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Unexplored Territory in Oz

1963
Author(s):
Pattrick, Robert R.
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Illustrator(s):
Publisher(s):
International Wizard of Oz Club
Genre(s):
Literary Criticism

Comments:
Numerous essays have been published over the last thirty years which employ as their premise that L. Frank Baum's Land of Oz is a real place, whose history has been recorded by various individuals. These attempts to examine and organize information concerning the characters, places, and events described in Oz and Oz-related books have been called "Ozian Research." Robert R. Pattrick's Unexplored Territory in Oz is one of the earliest examples of such efforts. Pattrick wrote several Ozian research articles for early issues of The Baum Bugle, the journal of The International Wizard of Oz Club. After Pattrick's death in 1960, Fred M. Meyer, Executive Secretary of the Oz Club, arranged for publication of four of Pattrick's essays, the last of which was co-written with Mr. Meyer. ... Most of those who have since written analyses of the "history" given in the Baum and Oz books have acknowledged the debt owed Robert Pattrick as one of the pioneers of this field. Unexplored Territory in Oz succeeds admirably in providing a springboard of discussion and research, and the following essay's of Pattrick's have provided me the opportunity to further explore the history of the Land of Oz and its neighbors. Essays Include, with excerpts from their introductions: Essay 1) OZ VS. AUTHORS -- The following essay is concerned with the continuing dialogue among Oz enthusiasts over which titles in the series are "real" Oz books and which are "merely adventure stories that have appropriated Baum's characters," as Jack Snow once characterized the books written by later authors. For it is the later Oz books that are challenged; by and large the consideration is whether the later historians' contributions are in harmony with Baum's concepts and an ideal of what constitutes the "real Oz." "Oz vs Authors" touches on two separate issues: 1) Can the Oz books be analyzed as "history" as opposed to an appreciation of them only as stories by authors? 2) Which books in the Oz series should constitute the Oz "canon;" those titles that maintain consistency with the "ideal Oz" and should be considered "real Oz books?" This is a subjective business. Few would doubt that the first fourteen titles in the series are genuine Oz books (though Pattrick makes it clear that by no means all readers believe so), but there is much controversy over the status of the contributions after Baum's death. Essay 2) THE EARLY HISTORY OF OZ: The following essay is a particularly fine example of Ozian Research. It attempts to delineate the events that occurred between the transformation of the Land of Oz into a fairyland, and the restoration of Princess Ozma to her throne. The sequence of events which Pattrick suggests contains some questionable points, and other essays on the subject have been written since "The Early History of Oz" was first published; nonetheless it still remains the definitive guide to an enigmatic period in Ozian history. Essay 3) OZ MAGIC: Dictionaries define "magic" as that which either breaks the natural laws or which works by secret, "hidden" laws. But a careful study of the Oz books persuades me that Oz magic is neither of these. Oz magic works by laws which are an extension of, or an addition to, the natural laws as we know them. They are neither supernatural nor "hidden" -- although they must be studied and learned even as we study and learn physics, chemistry, math, music, etc. Not all of these laws are known, but a few of them may be determined, as follows ... Essay 4) BOOKS IN OZ: Many persons like to read books about Oz, but how many know what kind of books are read in oz? Oz itself is America's greatest fairyland. It was discovered by L. Frank Baum and it is he who wrote the first books about Oz. The later stories were written by Ruth Plumly Thompson, John R. Neill, and others. Surely any study of reading material there would bring forth some strange facts -- and it has! THIS BOOK ALSO INCLUDES FOUR APPENDIXES WITH INTERESTING, AND OBSCURE, INFORMATION Appendix I -- The Ozian Canon, an essay and "A Suggested Ozian Canon" listing many articles and stories beyond the original forty books; this provides a wonderful bibliographic reference to many obscure Ozian stories! Appendix II -- Aging and Death in the Ozian Continent Appendix III -- Use of Money in the Ozian Continent Appendix IV -- Distribution of Animal Speech

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