Disseminating Abjection

As in my last post, I am trying to make sure that my thesis writing is accessible to a wider audience. Since psychoanalytic theories are difficult to grasp without a psychoanalytic background, I am doing my best to distill texts down to meaning. This time, it is for Julia Kristeva’s concept of the abject, as described in Powers of Horror. Kristeva can be more difficult to understand than Freud, so I have tried to be redundant in my description of the abject. Although it is not required, the following text will have expected you to have read the previous passage on the uncanny.

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Why I’m Reading Winnie-the-Pooh

Now I could just ignore the fact that I haven’t updated this blog during the last two weeks and pretend it didn’t happen, but I’m not going to do that.  I mentioned in my previous post that I was going to write a blog about Ian Bogost’s Unit Operations, but the book resists my reading of it.  Alternately, I’m just a slow reader when it comes to reading about criticism.  So I won’t be talking about Unit Operations right now.  Instead I am going to talk about Winnie-the-Pooh.

Now I know what you’re thinking.  The juxtaposition of Winnie-the-Pooh to a book about critical discourse is a bit jarring.  I assure you that there is a good reason for my rummaging through the works of A. A. Milne.

For the first part, those who know me really well could attest that I have a great fondness for children’s books. I do, after all, own a leather-bound collected works of Lewis Carroll, and in fact, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of my favorite books (so much so that I get irked when people say their favorite book is Alice in Wonderland, the title of the horrible Disney filmic adaptation).

For the second part (because this has to be going somewhere), I’ve decided to make a (somewhat) small game based upon Winnie-the-Pooh, or Christopher Robin to be more precise.  Way back when I took English 101, the very first article we had to read for class was the following one entitled “Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood:” http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/163/12/1557.  A few days ago, I was talking to a friend and he randomly just said “Winnie the Pooh,” which led to a discussion of the neuroses of the various characters, and how they all related to Christopher Robin.  Eventually, I decided to make a game exploring what a grown-up Christopher Robin would be like.

So the concept for “Now We Are Twenty-Three” was born.  After the discussion, I realized that I hadn’t ever read the original stories, and so I went about to my local used bookstore and picked up Winnie-the-Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner and When We Were Very Young.  I found it to be disappointing that the bookstore did not have a copy of Now We Are Six, from which the project got its name, but I am less interested in the poems related to Winnie-the-Pooh.  When We Were Very Young was only two dollars, so I grabbed it, regardless.  I’ve since been reading these books and making notes in the margins related to the behaviors of the various characters.

The following may seem like I’m taking things a bit too far, but nonetheless, it is the concept in my brain.  If it helps, you can pretend that the whole thing is completely detached from anything called “Winnie-the-Pooh.”  It’s probably better that way.

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