"We're going to the Emerald City by a difficult road..."
November 25, 2005 12:17 PM Subscribe
We all know the story: little Elli, a girl living in the steppes of Kanzas with her dog Totoshka, is blown by a hurricane (stirred up by the wicked witch Gingema) all the way to Magic Land, where she meets the Cowardly Lion, the Iron Woodman, and the scarecrow Strashila and has to make her way to the Emerald City to find the magician Gudvin so she can get back home... What, you don't remember it that way? Didn't you read The Wizard of the Emerald City and its much-loved sequels Urfin Jus and his Wooden Soldiers, The Seven Underground Kings, The Fiery God of the Marrans, The Yellow Fog, and The Mystery of the Deserted Castle? Ah, you're not Russian! Listen [RealAudio] to a five-minute description (on Studio 360) of Alexander Volkov's Russified versions of Baum (with illustrations by Leonid Vladimirsky) and how they captivated children and adults in the Soviet Union (you even get a bit of the famous song Мы в город Изумрудный/ Идем дорогой трудной ["We're going to the Emerald City by a difficult road..."]); visit the Emerald City website (Russian version, where all the links work); and see the wonderful illustrations at this site, which links to the texts of all six novels (click on Читать...)—in Russian, but the images need no explanation. (Fun fact: the word "Oz" doesn't occur anywhere in the Russian versions.) And if you're interested in other alternate versions, go to Oz Outside the Famous Forty. (Via P. Kerim Friedman.)
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