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Frank, on the other hand, was low key, optimistic, even-tempered and whimsical. Once settled in Syracuse, Baum worked in sales for the family business. During the time of the investigation, the bookkeeper conveniently disappeared. Everything suffered but again Frank managed to stay afloat by working as head salesman in the family Castorine Business. During this time, Frank was preoccupied with his own fragile health and hectic sales schedule, Maud having their second son, and the failing health of Uncle Doc who handled the business finances.

The business was left in the hands of a clerk. Ironically and sadly, again their money was swindled from them, gambled away while the bills went unpaid and they lost everything. He unlocked the door, entered, and was stunned to find the clerk sprawled across the desk dead. The revolver with which he had shot himself was still in hand. This may have been another factor in their decision besides the hope of economic possibilities.

The store opened on October 1, and it sold a variety of goods from tableware, household goods, tinware, and lamps to toys and candy. There were always plenty of children around the store for they liked to listen to Frank tell them stories of faraway places and enchanted lands. Many came to hear stories that Baum could be persuaded to tell. Soon after, he began a new position managing a weekly newspaper called The Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer.

He sold advertisements, set the type, ran the press, and wrote. It seemed the skills he acquired as a boy came in handy. In the paper he wrote about all sorts of social events. Unfortunately, however, and to his discredit, it also included editorials that had disparaging racial comments and illustrated an intolerant attitude towards Native American Indians during their conflicts with the government. Nonetheless, it was a well liked paper but the scarce Dakota years got the best of him and in Frank lost the Pioneer to bankruptcy. Throughout his lifetime, Frank genuinely loved children and they adored him.

He never stopped believing in the creative powers of the imagination. He would sit down on the edge of the dusty wooden sidewalk and spin one of his yarns of magic countries. Through these tough economic years, Baum remained optimistic which could not have been easy at the time. In , Chicago had the World Columbian Exposition so it seemed a logical place to try to find employment.

Frank first took a position as a reporter for the Evening Post but the pay was so slight he instead he worked as a traveling salesman for a china company, Pitkin and Brooks. She told him that he should write these stories down and publish them.

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They would ask him, for instance, how blackbirds baked in a pie could later come out and sing and got what Harry remembered as a satisfactory answer. Often neighborhood friends of the older boys would drop in for the storytelling hour.

He had the ability to capture the imagination of children and to create worlds of timelessness in his stories. So I believe that day dreams with your eyes wide open are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young. I believe it. While in Chicago, Baum kept in contact with the Chicago Press Club of his former newspaper days and mentioned to a popular novelist, Opie Read, about his writings on Mother Goose stories and that he was looking for a publisher.

Through Opie Read, he met Chancey L. He saw a heart specialist who advised him to find a more sedentary job, rather than a traveling lifestyle.

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Teall, and by writing himself about the values of window advertising in specific trades. Through his friend Opie Read, he met William W. Denslow was described as being serious and gruff, quite the opposite of Baum and years later their contradictory personalities were, in many respects, the downfall of their relationship. Denslow sported a large walrus moustache and was known to wear a beautiful red vest that he liked to show off while at the Baum home. Denslow and Baum worked together often and Denslow would visit Baum at his home drawing pictures to fit the verse.

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Baum was so much a part of his work and his work so much a part of him that he engraved and stenciled geese into some of the woodwork, as well as into a stained glass window. This was a hobby he took up after recovering from an attack of facial paralysis. Baum also did some writing there, as well as relaxing. But he was certainly never without something to do, for he was very involved in the community social life as well. Frank wrote a book about Macatawa in , entitled Tamawaca Folks A Summer Comedy which was considered an unfavorable account by some.

So after some reworking, after several titles lacking the vitality that Baum wanted to capture, he finally came up with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Baum early on had wanted to write a new kind of fairy tale because of the frightening themes he remembered as a child. There were, of course, the fairy tales of Howard Pyle and Frank Stockton. The Baum and Denslow team were to work together on a few more books and projects and only for a few years following their success from The Wizard of Oz.

