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From: "Mitchell A. Bailey" <MAB@lindau.net>
Subject: (urth) The Wonderful Hierogrammate of Oz
Date: Fri, 05 Mar 1999 17:36:49 

Hey guys. Having devoured Robert Borski’s _Fifth Head of Cerberus_ site
and communicating with him re it, he suggested I check out this list.
I’ve been reading the archives (..through the arch to the other end of
the big room and down the back stairs into the hidden door to Master
Ultan’s lightless study in the nethermost stack...) and lurking around
up to now. I must say your discussions have already vastly augmented my
appreciation of Wolfe.

Anyway, to my point: There was a recent line of discussion about
allusions to “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in _The Eyeflash Miracles_
(which thus far I haven’t read). That pricked my ears up because I had
thought I detected a more subtle allusion in _Urth of the New Sun_, the
chapter entitled “The Captain”:

“...we halted before great doors...These...swung slowly and ponderously
open of themselves, revealing a long vista of marmoreal arches- each at
least a hundred cubits high- down which played such light as was never
before seen upon any world that circled a star, light silver, gold, and
berylline [light blue-green] by turns...
The doors shut behind us with a crash...”

Isn’t that a pretty fair description of the entry to the Wizard’s
hallway leading to his audience chamber in the movie? The endless
marmoreal arches (some dictionary entries for “marmoreal”  include an
illustration very like the scene from “Oz”) and their unreal lighting of
course was provided by the studio’s backdrop-painters.

“...Gunnie and the remaining hands recoiled in fear at all this and had
to be driven through the doorway...”

The Cowardly Lion’s reluctance to enter the hall!

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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