Pooh, the bear of little brain

Here’s (<- link) some new scholarship in literary criticism, based on certain techniques popular in NT studies in recent years. It’s from a scholar I rather appreciate, with this assessment based largely on his “Jesus and the Eyewitnesses”, a very influential book also well worth a read.

 (picture from Wikipedia)

An extract:

“Clearly the Pooh books were written for a specific community with a strong sense of its distinctive identity – a closed, one might even say sectarian group which prided itself on its special insider knowledge. We can see this in features of the writings which would have baffled any outsider but provide the insider with confirmation of their special status as privy to a kind of esoteric knowledge.

The very distinctive nature of the Pooh community can be further appreciated when we compare it with other children’s literature of the period, such as the Noddy books or the Narnia books (though it may be debatable whether these were already written at the time when the traditions of the Pooh community were taking shape). Words and concepts very familiar from other children’s literature never appear in the Pooh books: the word school, e.g., is completely absent, as is the word toys, even though the books are ostensibly about precisely toys. Conversely, the Pooh books have their own special vocabulary and imagery: e.g. the image of honey, which is extremely rare in other children’s literature (not at all to be found in the Narnia books, e.g., according to the computer-generated analysis by Delaware and Babcock), constantly recurs in the literature of the Pooh community, which clearly must have used the image of honey as one of the key building blocks in their imaginative construction of the world.”

 

 

Just in case you’re about geeky as this kind of stuff as I occasionally am, here‘s more joy for you.

Courtesy of Between Two Worlds

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