Misquotes and Misattribution

I’ve mentioned in previous posts over the years the inaccuracies between quotes attributed to Milne and Winnie the Pooh. For some reason Milne has become the new Mark Twain where quotes become their’s whether or not they actually are. I probably helped spread some of these wrong quotes in past posts but I try to correct them when I realise.

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Not a quote from Milne

I have a few theories on how these wrong quotes get spread around. Aside from Milne getting credit when a line is spoken in a Disney film, another theory is that people were placing quotes over Winnie the Pooh pictures and that started it, or maybe they think things sound like a Milne quote and they aren’t.

Websites like MyTownTutors that have ‘Great A. A. Milne Quotes‘ are great and all but the fact that barley any of those quotes are actually from Milne is only perpetuating these misquotes. Thankfully people on the internet have done some of the work for me so I don’t need to spend a week checking them all. Of the 59 listed on the MyTownTutors website only 14 were from ANY of the four Milne books. Another dozen or so were paraphrased or variations on the real quote. The rest weren’t Disney or Milne. One I know to be false is “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Not Milne or Disney but a 1975 movie..

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Not Milne, actually from Disney’s Pooh’s Grand Adventure

This Buzzfeed quiz tests your knowledge of Pooh against other great quotes. The only problem is, none of those attributed to Pooh are actually from Milne. There is one that comes close, paraphrased incredibly but as close as the rest get. The popular quote “Rivers know this: there is no hurry. We shall get there some day” is simplified a bit from the House at Pooh Corner quote “By the time it came to the edge of the Forest, the stream had grown up, so that it was almost a river, and being grown-up, it did not run and jump and sparkle along as it used to do when it was younger, but moved more slowly. For it knew now where it was going, and it said to itself, “There is no hurry. We shall get there some day.”

There was even a Quotation Audit done to Winnie the Pooh’s Goodreads page that assessed what was correct attribution and what wasn’t. The result was that 14 quotes (just over one fifth of all those listed) that were not from any Milne publication nor Disney movie. Then the rest were from House at Pooh Corner, a different book entirely, but at least it was a Milne work.

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Not a Milne or Disney

There is a list of Essential and Authentic Milne Quotes that are just as beautiful and funny as the incorrect ones. I’m not sure if there is a way to stop the spread of misattribution, but it’s not for lack of trying. There are a few sites dedicated to clearing up this confusion. I’ve mentioned Pooh Misquoted in the past, and the DailyKos page is another good one that tries to weed out the true from the not. They are few and far between but a great source to make clear Milne didn’t write every single Pooh quote, nor as it turns out, has Disney.

As the wise Abraham Lincoln once said:

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Quotes and Links

Discover more about the world of His Dark Materials

There are numerous places where people can go to discover more about His Dark Materials. Over the past month I have used numerous websites to get new information and clarify my own memory and in doing so I have discovered a range of things I never knew.

His Dark Materials Wikipedia

As usual, Wikipedia is a wonderful place to get quick information, but it is also surprisingly detailed. From the main His Dark Materials page there are pages to read plot summaries, character biographies, there are numerous side pages that discuss the races and creatures mentioned in the series, everything from Mulefa and Angels, to Arctic Foxes and Witches. There are also links to pages for each book to get a detailed breakdown of each story as well as information about controversies, and influences of the series as a whole.

Pullman’s website

Philip Pullman’s official website includes a range of great information about the series. There is a page dedicated to FAQs from fans about the series which Pullman has answered, there are also pages with links to all of his interviews (an invaluable source of great and random information), his hand-drawn illustrations for the books, and details about each book in the series.

BridgetotheStars.net

This is one of the largest fan sites on the internet. Started in 2001 it has grown to be a place where fans can upload their artwork, discuss the series in forums, learn about the science of His Dark Materials, and discover a range of things about the trilogy, adaptations, and companion books plus so much more.

 

Quotes

There are so many quotes I love from this series, some more controversial than others, and some that have a huge impact storywise but seem innocent out of context. Many of my favourite quotes ruin storylines and contain spoilers so I won’t include those. What I will include are some of the beautiful lines Pullman has written from all of the books, they are not all there because as I say, they are different out of context and I am a big fan of no spoilers.

“That’s the duty of the old,’ said the Librarian, ‘to be anxious on the behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old.”
― Northern Lights

“We are all subject to the fates. But we must act as if we are not, or die of despair.”
― Northern Lights

“I found folly everywhere, but there were grains of wisdom in every stream of it.”
―  The Subtle Knife

“For a human being, nothing comes naturally, we have to learn everything we do.”
― The Subtle Knife

“All the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity.”
― The Amber Spyglass

“I stopped believing there was a power of good and a power of evil that were outside us. And I came to believe that good and evil are names for what people do, not for what they are.”
― The Amber Spyglass

“The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all.”
― The Amber Spyglass

“There were so many vivid currents of feeling between them that the very air felt electric to him”

The Amber Spyglass

 “Everything has a meaning, if only we could read it.”
Lyra’s Oxford