Literature

Literary Academics Are Full of Pooh

Frederick Crews, The Pooh Perplex (University of Chicago Press, 2003), 164 pages, US$16. Frederick Crews, Postmodern Pooh (Northwestern University Press, 2006), 192 pages, US$19.95.  An influential theory once assumed that the old Establishment perpetuated its hegemony, by influencing the way the ancient classics were interpreted, by controlling the semi-otics of its high culture, while teaching English literature—a relatively recent enterprise—was considered more egalitarian: a middle- or working-class reaction against the old Establishment. If aspects of the theory sound convincing, remember how English departments established themselves throughout the twentieth century—with their attempts at perpetuating their hegemony by controlling their semiotics—in ways…

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