Witch week

deborah deborah at suberic.net
Mon Nov 10 13:15:05 EST 2003

On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 hannibal at thegates.fsbusiness.co.uk wrote:

|>Though the Pooh Perplex is troubling in other ways. The implication of
|>PP and its recent sequel is that trying to find deep meanings in
|>children's lit is silly. Which we all agree, it isn't.
|I agree with Hallie's and Roger's replies to this vis-a-vis the PP (and
|sequel) as being primarily a parody the monomania of some critics,
|rather than a scoffing at Winnie the Pooh.

I guess I wasn't clear about what I meant.  I agree that what the two
volumes themselves get across is a parody of certain types of critics
and criticism, not to be concept of parody in Pooh.  But the end result
-- at least, from the perspective of the reader who has never considered
applying literary criticism techniques to a book such as Pooh -- is that
the volume works for most readers because the reader can accept as a
given that the entire project of critiquing Pooh is ludicrous.  Of
course, I'm making that assertion without any evidence -- nobody I know
would dare express such opinion to me.  ;)

|But I'm sure it's also surely
|true that Crews' choice of Pooh was a considered one, and it's hard to
|believe that its being a book for children wasn't a factor in that
|So - it's not that children's
|literature is automatically risible as a category for critical analysis,
|more something about Pooh itself. As to what, I'm not sure I'd be able
|to say! Something to do with Milne's voice, perhaps, and the comic
|philosophizing of his characters, which renders those critics who take
|them seriously equally comic.

True, although there are interesting things to be said about Pooh from a
literary criticism perspective, even though the Pooh Perplex clearly
doesn't say them.  I don't mean to undermine how funny the books are --
they're hilarious.  It's just always annoying to have my field
denigrated.  I have no objection to the parody of fatuous literary
criticism -- goodness only knows there is plenty out there.  What
worries me is the more unspoken part of how the books work -- the "this
is a good giggle, as we all know how silly the concept even is, right?"

Or I'm being oversensitive, and you can all laugh at me.  This is
entirely possible.  Even likely!

You klingon bastard, you killed my son.  You klingon bastard, you killed my
son.  You ... Klingon ... bastard ... you ...

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