Thursday, June 11, 2020

The Latest Oz Reading

Yes, it's true, I'm actually writing a blog post about something other than comics! Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit and turned the world upside down, this was turning into a very weird and busy year for Laura and me as she got very sick, and had a couple of stints in the hospital. (You can read the entire saga, starting from the very beginning), on her personal blog.) I've pretty much spent most of the year playing nursemaid to her. So a lot of Ozzing has gone by the wayside. But now I'm getting back into position to read more short stories and watch more episodes of Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz and tell you all about it. But tonight, I'm going to start telling you about some of the Oz and Oz-adjacent things I've been reading lately. Here we go!

  • Bibliographia Oziana, revised and expanded 2002 edition. This is the third edition of this book, and it is an essential tool for anyone collecting Oz books, particularly the earliest editions. It has a lot of good, updated information on the publishing history and textual points for all of the Famous Forty Oz books and quite a few FF-adjacent titles as well. But one thing that kept striking me was how much more has already come out about much of this in the past eighteen years. It may be time for an update already!
  • If so, maybe the format could be altered to be more like the next book I read, Bibiliographia Baumiana by W. Neal Thompson. This is one of those books that's been in the works for decades, but it's finally out, and it is a major accomplishment. It looks at everything else Baum wrote outside of the Oz series that was published in book form, and gives it the same treatment as Bib Oz, but Thompson does it all one better. The entries are clearer and easier to read, while at the same time more comprehensive and thorough. This was a real eye-opener, and gave me some interesting highlights into Baum's career. (One example: It looks like Baum may have printed more than the ninety-nine copies of By the Candelabra's Glare that the book says he printed.) I can't help but think that if Thompson took the same approach as this book to Bibliographia Oziana, you'd really have a useful pair of books.
Okay, that's all for now. But there will be more very soon, I think I Can safely say.

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