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Date: Sun, 15 Dec 2002 01:49:44 -0500
From: William Ansley 
Subject: Re: (urth) FLF: the four and who/what they are

At 5:46 PM -0800 12/10/02, Michael Andre-Driussi wrote:
>In the first Oz book, the Army of Oz is a single soldier (wearing green
>spectacles).  In the second book, iirc, Oz is overrun by an invading army,
>a coalition of militants from each of the four member-states of Oz, and
>after the Ozma restoration a more modern army of many generals and one
>private is established in Oz.
>The fact that of the 100 or so businessmen there are four named suggests
>comparison to the coalition army, and the fact that the Florida real estate
>salesman has to wear beachcomber attire in winter shows that he represents
>"the South," much as the coalition army is made up of members from North,
>South, East, and West, with the differences marked by a bit of color in
>their uniforms.

It is rather late to respond to your message, mantis, but here goes anyway.

As I have said many times before, I have always found the Oz 
parallels in FLF to be rather superficial. Sure there are some 
references to the movie, but I have found all attempts to draw deeper 
parallels to be strained at best. Especially since Wolfe demonstrated 
just how thoroughly he could incorporate Oz lore in one of his 
stories in "The Eyeflash Miracles."

Anyway, you are thinking of General Jinjur's Army of Revolt ("We are 
revolting!" "You don't look it.") in _The Marvelous Land of Oz_ by L. 
Frank Baum. In this book the Emerald City is conquered by an army of 
girls (that is, young women). They are assured of victory because, as 
Jinjur says, "What man would oppose a girl, or dare to harm her? And 
there is not an ugly face in my entire Army." And, just in case, they 
all have sharp knitting needles thrust in their hair, which they use 
to great effect as weapons.

These girls are from all four parts of the land of Oz, but Baum 
mentions this mainly, it seems, as as excuse to describe their 
costumes in great detail. They wear green blouses and skirts that are 
one quarter blue, yellow, red and purple. They also have four buttons 
on their blouse of the same colors. The color of the front section of 
the skirt and of the topmost button indicate which part of Oz the 
wearer comes from.

(Baum may have been satirizing the women's suffrage movement; it is 
hard to be sure.)

I don't think my information contradicts your theory, but it may 
weaken it, since the most important characteristic of the Army of 
Revolt was that it was made up of girls, not that it was a coalition 
from all "four corners" of the land of Oz.

William Ansley


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