Rewriting the classics

There has been a lot of rewriting of the classics going on in recent years. I enjoy reading these new interpretations. Recently I had an idea myself along those lines and have almost finished a first draft of, in this case, The Wizard of Oz from a different point of view.
This is not an adult book like those of Gregory Maguire (Wicked for example), which I love. This is a childrens’ book and much closer to the original story. I’ve tried to strike a balance between being true to Baum’s story and coming up with my own, and my narrator’s, take on it.
As The Wizard of Oz was copyrighted over 100 years ago, it is in the public domain. But I’m curious what people think is appropriate as far as using language from another author’s work. I do want to keep the flavor of the original work, so in many places I have used his words.

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2 thoughts on “Rewriting the classics

  1. This is an interesting question! I would not use original language, as you are presenting the book as your writing. You could say the same thing but in your own words. I love the book!

    Louise

  2. After 100 years I guess there’s no issue legally. I’d question the ethics of using L. Frank Baum’s words without attribution, but if you declare it to be a retelling of his classic, I see no problem.

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