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From: Michael Straight <straight@email.unc.edu>
Subject: Re: (urth) Free Live Free
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 12:13:13 

On Wed, 26 Jan 2000, Jim Jordan wrote:
> 	The four  main characters are from the Wizard. Ben Free is the Wizard.
> Glinda (note spelling) is also the name of one of the good witches. It's
> been years since I read it, but I do recall that the father and son (Barnes
> and Kip?) are Dorothy and Toto. The others can be seen as needing courage,
> brains, and heart. 

From all the mentions of the movie, Wolfe obviously had it in mind.  I can
see Free as the wizard, but I can't make the other characters fit.  None
of the charcters seem particularly lacking in courage, brains, or heart.  
Their faults seem more moral: Stubb is vain, worried about his height,
proud, always trying to prove himself.  Candy lacks self-control regarding
food (she acts bravely, cleverly, and has a heart (of gold?)).  You might
say the witch needs more heart, but it seems her real turning point is
where she realizes that her pursuit of power has been misguided:

 "Wealth and power we have already too much of--we suffocate.  Longer
life? We outstay the lion and elephant.  Hardly a day passes that we do
not meet some man or woman who should be dead, who has outlasted his own
time by decades...As for healing, it is not we who require it but the
world, which requires to be cured of us.  Serenity would indeed be a
benefit, but we do not seek it; if we did we might find it required us to
abandon wealth and power, and we love them too much.  No, what we require
from whatever Powers may be entitled to give it is some indication of how
far we may go...we do not know what is permitted to us, and that ignorance
paralyzes thos3 who might otherwise refrain, while the worst of us kill
every living thing and ruin all they reach." (from Chapter 47).

Maybe it's just a general four-on-a-quest allusion to Oz.


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

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