Tag Archive: lucy pollard-gott

out of oz

Dorothy Gale taught me all about the power of rainbows, courage, strength, and right living. She was one of the most important fictional characters of my childhood years. When I think of her, I still think of miracles, dreams, blue birds, yellow bricks, and the green Emerald City. And of course, Dorothy’s magical shoes and the Wicked Witch of the West comes to mind. Defeated!

How ravishing when my love for one of my favorite fictional characters of my youth is rekindled in an unexpected arrested moment. Memories of Dorothy, the wonderful sparkling character created by L. Frank Baum, author of the children’s novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, came flooding in when I was recently reading Lucy Pollard-Gott’s latest review: In and “Out of Oz:” Dorothy in the “Wicked Years” series.

Pollard-Gott’s reviews are always thrilling to me. Thrilling, because I am reminded how the lives of fictional characters have the power to recreate themselves into new landscapes and stories. I learn how a character’s  life always has a new potential for life when he or she falls into the hands of a divine creator. Creators are keepers of immortality.

And so in her latest review, author Pollard-Gott takes the beloved character of Dorothy, created at the turn of the 20th-century, and expands to explain how she as well as other characters of the classic tale inspired author Gregory Maguire to refashion the Oz world in four volumes of his works. Now, I have never read Maguire’s Ozian books, but I am sure if I did I might not look at Oz ever in the same way. In what way might I see Dorothy today?

Well here then is my Ozian collage. I did not use a picture of Judy Garland, famous for her role as Dorothy in the film The Wizard of Oz (1939) who I adored. Instead, I collaged the beautiful face of my dear cousin, Esther, who seemed perfect for my postmodern Dorothy Gale project.

I like to think of myself as a creator whose mind is open to being arrested at any given moment on any given day. And so Lucy Pollard-Gott’s review stopped me in my tracks to in- and exhale Dorothy into my own artistic environment. My encounters with wonderful poets and authors inspires me to take fiction beyond the moon, and beyond the rain… Lucy is one of those authors who touches the heart of my creative spirit by her literary knowledge, her kind and generous being, and her passion to share the lives of some of the most influential characters in world literature and legend. And so I thank her for inspiring me to create my Out of Oz collage.

“There is no place like home.” Dorothy Gale


Lucy Pollard-Gott, PhD, is author of The Fictional 100. The list of The Fictional 100 ranks the most influential fictional persons in world literature and legend, from all time periods and from all over the world, ranging from Shakespeare’s Hamlet [1] to Tomi Morrison’s Beloved [100]. Dorothy Gale ranks [83].

Lucy Pollard-Gott also on twitter as @Fictional100 and her blog at fictional100’s posterous

For some delicious dishes, please visit Esther’s Food Talk blog

madame bovary

“She felt her heart beginning to beat again, and the blood flowing inside her flesh like a river of milk.” ~ Gustave Flaubert [Madame Bovary]

“” I knew from that moment on, till my dying day, I would be in love with Emma Bovary.” Thus, Mario Vargas Llosa, Peruvian novelist and presidential candidate, paid tribute to his lifelong passion for Flaubert’s Madame Bovary.” ~ Lucy Pollard-Gott  [The Fictional 100]

Fevers of flesh. Passion particles. Deep secret pathways and underground longings. Sooner than later the silence of silence became her own silence and killed what was left of Emma.

Her final desire: death of torment and another hour. Poison, she took it, to poison her wretchedness and the last crumbs of her passions. The key of Capharnaum opens the ruins of woman in an underground grave. Debris field of heartbreak, illusions, the real and the dream. Her poetry and passions perished in acid. Not angels but demons now visiting her heavens, to tear them up.

Life lied. Lover lied. All a lie. Shipwrecked, she struggled with spirit and dragged herself one tick at a time through the hair curls of life. Marriage. Did you not promise Emma happiness, happiness and blessedness with the fulfillment of duty and a ring? Emptiness not happiness puncturing holes in a woman’s heart. Capsized, it sank to a bottomless chaos. Death of the rapture of wife.

Emma! You dreamed the most beautiful dreams you could dream to make your heart drops of emptiness bearable. Such thirst, such hunger for a breathless higher human ecstasy and a true love undiluted pleasure. And so you drowned your heart in the rivers of your dreams to feel the milk of the dream fill you with everything.

But instead the lie of the dream moved through your veins like venom. Body bitten in a swamp of earthly desires. Oh Madame Bovary, Charles, Léon, and Rodolphe, such misery and disaster. Such a chronic violent collapse!

What to do with such bloodstains of realism in literature? Bovarysme, the will-to-illusion through fiction… And so, the artist paints another picture. The poet writes another poem about the Emma Bovarys who inhabit our world.

One of the greatest character creations in literature ::: Madame Bovary ::: desperate destiny dreams.

“In an 1853 letter, Flaubert remarked that Emma Bovarys could be found suffering in at least twenty French villages at that moment. To be sure, such unhappy women inhabit not only the rural France of the 1850s; they represent not so much a certain place or time as ‘a certain permanent attitude toward life, capable of appearing in the most diverse guises in different places and different eras,’ as Vargas Llosa describes it.”  ~Lucy Pollard-Gott  [The Fictional 100]


* My art inspired by Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Mario Vargas Llosa’s The Bad Girl, and Lucy Pollard-Gott’s wonderful book The Fictional 100, Ranking the most influential characters in world literature and legend. (Madame Bovary ranks no. 37).

Author Lucy Pollard-Gott also on twitter @Fictional100 and her blog Some of My Best Friends are Fictional