Monday, March 30, 2009

Somewhere, over the Bridge to Nowhere

An interesting update this past weekend on the old notion that characters and settings in L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) matched certain real-life people and places in late nineteenth-century America: NPR's Weekend Edition has an interview with historian Quentin Taylor, who suggests a few analogies between the book and modern America:

Sarah Palin — whom Taylor describes as "attractive, wholesome [and] somewhat provincial" — could be Dorothy, while Rep. Barney Frank might be cast in the role of the Cowardly Lion. "Underneath all the bluster, [the Lion is] really a sweetheart," says Taylor.

Though Taylor's not certain where President Obama fits into Baum's novel, he does have a role for the speaker of the House: "There's ... one last character not in the film, but in the book — this is the queen of the field mice. I thought that Speaker Nancy Pelosi fit this the best. After all, she presides over a collection of diminutive, chattering rodents."

NPR has a link to the five-minute interview with Taylor. If you missed it last Satureday, it's worth checking out!