In , they collaborated with Paul Tietjens and Julien Mitchell to produce an adult version of The Wizard of Oz as a musical stage play. It became a major success and toured the nation.

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It has been suggested that Denslow wanted his share of the royalties of the play and threatened a law suit even though he had nothing to do with it. It is not certain why Baum and Denslow split up but it has been suggested that there were several possible reasons, one being that neither Baum nor Denslow needed the other to prosper, now that each was known in their own right. Another reason is that there was also considerable rivalry about who was most responsible for the success of their books and they had large disagreements on this subject. Also, the failure of the Hill company made it logical for them to split as well.

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They were mainly just business partners; there was no loyalty to friendship, since they were very different people and had very different lifestyles. Denslow was quixotic and extroverted his sense of humor was upside down. Oral storytelling, spanning from Southwest Asia to North Africa, dates back to ancient times. These stories quickly became popular and spread widely among people who lived within reach of the Islamic Empire. The sexual humor and focus on the lives of commoners suggest a low-brow spirit: these were stories people would encounter on the street, not in scholarly tomes.

These raconteurs, most of whom hailed from Yemen, blended legend and history in an effort to shape an Arab identity at the inception of an expanding, united empire made of formerly scattered tribes that did not bow down to kings. These storytellers added a dash of cosmopolitanism to the caliphate and provided entertainment at court. The Panchatantra , a Sanskrit book of fables and animal stories, is an early forerunner to the Nights. Indian and Buddhist literature has long featured the trope of the wise young woman who liberates herself from calamity not through sex, beauty, or battle prowess but rather with intelligence and wit.

The direct inspiration of the Nights , however, is the Persian Hezar Afsana A Thousand Stories , a collection of fairy tales and historical narratives that Arab historians trace to the court of the Sassanid kings. The most authoritative written version of the One Thousand and One Nights remains the 14th-century Syrian manuscript, which provides a faithful picture of life in the Mamluk period of medieval Arabia.

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The text of Hezar Afsana is now lost, but its lasting cultural influence spans countries and centuries. Lured by the promise of adventure and prestige, he followed Paul Lucas, a tomb raider for Louis XIV, to Paris, where he met Galland, who would record the stories Diyab had probably heard in the coffeehouses of Aleppo or from the wizened women of his family.

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  • While Galland had neared the end of the medieval manuscript, his encounter with Diyab proved an unexpected coup de foudre. He was in charge of the Arabic library of books. This was common in Southwest Asian epics, where China plays the role of a faraway land of myth and intrigue, the edge of the world in the stories of sailors and adventurers. Sign up. But ethnic boundaries in the original tale were not clearly defined. Aladdin himself appears to be of mixed descent — his mother is Chinese, and his father, Mustafa the Tailor, possibly came to China from the Maghreb; Aladdin readily believes a North African magician to be his long-lost uncle.

    Aladdin is 15, a naive and lazy teenager who cavorts on the streets all day long to the tearful regret of his mother, and finds the lamp after a magician manipulates him into entering the Cave of Wonders. The original Aladdin is less about destiny, and more about financial struggle and the temptations of money.

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    After seeing the princess unveiled, Aladdin decides to ask for her hand in marriage and uses the enchantments of the lamp to sabotage her union with the son of the ambitious vizier. When the magician returns, Badr al-Budur weaponizes her charm to poison him. While the original manuscript no longer survives, its apparent existence marks Hanna Diyab as the true, largely forgotten, first author of Aladdin. At the time, hakawati — professional storytellers in Syria — performed their craft at coffeehouses, holding their listeners rapt and ending each session on a razor-sharp cliffhanger.

    It lives on among refugees displaced by the Syrian Civil War. Not unlike my grandmother, Diyab was simply repeating the stories he knew, and which he believed were part of Alf Layla. But in that process, he became something more. I grew up on Disney films. I knew all the words to the songs of Beauty and the Beast , and, as I grew older, I came to identify with the bookish Belle. My storybooks were illustrated adaptations of Disney films, satisfying my burgeoning princess obsession. I found myself enraptured in the books as much as I was in the VHS tapes my parents would patiently rewind so I could watch my favorite films again and again.

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