Cynthia Sugars


Salman Rushdie’s little guidebook to The Wizard o f Oz contains some compelling observations about diasporic experience. Dorothy’s wistful longing for ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ testifies to ‘the human dream of leaving, a dream at least as powerful as its countervailing dream of roots’ (23). The Wizard o f Oz, Rushdie attests, exemplifies ‘a great tension between these two dreams’, but ultimately it ‘is unarguably a film about the joys of going away’. What the film — and the song — really attest to, however, is that, despite the power of the ruby slippers, there is, ultimately, ‘no place like home’ (57). In other words, the place we call home, in the final analysis, cannot offer the sought-for psychic comfort of familiarity and ‘homeliness’.



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