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Postmodern Pooh

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  132 ratings  ·  26 reviews
A sequel of sorts to the classic (and bestselling) sendup of literary criticism, The Pooh Perplex

Purporting to be the proceedings of a forum on Pooh convened at the Modern Language Association's annual convention, Postmodern Pooh brilliantly parodies the academic fads and figures that hold sway at the millennium.
Deconstruction, poststructuralist Marxism, new historicism,
Paperback, 192 pages
Published January 15th 2003 by North Point Press (first published October 10th 2001)
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Full disclosure: As far as Winnie the Pooh is concerned, I'm in Dorothy Parker's camp. I think it's nauseatingly cutesy dreck that condescends to children. But that's neither here nor there, because the target in "Postmodern Pooh" is not Pooh. In this sequel to his earlier book, "The Pooh Perplex", Crews instead takes aim at various current fads in academic literary criticism, using Pooh as a vehicle. This is a bit like shooting fish in a barrel, but the results are hilarious.

The book purports
Rhonda Keith  Stephens
A brilliant sequel to Crews' The Pooh Perplex, this book is a compilation of Crews' essays spoofing the postmodern, deconstructionist literary criticism that has shanghaied, hogtied, and stuffed shop rags into the mouth of the MLA. If I'd read the Perplex in grad school, I would have understood all my classes better. If I'd read Postmodern before starting an (unfinished) PhD program, I wouldn't have been so confused after being away from academia for eight years and might not have bothered. Not ...more
Heather Carrillo
I gave this three stars because I couldn't give it five. I wanted to give it five because it's HILARIOUS!
It's basically a satirical recounting of a fictional postmodern literary critique conference on the subject of Winnie the Pooh. Each "scholar" takes Pooh for his/her own personal spin in order to denounce the decline of the gentleman, or expose Piglet's hidden abuse, or lament the cause of woman. The book takes all the theories of the postmodern literary field and airs them for the world to
This book is the perfect summary of why I didn't go into graduate school for literature. If you think that the parody essays exemplifying different theoretical approaches in this book are over the top and unrealistic, just go look at the listing of presentation and paper titles for the Modern Language Association--those are even scarier. I keep this one around as a good reminder that us academic types should refrain from taking ourselves too seriously. It's a dangerous temptation to start thinki ...more
Steven Rodriguez
This book serves a double function: it's a biting satire of the major strands of contemporary postmodern literary criticism (Derridian, historicist, Marxist, feminist, queer, postcolonial, etc.), but it also serves as a good crash-course introduction to the basic impulses of those different factions. The book loses a little of its comedic steam in the final third, and I have to admit that it was a little too crude for my taste, but it is worth reading. As a Christian, I found myself noticing tha ...more
Ben Thurley
A fictional symposium on A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh allows Frederick Crews to offer a variety of hilariously-rendered (but scrupulously plausible and carefully footnoted) readings or appropriations of this classic children's work – including post-colonial, post-structuralist, new historicist, Marxist, feminist and even a Darwinian literary study entitled "Gene/Meme Covariation in Ashdown Forest: Pooh and the Consilience of Knowledge".

This is a brilliant parody of everything you've ever studied
Moses Operandi
Aug 29, 2007 Moses Operandi rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone willing to take a laugh at Academia's excesses.
Shelves: readandenjoyed
This was a worthwhile read, and definitely biting satire, but it fell short of its predecessor in humor; perhaps because it's too realistic. Academia, the target its' jokes are directed at, has grown far more outrageous since Crewe first penned "The Pooh Perplex" to instant success. Many of the essays in Postmodern Pooh are all too believable. The one that really shines out is the essay "The Fissured Subtext" by Crewe's vitriolic post-structuralist Marxist, Carla Gulag, the Joe Camel Professor o ...more
2.5 stars

Maybe I just hold Winnie the Pooh too dearly, but I couldn't completely enjoy the things that were written in this book. I do see the satire of it, and the mocking of various literary theories and how the theorists take themselves too seriously (and sometimes try too hard to find "evidence" to back up their theories... one thing I hated about analytical English classes), but it just hurt my heart to read some of the things that were written about Winnie the Pooh and the Winnie the Pooh
Brilliantly done, but not as novel as its original, Pooh Perplex.

