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Thanks! -- Arnie Perlstein, Portland, OR

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I'm melting....... all over again....

Well, it looks like I just can't escape from the siren song of Ulysses today, because I just responded as follows in the Joyce Ulysses group to the comment quoted immediately below.

"I'm melting! melting! Oh, what a world! What a world!"... That line is from the 1939 movie and not found in Baum's 1900 children's book! Slan, PeteR"


How terribly thoughtful of you to ignore all the thirty OTHER pieces of textual evidence I presented for the allusion to Oz in Ulysses, which evidently you could not rebut, so you ignored it all instead of acknowledging its validity, and instead chose, in a stunning display of objectivity and fairness, to post about the one mistake YOU THOUGHT YOU FOUND in my argument.

However, before your count your chickens, you might want to reread the FIVE references to MELTING in the following scene that DOES appear in Baum's novel, including (my favorites) "In a minute I shall MELT away" following by "the Witch actually MELTING away"--which of course are a million miles distant from "I'M MELTING", but still......I will have my adolescent imaginings....

The little girl, seeing she had lost one of her pretty shoes, grew angry, and said to the Witch, "Give me back my shoe!"
"I will not," retorted the Witch, "for it is now my shoe, and not yours."
"You are a wicked creature!" cried Dorothy. "You have no right to take my shoe from me."
"I shall keep it, just the same," said the Witch, laughing at her, "and someday I shall get the other one from you, too."
This made Dorothy so very angry that she picked up the bucket of water that stood near and dashed it over the Witch, wetting her from head to foot.
Instantly the wicked woman gave a loud cry of fear, and then, as Dorothy looked at her in wonder, the Witch began to shrink and fall away.
"See what you have done!" she screamed. "In a minute I SHALL MELT AWAY."
"I'm very sorry, indeed," said Dorothy, who was truly frightened to see THE WITCH ACTUALLY MELTING AWAY like brown sugar before her very eyes.
"Didn't you know water would be the end of me?" asked the Witch, in a wailing, despairing voice.
"Of course not," answered Dorothy. "How should I?"
"Well, in a few minutes I shall be all melted, and you will have the castle to yourself. I have been wicked in my day, but I never thought a little girl like you would ever be able TO MELT ME and end my wicked deeds. Look out--here I go!"
With these words the Witch fell down in a brown, MELTED, shapeless mass and began to spread over the clean boards of the kitchen floor. Seeing that she had REALLY MELTED AWAY to nothing, Dorothy drew another bucket of water and threw it over the mess. She then swept it all out the door. After picking out the silver shoe, which was all that was left of the old woman, she cleaned and dried it with a cloth, and put it on her foot again. Then, being at last free to do as she chose, she ran out to the
courtyard to tell the Lion that the Wicked Witch of the West had come to an end, and that they were no longer prisoners in a strange land. END OF EXACT QUOTATION

And by the way, you did me another service, Pete, which is make me wonder, for the first time, whether Noel Langley, the original screenwriter of The Wizard of Oz, or Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolf, the script doctors called in to save the day, might have been a reader of Ulysses who recognized Joyce's allusion to Baum, and discreetly closed the loop and repaid the compliment by covertly alluding BACK to Joyce by EXACTLY tracking Buck Mulligan's and Zoe's words.

Another interesting avenue of inquiry to explore with an open mind......

Cheers, ARNIE

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