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Posted: 5/13/2001 10:03:01 PM EDT
...by James Fenimore Cooper? I can't imagine that anyone saw Daniel Day-Lewis play Natty Bumppo in [i]The Last of the Mohicans[/i], without immediately going back and reading those excellent stories, written in the 1820s and 30s. These are stories that were best-sellers in their day, and immediately became part of our culture. Beginning with the publication of [i]The Pioneers[/i] in 1823, Cooper has given us a good view not only on the early development of America, but an even more excellent view on the development of the earliest American character. There would be four other stories about Natty Bumppo - [i]The Last of the Mohicans (1826), The Prairie (1827), The Pathfinder (1840), and The Deerslayer (1841)][/i]- collectively known as the Leatherstocking Tales. Remarkably, the Leatherstocking Tales were successfully exported in whole to Europe, where many a future American citizen would read about the purity, honesty, moral courage, and native intelligence of this common man. And made their plan for passage to that veritable Eden, as they so clearly believed it to be. Many will complain that the prodigious feats of marksmanship exhibited by our hero bordered on the bizarre. Even Mark Twain took a swipe at them. But Twain also wrote about the 'damnable German language' and I think there's nothing sexier in this world, or holds my attention more, than a good looking female speaking German, or English with a German accent. So Twain can easily get things wrong.[:D] Well didja read 'em or not? Eric The(I aint crazy about French)Hun
Link Posted: 5/13/2001 10:15:53 PM EDT
I bought the whole collection in one volume several years ago. I read Last of the Mohicans and put the book away forever. I can't stand Coopers writing style. It reminded me of Shakespear. A laborious read. It took me nearly 9 months to finish it. I only completed the read because I can't leave anything undone once I start it.
Link Posted: 5/13/2001 10:41:09 PM EDT
Well, I suppose that Cooper wouldn't MIND being positively associated with Shakespeare.[:D] Eric The Hun
Link Posted: 5/14/2001 6:11:46 AM EDT
Good choice in literature, EricTheHun! They affected our culture, but also give insights into the culture of the time. Compare the ending of the book to the recent movie and you will see what I mean. I agree the writing style is clunky compared to what we are used to today--you have to remember that these books were meant to be read aloud in a Victorian parlour by people who had to entertain themselves. No tv, computers, etc.....
Link Posted: 5/14/2001 7:46:31 AM EDT
When I was a munchkin and my dad was teaching me to shoot (a Stevens falling block .22) his pet name for me was Hawkeye. He and later I loved the leather stocking tales. Many of my boyhood dreams were filled with frontier adventures. But I agree that Coopers writing style is not my favorite.
Link Posted: 5/14/2001 8:07:07 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/14/2001 8:05:55 AM EDT by Faramir66103]
Yep, read them well over a decade ago. Wow, has it really been that long?! Hmmm... perhaps it's time for a re-read. At the time I found Cooper's writing style quite difficult, but I generally enjoyed them. At that time I also found Shakespeare difficult, but now really enjoy his work, though not to read, but to hear, and see. Cooper would probably be the same way. My Dad also used to tell me Hawkeye bedtime stories that I'm sure were editted versions of the Cooper novels. One of my favorite Halloween costumes was a Hawkeye outfit my Mom made me from (of all things) an old brown cordoroy (sp?) jacket and pants my Dad had worn out. Ahh, the memories!
Link Posted: 5/14/2001 8:33:24 AM EDT
If you're ever in upstate NY, Cooperstown (baseball hall of fame) was named for J.F. Cooper. There's his old home, a museum and several collections of his work & art in the town. [i]Great[/i] stuff. Norm
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