HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Pooh Perplex by Frederick C. Crews
Loading...

The Pooh Perplex (1963)

by Frederick C. Crews

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
500831,147 (3.83)16

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
The simple prose of A.A. Milne did create a book beloved of English speaking people, and thus, an academic descends upon the canon looking for reasons to read the books...as an antidote to the academic justification for reading "children's books", we have this set of fictitious essays. The underlying need, for adults to reread the Pooh canon , is that the books, and the Shepherd illustrations are a wonder filled retreat to the state of childhood. As an artifact, an interesting satire upon for those looking for rationalization of their affection....rather like "The Gospel according to Peanuts", but since deliberately a satire, the humour lies closer to the surface. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jun 12, 2019 |
These are trying times, but it is always still OK to laugh.

If ever you have a moment of doubt about what we do here on goodreads; if you have ever wondered what could possibly be said about your latest read that hasn't been said before, enter 'The Pooh Perplex'. Written by Frederick C. Crews as a send-up of the pomposity of the then-current schools of literary thought and how they can seemingly tear apart anything they turn their pens to. The 'Perplex' is a way out of seeing any piece of literature through only one lens, and deflates the idea of criticism for criticism's sake.

Crews chose the perfect work to feature in his "case-study". The twelve essays come complete with discussion questions and research tips for the young scholar - suggesting even that after he's read through all the case-books and analyses he might check out the original work - if he has time. The 'Pooh' books are rife with material for the bored scholar. Catching these essays individually it would be impossible to detect the joke, so thoroughly does Crews inhabit the characters of his scholars: Harvey C. Window, Woodbine Meadowlark, Simon Lacerus - 12 in all. They snipe at each other, debunk each other's theories and each of their contributions has a bio that scans well.

I've read this several times and I still laugh when reading about Rabbit as the capitalist busybody working to keep everyone organized and downtrodden, Owl as either the obfuscating fog of the masses or the high-brow hero, Eeyore as Christ, Kanga as the fearful feminine energy dragging the Hundred Acre Wood out of its perpetual latency. Its amazing - and I discovered years and years after it came out - there's a sequel!

Pooh Perplex

Next: 'Postmodern Pooh' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
The Pooh Perplex is an immensely clever and effective satire against literary criticism, as manifested by the 1960s. Each chapter consists of an essay, purportedly written by literary critic, of childhood favorite Winnie the Pooh. The blurb on the front cover tells the book's purpose (in appropriate Pooh-like language): "In Which It is Discovered that the True Meaning of the Pooh Stories is Not as Simple as is Usually Believed... But for Proper Elucidation Requires Combined Efforts of Several Academicians of Varying Critical Persuasions."

Each chapter consists of an essay, purportedly written by a different literary critic, interpreting Winnie from a different standpoint. The 12 essays are written with different authorial voices, each with amusing footnotes, and for the earnest first-year college student, each with ridiculous "questions and study projects," as well as hilariously pompous biographical notes.

Among the schools of literary criticism included are Freudian, Marxist, and New Critical perspectives. For example, in the essay “Poisoned Paradise: The Underside of Pooh”, “Marvin Masterson” informs us (from a Freudian perspective) that The animals in “Winnie the Pooh” are lacking in genitalia, they seem to have no other activity in life beyond calling on one another and eating snacks, but the experienced critic need not be fooled. The real subject of the book is Christopher Robin’s loss of his mother, which is alternately symbolized, accepted, protested against, denied, and homoerotically compensated for in the various “nursey stories of the plot” (p. 45).

Likewise, in his essay “A Bourgeois Writer’s Proletarian Fables,” “Martin Tempralis” takes a Marxist perspective to inform us that Rabbit is the capitalist manager par excellence, the ‘captain of industry’ who... having deceitfully proffered Pooh admittance to his overstocked larder, artfully traps his victim in the doorway and exploits him as a towel rack for an entire week.... The united efforts of a Marxist- Leninist band of workers succeed in extricating Pooh from his servitude”.

The audience for this work lies chiefly among the targets of the parody, as well as those engaged in literary studies as students, professors, or book reviewers. Others may find some of the essays rather over-the-top, if they understand them. One overarching benefit of the book, from a serious standpoint, is that it shows how easy it is to impose one’s ideology on a neutral work – mining it to find justification for one’s own view. There is a lesson there for anyone who reads literature, or for that matter, current events. And for readers interested in an updated perspective, Crews has followed this work up with the sequel Postmodern Pooh, which revisits Pooh criticism from the standpoint of the excesses of literary criticism in the 1990s. ( )
2 vote danielx | Jul 2, 2017 |
A spoof on the varied forms of literary criticisms and critics themselves. This book would be a better read for someone who has a literary/literature background. Never having taken classes like those, I only bring to it the experience I have from trying to read a few critics, I don't read them much because they tick me off. So, with that sort of background, I'm afraid much of the humor in this volume was lost on me. Still, there were enough chapters which were hilarious to make it worth the read, and worth the skimming just to understand the different styles. ( )
  MrsLee | May 14, 2011 |
A dozen "critical essays" about the Pooh stories by as many literary "critics". I think this is one of the best, and definitely the funniest Pooh spin-off book (it was one of the first, too). The analysis of literature is to me a fascinating topic, and here we have an academic caricature of its various branches. I liked it. In addition to making me laugh, I think I learned some literary criticism from it.

The last essays are the funniest, my favourite ones being the Freudian analysis and the call for a rigorous foundation for criticism. The essay by "Woodbine Meadowlark" was almost touching with its end-of-childhood theme.

This book has not been translated into Finnish, and at times the language was hard to follow, especially when Crews simulated the writing of the most over-the-top critics. Perhaps the funniness suffered somewhat from my frequent browsing of a dictionary. ( )
1 vote jmattas | Mar 7, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
For
Betty and Gretchen
the editor's friends-and-relations
First words
Preface
Winnie-the-Pooh is, as practically everyone knows, one of the greatest books ever written, but it is also one of the most controversial.
Quotations
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0226120589, Paperback)

In this devastatingly funny classic, Frederick Crews skewers the ego-inflated pretensions of the schools and practitioners of literary criticism popular in the 1960s, including Freudians, Aristotelians, and New Critics. Modeled on the "casebooks" often used in freshman English classes at the time, The Pooh Perplex contains twelve essays written in different critical voices, complete with ridiculous footnotes, tongue-in-cheek "questions and study projects," and hilarious biographical notes on the contributors. This edition contains a new preface by the author that compares literary theory then and now and identifies some of the real-life critics who were spoofed in certain chapters.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:26 -0400)

In this devastatingly funny classic, Frederick Crews skewers the ego-inflated pretensions of the schools and practitioners of literary criticism popular in the 1960s, including Freudians, Aristotelians, and New Critics. Modeled on the "casebooks" often used in freshman English classes at the time, The Pooh Perplex contains twelve essays written in different critical voices, complete with ridiculous footnotes, tongue-in-cheek "questions and study projects," and hilarious biographical notes on the contributors. This edition contains a new preface by the author that compares literary theory then and now and identifies some of the real-life critics who were spoofed in certain chapters.… (more)

Quick Links

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.83)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 3
2.5 1
3 11
3.5 2
4 18
4.5
5 14

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 136,437,079 books! | Top bar: Always visible