Would Milne mind? Would Adams? How about Stoker? Should we care? Should we throw petulant tantrums every time someone makes a buck off our nostalgia? Can this Bookninja dude get away with another rhetorical question or is this really the upper limit?
The literary creations of authors stopped being sacred territory roughly 20 years ago, when the estates of late authors began leasing out the copyrights to old works. Scarlett O’Hara rose to meet another day years after Margaret Mitchell died; James Bond has had endless adventures since the demise of his creator, Ian Fleming; and Peter Pan flew again a couple of years ago, three-quarters of a century after J.M. Barrie passed away.
Michael Brown, the chairman of the Pooh Properties Trust for the past three decades, says he never would have greenlighted a new Pooh book when he joined the trust, which oversees the Milne literary estate. Back then, the mention of a Pooh sequel would have had everyone from publishers to the public throwing “up their hands in horror,” he says.
“But there’s been a change in the attitudes of society,” he continued. “There’s a sense that nostalgia is fine, but you can bring these things out of the cupboard. . . . Of course, there will still be the purists, or Eeyores, who’ll say it’s a rotten idea before they open the front cover.”