L. Frank Baum's Fairy Tales

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L. Frank Baum's Fairy Tales

May 9, 2008, 12:29pm

What do you think of the works of L. Frank Baum, best known for his 'Wizard of Oz' series? He refers to his stories as fairy tales, and the worlds he creates as fairylands. Personally I think his stories are just as much fairy tales as Grimm or Andersen, but what say you?

May 9, 2008, 2:47pm

I would characterize his work as fantasy.

Jul 5, 2008, 1:30pm

I generally characterize all fairy tales as fantasy. :-p

Jan 15, 2009, 12:23pm

I agree. I think that fairy tales easily fits under the very big umbrella that fantasy has become

Dec 2, 2009, 12:47am

Well, his "fairy tale" is an entire series that is quite lengthy. It's not one simple short tale to tide over a boring moment in front of the family fireplace. I think the category of "fairy tale" also implies stories that are dated (from the time when people believed in fairies) and have been passed down.

I don't dispute that Baum can choose to see them as being in the same spirit or vein. But to me, it's kind of like writing in the same spirit as George Eliot and declaring your work as a classic because it's similar to other works under that category. It very well may be - in the future - but it can't be called one now and you can't be the ones to declare it. Choosing to classify your work under a narrow category is a disservice to yourself and your work. Case in point, Baum's work is MORE than a fairy tale.

All just my opinion, of course. I've worked with classification schemes and there are things that just don't fit - and it is perfectly fine.

Apr 28, 2015, 8:42pm

makaiju, I would say that his works are not simple fairy tale, but go beyond into the realm of mythopoeic allegory. In other words, the Wizard of Oz is so profound that it actually becomes a generator of myth, and the allegories it contains reveal basic truths about human nature, just as do the ancient Greek myths.

Oct 8, 2020, 10:15am

This is an old, slow thread, but for a moment, I was excited at the thought that this topic would be about L. Frank Baum's rarely discussed American Fairy Tales, not the far more popular The Wizard of Oz. I haven't yet read much of Oz so can't determine if it fits with fairy tales traditions. Some of his short fiction does while some doesn't, I think.

Does anyone have have a view in 2020 of Baum's whole body of work?