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Posts Tagged ‘A.A. Milne’

Say Your Prayers

June 18, 2015 | by

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Christopher Robin Milne with Winnie the Pooh in 1928.

Christopher Robin Milne’s first two memoirs, The Enchanted Places and The Path Through the Trees, are in the canon of great ambivalence books. Perhaps you’ve read that Christopher Robin, as A. A. Milne’s son and muse, grew to loathe his fame and the hordes of Pooh fanatics who stalked him even as an adult. (Milne fils supported himself as a successful bookseller; all the royalties went into a trust fund for his disabled daughter.) “It seemed to me almost that my father had got to where he was by climbing upon my infant shoulders,” he wrote, “that he had filched from me my good name and had left me with the empty fame of being his son.”

But the books don’t read as an angry indictment so much as an attempt to grapple with his condition. Yes, there’s some record straightening—but the author’s sense of frank exploration is sympathetic, and it feels honest. Although he’d ultimately detach from his remote parents, his feelings are complex, and he describes his experiences with sensitivity and nuance. Milne died in 1996; in later life, he’d even come to embrace his father’s legacy, gamely showing up at the occasional official event coming to appreciate the love of nature bestowed by his Sussex childhood. Read More »

Fitzgerald’s Bookkeeping, and Other News

April 30, 2013 | by

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  • “This is a record of everything Fitzgerald wrote, and what he did with it, in his own hand.” The University of South Carolina makes F. Scott’s financial ledger available on the Internet. (“Just weeks before the opening of the movie The Great Gatsby,” the AP adds, horribly.)
  • In news that carries the ring of inevitability, Steven Soderbergh is writing a crime novella on Twitter.
  • “It’s pretty graphic, and it’s pretty pornographic for seventh-grade boys and girls to be reading,” says one concerned mother, about … Anne Frank’s diary.
  • Haruki Murakami is set to make his first public appearance in Japan since 1995.
  • A. A. Milne’s WWI propaganda career comes to light.
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    Indian Comics, Professor Nabokov, and Other News

    March 25, 2013 | by

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    • You must begin your week by looking at this list of head-scratching moments from Indian comics. 
    • “Facing him on the stage was his white-haired wife Vera, whom he identified only as ‘my course assistant.’” In Professor Nabokov’s classroom.
    • In light of the matter of Wikipedia plagiarism, Jane Goodall’s book has been postponed.
    • The very first ad for Winnie the Pooh
    • Remembering the Warner Sisters, “America’s answer to the Brontës.”  

     

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    “Things Grown-Ups Talk About”

    January 18, 2013 | by

    Today is A. A. Milne’s birthday. While he is certainly best known as the creator of Winnie the Pooh, Milne was a prolific writer who came to resent his association with the beloved bear of very little brain. One of the more intriguing episodes of Milne’s life is his feud with author P. G. Wodehouse.

    The two men were initially friends: exactly the same age, and both comic writers, they moved in the same circles in 1920s London, playing on the same cricket team and contributing to many of the same publications. In 1928, they even collaborated on the adaptation of Wodehouse’s A Damsel in Distress. By the 1930s, their friendship had cooled somewhat—Wodehouse defenders cite jealousy—but it wasn’t until World War II that things became actively hostile. Read More »

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    Fyodor Khitruk, 1917–2012

    December 11, 2012 | by

    The pioneering Russian animator Fyodor Khitruk has died at age ninety-five. Perhaps best known for his adaptations of A. A. Milne’s Winnie the Pooh stories, Khitru’s work was often political and avant-garde. 1973’s Island, below, won the Palme d’Or for best short.

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