Wizard of Ozymandias (1 of 2)

March 31, 2011

I enjoyed Clive Bloom's "Hello, Yellow Brick Road" (17 March), but he repeats a myth that Frank Baum himself must have started about "Oz" having originated from the chance sighting of a filing cabinet labelled "O-Z".

Surely, the real origin was Percy Bysshe Shelley's poem Ozymandias. Listen to the cadence and content of the two famous speeches: "I am Oz - the Great and Powerful. Who are you?"; "My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!". However, Bloom is right that the metaphor is a perfect one for the smoke and mirrors of our times.

Shadd Maruna, School of Law, Queen's University Belfast

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