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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Free Live Free
Date: Wed, 26 Jan 2000 12:28:56 

At 12:13 PM 1/26/00 -0500, you wrote:
>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.

	I recall being struck by and convinced of this paradigm when I read the
book, but I just can't recall enough at the moment to argue the point. If
my aging longterm memory is serving me, I think I was thinking that each
character has a kind of perverted form of the virtue that is "lacking."
I.e., that Stubbs (maybe) has a courage of the wrong sort; Candy has a
heart of the wrong sort; the witch has a mind of the wrong sort. They are
each out of balance in a certain direction. (Recall how Wolfe uses the
mind, emotion, will paradigm in "The God and His Man.")  They don't
perceive that they lack the better form of these virtues -- that's for the
reader to perceive -- thus providing a more sophisticated variant on the Oz
scenario. That's off the top of my head and based on memories that have
mostly flown away. Maybe it'll be of help to those currently reading the book.
	(There are just too many Wolfe books to re-read!!!)


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

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