Nathan (vovat) wrote,
Nathan
vovat

The Other Side of the World

The land where Quox lives lies on the other side of the world from Oz. If you're wondering what I mean by "the other side of the world," I mean that the characters in Tik-Tok of Oz reached it by falling down a tube tunneled and built through the planet by the magician Hiergargo. It's explained that they can fall all the way through due to acceleration, but Quox has no trouble flying slowly through the whole thing, so I have to suspect that some sort of magic is at work. Assuming the tube runs more or less straight through the center of the Earth, this other country would be located at the antipodes of Oz (or of Ev, anyway). So where's that? Well, we obviously don't know exactly where Oz is located, and some people suspect it isn't on our planet at all. I get the impression that Baum originally intended it to be, and the idea of a land in the middle of the Pacific Ocean that hadn't been discovered yet was more tenable in his time than ours. He does refer to the Ozian island-continent as being in the Nonestic Ocean, but is it possible that this is just the local name for the body of water? After all, it could technically be argued that the Earth has only one ocean anyway, with the divisions being more of a cultural thing than anything else. Ruth Plumly Thompson makes things a little more difficult by having Captain Salt sail across the Nonestic to the long continent of Tarara, which might be a little harder to hide. Nonetheless, the previous book (Speedy in Oz) had Umbrella Island flying over both Oz and the United States with no indication of world-jumping technology being employed. It's a rather common thought among fans nowadays that Oz is in another dimension, but what does this actually MEAN? It certainly wouldn't be a dimension in the sense that length, width, height, and time are considered to be dimensions. Perhaps a better term would be "astral plane," but even that is pretty ambiguous. Regardless, if Oz IS located on Earth, it's probably in the Pacific not too far from America, which would make its antipodes somewhere in the Indian.

Baum seems to have wanted to give his other-side-of-the-world fairyland (I believe it was Aaron Adelman who suggested the name "Antozia") a sort of Oriental flavor, with its dragons that are noble instead of vicious. It's also the homeland of a fellowship of fairy kings and queens, led by the Private Citizen, also known as the Great Jinjin. His name is Tititi-Hoochoo, which has kind of a smutty sound to it, but the most likely explanation I've seen for it is that it's supposed to sound like a sneeze. Not much has been done with the Antozian lands, but a few characters did pay a visit there in The Gardener's Boy of Oz, which reveals that Tititi-Hoochoo's country borders on the Land of Sour Notes.
Tags: books, oz
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