once they moved to a retirement center), whose son I spent a great deal of time with, and to whose grandson I got married. It will be difficult, but it has to be done.

So today, being that it was raining cats and dogs and I think I even saw a ferret, and as kidlet had a school holiday, I wanted to have special bonding time before I travel without her. We are almost never separated, so I’m anxious about that as well.

We decided to make chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese sandwiches (total rainy day food) and watch us some uplifting movies. First up was The Wizard of Oz, and it started my wheels turning about the books and about the pluses and pitfalls of escapism.


Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal. The winged fairies of Grimm and Andersen have brought more happiness to childish hearts than all other human creations.

Yet the old time fairy tale, having served for generations, may now be classed as “historical” in the children’s library; for the time has come for a series of newer “wonder tales” in which the stereotyped genie, dwarf and fairy are eliminated, together with all the horrible and blood-curdling incidents devised by their authors to point a fearsome moral to each tale.

Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only entertainment in its wonder tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incident.

Having this thought in mind, the story of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” was written solely to please children of today. It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.

L. Frank Baum

Chicago, April, 1900.

(The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Introduction.)

A lovely sentiment, but I find Baum’s assertion as to the lack of nightmares and heartache in the final product of the Oz books — of which I am one of the world’s staunchest and most highly devoted fans — intriguingly debatable. If I have time later this week, I will try to have a movie moment with Return to Oz, which will shed some light on what I mean.


Holly Owens as Dorothy in the Emerald City, for Tarina Tarantino’s “My Pretty” collection.

— Can you even dye my eyes to match my gown?
— Uh-huh.
— Jolly old town!

(The Wizard of Oz (Victor Fleming, 1939)).


Kate Moss as Dorothy Gale by Francois Nars.

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own backyard. Because if it isn’t there, then I never really lost it to begin with.”

Did You Know? … two of the images in this post are pictures of my daughter at Christmas. She gets a new pair of ruby slips every year.