Back in 2014 I blogged the satirical essay written by Richard Bauckham about the “Pooh Community” — aimed at historical Jesus methodology. Now Old Testament scholar D. J. A. Clines has posted this insightful essay:
You have to love the German sub-title — so appropriately pompous — about the (folk)lore and History of Religions School approaches to Pooh! Something about seeing the the words “Pu-Buch” (and the essay’s later reference to the “redactor of the Pooh corpus”) are especially endearing. Here’s the first paragraph:
There is little need, at the present stage of scholarship, to attempt a justiﬁcation of the principle that the dogma of unitary authorship for works of literature must be totally abandoned. In all conﬁdence we may say that a priori we may expect the Pooh corpus (viz. Winnie-the-Pooh,hereafter abbreviated W, containing traditions of higher antiquity than the Deutero-Pooh book, The House at Pooh Corner, hereafter abbreviated H) to be of composite origin; even if there were such a person as A.A. Milne, traditionally the ‘author’, we may be sure that he did not write the Pooh books. His name does not occur once within the narratives themselves, and we can hardly be expected to take a title-page,manifestly a later addition, seriously.
What’s he taking a jab at is source and tradition-history criticism of the sort that comes with analysis of the Pentateuch and Isaiah.
Deutero-Pooh indeed. Well done, professor Clines.
Hat tip to Sean!