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:
New Directions in Pooh Studies: Überlieferungs- und Religionsgeschichtliche Studien zum Pu-Buch
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!
Wow, I barely understood anything. So, there are different authors/sources of Winnie-the-Pooh stories, and the backdrop for these stories reflect English community kids (Europe?) and also include implied religious figures and theologies?
Your Pooh scholarship needs more attention! 🙂
Pooh! I give up. I think I’ll stick where I already am.
Now that was HILARIOUS! I read the one by Bauckham before, but this one by Clines sure hit me right. The footnotes were a really nice touch too yet I realized how much of a geek I must be as I went through my contacts and realized how few of my friends would fully appreciate it. Thanks Mike for getting this one posted.
yep – hat tip to Sean, friend of mine in the office.
Hi Dr. Michael,
I find it interesting over the years while I have studied -and keep on doing so- your material that you refer on and off to German or sources written in German. I know it is because of the sources but I have been wondering for a longer time if you read or speak actually German yourself? It is just out of interest since I’m German from Germany and like what you do quite a lot.
I don’t speak it; read some – enough to pick my way through an article. I need to work on my vocab, though.
German translation of certain items is one of the things I’d consider paying for in the future, too.
No urtext/ursology puns???