Saturday, March 24, 2018

Bunny lit

In the midst of an absurd political controversy about "Bunny Books" The Weekly Standard offers "Ten Bunny Tales Better Than Either Marlon Bundo Offering," among which:
1. Watership Down

Richard Adams’ opus, first published in 1974, has everything. It’s a quest to find a new home—featuring fearsome bloody battles; a wealth of natural detail; convincing authority in its adventuresome hero, Hazel, his clairvoyant righthand and their band of trusty fellows; and its own vaguely Welsh-seeming language. (“Tharn” means a fear that freezes you in your tracks.) It’s also a 426-page epic entirely about rabbits. To his credit, Adams shakes off attributions of mythic or religious allegory and says the book’s success stems from his having set out simply to amuse his daughters in the car. Luckily for us, they were driving through rabbit country. ....

2. The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Easily the world’s best-known bunny bandit, Peter Rabbit may be adorable but he also braved the threat of being. baked. in. a. pie. when he stole carrots and cabbage from Mr. McGregor’s garden. Beatrix Potter, who first dreamed him up to amuse her former governess’s son was a delightful storyteller but also and uncommonly talented naturalist with a keen commercial instinct. Peter, in his trademark blue coat, became the first actually trademarked literary doll to be mass-produced and sold. First by self-publishing Peter’s inaugural Tale in 1901, then by sewing and selling the first blue-coated plush herself, Potter pioneered popular affection for bunny lit—a tradition which has vastly multiplied, much like rabbits themselves, ever since. ....
And also: 4. The House at Pooh Corner, 5. The Velveteen Rabbit, 7. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, etc. The others unfamiliar to me.