Study Guide

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh Art and Culture

By A. A. Milne

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Art and Culture

It's hard to ignore how <em>Winnie-the-Pooh </em>depicts what art, particularly poetry and song, is supposed to be about. And especially the process by which it is made. Milne has given us a protagonist in Pooh who's a veritable artist-in-residence. Nary a chapter goes by without a poem, song, or hum to accompany the action. Milne's point of view? Art is pleasant. It marks an occasion, be it a heroic effort or a run-of-the-mill visit to a friend. And most importantly, it's something that just comes to you. Much like the Pooh series is inspired by his own child's play, Pooh's pieces are always inspired. He's not one for editing, more of a stream-of-consciousness kind of writer. Again, pretty much in line with the modernism of his day.

Questions About Art and Culture

  1. Milne uses Pooh to outline a particularly improvisational view of art. Can you think of some other works that share a similar aesthetic?
  2. In spite of the emphasis on inspiration and spontaneity, we're pretty sure Milne spent a lot of time planning and editing his books. Can you find some evidence in the text that might suggest more planning that he lets on?               
  3. Can you find any differences among the "hums," "songs" and "poems" that Pooh makes up? What makes a piece of art one or the other?                 

Chew on This

Pooh's art is the prettiest art of all the art.

Sure, this kind of playfulness is all fine and good for kids, but adults need something more complex. Heavier. More soul-shatteringly cynical.

The Complete Tales of Winnie-the-Pooh Art and Culture Study Group

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