Wooing with Pooh

Over at the newly re-instated Maud Newton blog (welcome back! we missed you!), I come across the most wonderful line:
“Winnie-the-Pooh is the reason I married my wife.”

I almost don't want to know any more - that's enough. But temptation was too much for me and I headed over to The Paris Review to read more of the Kenzaburo Oe interview.

Winnie-the-Pooh is the reason I married my wife. Just before the end of the war a translation of Winnie-the-Pooh was published by Iwanami Shoten, a highbrow publisher. There were only a few thousand copies. I knew my wife’s brother Juzo Itami in high school, and their mother asked me to find her a copy of The House at Pooh Corner. She had read it during the war but lost it. I was an expert on secondhand bookstores in Tokyo and was able to find Winnie-the-Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner. I found one, sent it to their house, and then struck up a correspondence with her daughter. That’s how it began. But I don’t actually identify with Pooh as a character. I’m more of the Eeyore type.

That subject line is in homage to one of my all-time favourite titles: Cooking With Pooh.


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