It would make a good secondary course book (along with its companion book) but is definitely not stand-alone in a course of Lit Crit, which is how I was introduced to it.

My ambivalence lies here: Yes, it's a brilliant mockery of literary theorists, but pedantic, egoist, idiotic text is still pedantic, egoist, and idiotic even if it's intended to be that way.

I detested it, and yet I value what it accomplished.

A biting send up of postmodern literary criticism. Crews takes on deconstruction, biogenetics, radical feminism, queer cultural studies, and neo-Marxism to name a few. The absolute best chapters are the first and last where Crews brilliantly captures the inanity of Derrida and Stanley Fish respectively. A must read for anyone who finds themselves slightly suspicious of the postmodern pooh on offer, especially by certain proponents of the emerging church.
Some people say that we can never travel far in life if we forget to take our favourite stuffed Bear with us. Crews has not only constructed and deconstructed the world of Pooh he has left it impossible for us to read such a simple story straight again. A book which is perfect for the boarded parent recreating a fresh view for their 3rd child. Definitely one for excelsentionist leanings not to mention a truly great laugh as well.
Dara Salley
This book was mildly amusing. I think I would have liked it better if it was just a series of critical essays and not a discussion among critics. I enjoy reading critical essays, even though I'm not an English scholar by profession. Reading these essays, however, made me glad that I chose science and don't have to debate literature with people like those profiled in this book.
‘The rememoration of the “present” as space is the possibility of the utopian imperative of no-(particular)-place, the metropolitan project that can supplement the post-colonial attempt at the impossible cathexis of place-bound history as the lost time of the spectator.’ That’s what we’re all here for, wouldn’t you agree?
a crazy bunch of essays on postmodernism, deconstructionism, and all other isms in relation to winnie the pooh.

now that i think my brain is deteriorating due to my recent interest in us weekly, i've picked this book up to reel my brain back into action, and it's doing the job. excellent.
This is a brilliant piss-take, so to speak. It really pokes fun at literary theory, at the different critics and critical schools, and at the dangers of believing too thoroughly in any school of theory. A must-read for all English majors and students of literary criticism.
Read this years ago at the same time I had had just finished the The Tao of Pooh it was a funny book and well written.
I am sure I was not able to appreciate it as well as someone who is immersed in these kinds of literary criticisms, but all you have to be is someone living in a postmodern society who reads to see it is hilarious and spot on!
Jul 01, 2007 Sky rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: capitalist, and people who read to much
Shelves: pastloves
This was such a funny book. The inside joke was that if you got the joke, the joke was on you. Satire is not the easiest thing to read and enjoy, and I so enjoyed this one. Seriously, I believe pooh was written by Virgina Wolf...
Very humorous. Especially the last few chapters. If you're not up to speed on literary criticism, perhaps review some of that first, so that you may enhance your appreciation of Crews' satire.
Not as funny the second time around... Or maybe I've just been out of grad school for too long to appreciate the jokes. If I recall correctly, "The Pooh Perplex" was better.
I had to read this for a class. It was a series of essays about ways to interpret Winnie the Pooh... VERY WEIRD, much like my class.
it's good to know if academics are incapable of laughing at themselves, there is someone there to laugh at them.
Jordan Pennington
Hilarious. I quite enjoyed the essay where it's argued that A.A. Milne molested Christopher Robin.
Christopher Sutch
Very funny, but slightly misguided (academically speaking).
A fun analysis of postmodern literary theory.
Tahir Mallam
Tahir Mallam marked it as to-read
Nov 25, 2014
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Crews was born in suburban Philadelphia in 1933. In high school, Crews was co-captain of the tennis team; and he continues to be an avid skier, hiker, swimmer, motorcyclist, and runner. Crews lives in Berkeley with his wife of 52 years, Elizabeth Crews, a photographer who was born and raised in Berkeley, CA. They have two daughters and four grandchildren.

Crews completed his undergraduate education
More about Frederick C. Crews...
The Pooh Perplex Follies of the Wise: Dissenting Essays Unauthorized Freud: Doubters Confront a Legend The Memory Wars: Freud's Legacy in Dispute The Critics Bear it Away: American Fiction and the Academy

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“The immediate issue here is whether the Pooh animals realise they constitute a de facto nudist colony.” 0 likes
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