08 July 2010

Must Be 18 or Older to Go to Oz?

Michael Cart reported on last month’s International Wizard of Oz Club convention at the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature at Cal State Fresno.

I was, myself, a devoted Oz fan when I was a kid and typically received at least one Oz book every Christmas. In 1952, though, I received two—The Shaggy Man of Oz, by Jack Snow, and Hidden Valley of Oz, by Rachel R. Cosgrove.

How do I know this? Simple: on the page before the half-title page of each, I find written—with a flourish—“Michael Cart, Date: December 28, 1952; Age: 11. 1319 Sycamore Street. Logansport, Indiana.” Ah, good times . . .
Those were nearly the last titles in the series from Baum’s publisher, published in 1949 and 1951, respectively.

On a different note, Cart reports on the program’s scholarly papers:
titles such as “L. Frank Baum and Harriet Beecher Stowe: Using Sentimentalism to Inspire a Female Audience” and (my personal favorite) “Eroticism in the Emerald City: The Awakening of Dorothy’s Sexuality in Oz as Discussed in Alan Moore’s Lost Girls.” (A note in the conference program stipulated that you “must be 18 or older to attend this session”; since my emotional age is still about 12, I skipped it.)
I had to skip the whole event since I was speaking at another conference on another side of the country, so I’m grateful for reports like this one.

No comments: