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June 20, 2012

The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy edited by Randall E. Auxier and Phil Seng

Filed under: Philosophy — Randolph @ 4:51 pm

The Wizard of Oz and Philosophy edited by Randall E. Auxier and Phil Seng

This series is a lot of fun. It feels light, yet gets into some important philosophical topics, using the stories of The Wizard of Oz as a mechanism to drive the discussion.

The book covers the movie, touching on some of the earlier versions, the original series of books, the books by Gregory Maguire, and a couple of plays. The authors also touch on Rushdie’s analysis of Oz. The focus is on the 1939 movie, the first two or three books of Baum’s series, and Wicked by Gregory Maguire.

Several philosophers provide short discussions on different topics touched on, intentionally or not, by the different versions of the Wizard of Oz. These include the nature of evil, the value of home and what it means, feminism, morals, slavery, and more. Phillip Seng discusses the relationship between the Pink Floyd soundtrack and its relationship to the movie, and discusses some basic probability with it.

The discussions are very interesting. They are admittedly light, as entire books can be found on most of these subjects, but they provide good food for thought and a solid basis to build on.

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