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Tao van Poeh by Benjamin Hoff

Tao van Poeh (1982)

by Benjamin Hoff, E.H. Shepard, Hilde Bervoets

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5,98164698 (3.81)77
Title:Tao van Poeh
Authors:Benjamin Hoff
Other authors:E.H. Shepard, Hilde Bervoets
Info:Den Haag : Sirius en Siderius; 168 p, 21 cm; http://opc4.kb.nl/DB=1/PPN?PPN=852689012
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff (1982)

  1. 30
    Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (Othemts)
    Othemts: Books that help Westerners understand Taoist beliefs.
  2. 20
    The Te of Piglet by Benjamin Hoff (Marewinds)
    Marewinds: Companion volume to the Tao of Pooh, and slightly more in-depth, for the next steps in your journey down the path of the Tao.

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English (63)  Dutch (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
A look at philosophy and the spiritual side of things through the eyes of the simple, but surprisingly wise Winnie-the-Pooh. The playful structure has the author speak directly to Pooh as he attempts to explain what Taoism is. I loved that he continued to ask Pooh questions and ask him for songs, etc. as he worked on the book. The style worked well, removing all pretension.

There's advice about how to avoid the frustration of life told through A.A. Milne’s Pooh stories. The author takes each tale and dissects it to present a life lesion. I understand the basic premise behind it, but the problem for me is at the end of the book the real message is: ignorance is bliss.

It basically makes the argument that if you try to fill your head with knowledge and wisdom you're only wasting your time and making yourself unhappy. Instead, try to be like Pooh, who knows nothing and doesn't care. You'll find wisdom in the simplicity of just doing exactly whatever comes to you in that moment. While that may be true for some people, I think there's also a joy that comes from expanding knowledge and wisdom in your own life.

BOTTOM LINE: The structure worked well, but it’s not something I’ll remember in a few years. Also, the message fell a bit flat for me. ( )
  bookworm12 | Dec 10, 2014 |
A nice light little introduction and explanation of Taoism. ( )
  AliceAnna | Oct 24, 2014 |
Still holds up as a nice bit of allegorical introduction to the basic ideas of Taoism. In an interesting bit of happenstance, it looks like the author might be a neighbor of ours. At the very least, his PO box is listed in Lake Oswego, which implies to me that he or someone he knows comes through here often enough to pick up his mail. ( )
  tlockney | Sep 7, 2014 |
The Tao of Pooh is an odd mixture of literary criticism and philosophy. Hoff uses the A. A. Milne books to deconstruct the writings of Lao-tse. In turn he deconstructs Lao-tse's Tao Te Ching to reconstruct Milne's books. Orchestrating this exchange of ideas is the author as he converses with Pooh and the other characters from the Hundred Acre Woods. By "Bisy Backson" chapter, Hoff's thesis runs out of steam. "Bisy Backson" goes from being a clever mixture of criticism and allegory to just being a disconnected rant about the evils of modern life. For a more interesting cautionary tale on this subject, I recommend Momo by Michael Ende. To get the most enjoyment out of The Tao of Pooh, savor the first five chapters, skim the next two and then go back to savoring at "Nowhere and Nothing." ( )
  pussreboots | Sep 4, 2014 |
This book was very disappointing. While there is some wisdom in it - slow your life down, try to live more harmoniously, etc - this had way too much of the "don't try, just let things happen and it will all work out" message that was present in Coelho's "The Alchemist."(Maybe Hoff was channeling Coelho when he wrote this.) However what I found most deplorable was Hoff's flat out repudiation of science. His reasoning for this was ill-informed at best, willfully ignorant at worst; and, I'm quite sure he makes use of the inventions of science just as much as the rest of us. Science doesn't have all the answers concerning life, the universe and everything, but it has some (and clearly far more than Hoff bothered to educate himself concerning), and the number and quality of them is every-increasing.

If you want to read a useful book about engaging life and other people, get James Carse's "Finite and Infinite Games". It's a better book, better written and doesn't hypocritically tell you to ditch the very thing that made mass distribution of it possible.

( )
  qaphsiel | May 11, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (29 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Benjamin Hoffprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Shepard, E.H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie,
A fly can't bird, but a bird can fly.
Ask me a riddle and I reply:
"Cottleston, Cottleston, Cottleston Pie."
For Han Hsiang-tse
First words
"What's this you're writing?" asked Pooh, climbing onto the writing table.
"You see, Pooh," I said, "a lot of people don't seem to know what Taoism is . . ."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Haiku summary
Haiku about bear
with very simple nature
is quite redundant. (Hephaestus63)

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140067477, Paperback)

Is there such thing as a Western Taoist? Benjamin Hoff says there is, and this Taoist's favorite food is honey. Through brilliant and witty dialogue with the beloved Pooh-bear and his companions, the author of this smash bestseller explains with ease and aplomb that rather than being a distant and mysterious concept, Taoism is as near and practical to us as our morning breakfast bowl. Romp through the enchanting world of Winnie-the-Pooh while soaking up invaluable lessons on simplicity and natural living.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:04:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Author/narrator Hoff calls Winnie the Pooh a "Western Taoist'' and uses the unassuming bear to introduce Eastern philosophical principles. Pooh epitomizes the "uncarved block,'' as he is well in tune with his natural inner self.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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