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From: Jim Jordan <jbjordan@gnt.net>
Subject: Re: (urth) Free Live Free
Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2000 12:59:33 

At 11:32 PM 1/26/00 -0500, you wrote:
>I have fairly recently (re)read the first 14 Oz books (as all regular
>long-term readers of this list know only too well) and I have read FLF at
>least three times although not very recently (partly because I just plain
>enjoy it and partly to try to pin down the time travel stuff). I have read
>several times in this list and elsewhere that FLF is a "retelling" of the
>story of the Wizard of Oz but I have always felt that this was wrong
>(unless you are going to define retelling in such a vague way as to allow
>FLF to be a retelling of virtually every other book you care to name as
>well -- Free is Captain Ahab, Free is the Mad Hatter, etc.).
>I am still far from convinced that there is much merit to this theory, but
>Jim Jordan's explanation of the version of the FLF=WOZ theory that he is
>familiar with (I don't know if this is THE theory or if there are different
>versions) is the first time I don't feel I can dismiss it out of hand.
>Since I am the self-proclaimed Oz expert on this list (although there are
>others on this list at least as knowledgeable as I--you know who you are,
>alga), I'll have to try to re-read FLF with this in mind.

	What set me to thinking was the name Glinda with an eye, as well as the
other allusions. When I cast my mind back over the book, the Oz connection
seemed right. I'd already seen that Ringworld was an Oz rework, so I was
open to the thought. Also Oz figures in other Wolfe stories. It would only
be the first book, and probably with the film's changes also in the
background. Of course, with Wolfe you also have political and religious
themes interacting as well, and other allusions. But it sure looked like
the Wizard of Oz was providing a big input, and to a considerable degree, a
structural one as well. Consider that the arrival at the four at the house
at the beginning is a journey to Oz, for instance. 
	As for whose theory this is, it's mine. Others may have caught the same
thing, but I don't recall any discussion of this here, so I can speak only
for myself. (Though there is a year's worth of posts I haven't read yet.
I've been out of pocket.)
	Well, I'll be interested in your thinking after you re-read FLF (if you
can find the time). I'm sure we all will. You're the expert!
	And since you're the expert, what do you think of the economic
interpretation of the first book, that the road is the "cross of gold," the
fake-emerald city (seen through green eyeglasses) is greenbacks, etc.
Sounds quite plausible to me. (I didn't see anything in FLF that indicates
Wolfe is familiar with, or accepts, this reading, though.)


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

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