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Oz

Oz is an imaginary country first introduced in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. Baum wrote 14 novels about Oz and its odd inhabitants. After his death Ruth Plumly Thompson[?] continued the series.

Oz is a squarish shaped place, surrounded on all sides by a Deadly Desert and divided into four quadrants: the Gillikin country in the north, the Munchkin country in the east, the Quadling country in the south and the Winkie country in the west. The Emerald City sits at the center of Oz. Princess Ozma rules the country as a benevolent dictator.

Re-occuring characters in the series include

  • Dorthy a girl from Kansas
  • The Tin Man, an enchanted mechancial man and Emperor of the Winkies
  • The Scarecrow, a living man made of straw and King of the Munchkins
  • The Wizard, the former ruler of Oz, originally from Ohio and now a skilled wizard
  • The Cowardly Lion, the King of Beasts
  • Jack Pumpkinhead, a man made out of twigs
  • Tick Tock, a super-intelligent robot
  • The Patchwork Girl, a living doll
  • The Shaggy Man, another human from "the real world"
  • The Gnome King, the sinister ruler of an underground empire
  • Glinda, a "good witch" and the benevolent ruler of the Gillikins

An interesting side note was the fact, stated in The Tin Woodman of Oz, that no one in Oz could die. Anyone killed would continue to live wounded, beheaded or not. (This "fact" was not universally adhered to in the novels, particularly those preceding The Tin Woodman of Oz: for instance The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, although containing perhaps the definitive example of the rule, also has the deaths of two wicked witches.)

A legend of uncertain validity is that when relating bedtime stories (the origin of the Oz novels) Baum was asked by one of his listeners the name of the magical land. He glanced at a nearby filing cabinet which was marked O-Z. Thus he named the land Oz.

Bibliography

  1. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  2. The Marvelous Land of Oz[?]
  3. Ozma of Oz[?]
  4. Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz[?]
  5. The Road to Oz[?]
  6. The Emerald City of Oz[?]
  7. The Patchwork Girl of Oz
  8. Tik-Tok of Oz[?]
  9. The Scarecrow of Oz[?]
  10. Rinkitink in Oz[?]
  11. The Lost Princess of Oz[?]
  12. The Tin Woodman of Oz[?]
  13. The Magic of Oz[?]
  14. Glinda of Oz[?]


"Oz" is also a jocular term for Australia. (OZ-tralia).


Oz is also the title of an fictional TV show set in an American prison.



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