This is pretty scathing, but hilariously so. I rate this bit of writing at 5 out of 5 stars. Not one can be compared with either of them as a finished whole. When a person has a poor ear for words, the result is a literary flatting and sharping; you perceive what he is intending to say, but you also perceive that he doesn't One of the reasons why I'll never be a writer is that I couldn't possibly stand criticism such as this. The ark is arriving at the stream's exit now, whose width has been reduced to less than twenty feet to accommodate the Indians -- say to eighteen. But Twain may just have ruined Fanimore Cooper for me, I don't think I could ever read his work without thinking of the flaws that Twain points out in this essay.
Cooper seldom saw anything correctly. It has no invention; it has no order, system, sequence, or result; it has no lifelikeness, no thrill, no stir, no seeming of reality; its characters are confusedly drawn, and by their acts and words they prove that they are not the sort of people the author claims that they are; its humor is pathetic; its pathos is funny; its conversations are — oh! They were pure works of art. For instance: one of his acute Indian experts, Chingachgook pronounced Chicago, I think , has lost the trail of a person he is tracking through the forest. Lounsbury had only compared Cooper's English with the English he writes himself -- but it is plain that he didn't; and so it is likely that he imagines until this day that Cooper's is as clean and compact as his own. If Mark Twain's review of Fenimore Cooper is accurate, I'm not likely to be reading any Fenimore Cooper, either. Through his use of ad hominem, rhetorical questions and a mocking tone, Mark Twain manifests his critical attitude towards Cooper and his inaccurate writing.
That being said, I read this essay 20 years ago and was happy to grab the Kindle edition and enjoy it all over again. By: 1835-1910 This is Mark Twain's vicious and amusing review of Fenimore Cooper's literary art. I just finished reading Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans and decided to re-read it. That being said, Hilarious in its precise and unabashed brutality. The defects in both of these tales are comparatively slight.
The only way it could have possibly been better was if James Fenimore Cooper was alive to read it and shudder under its weight. Cooper is the greatest artist in the domain of romantic fiction yet produced by America. . Did they notice that they could make money by climbing down out of that arched sapling and just stepping aboard when the ark scraped by? The book has been banned and reinstated in many school systems and libraries throughout this century. He prized his broken twig above all the rest of his effects, and worked it the hardest.
Twain writes with his usual biting humor. Pathfinder showed off handsomely that day before the ladies. He keeps near the tune, but is not the tune. He has made Pathfinder do this miracle with another man's rife; and not only that, but Pathfinder did not have even the advantage of loading it himself. Cooper is spinning in his grave.
It was divided into three portions, namely, the rich part, the middle-class part, and the poor part. They require that the characters in a tale shall be so clearly defined that the reader can tell beforehand what each will do in a given emergency. The craft of the woodsman, the tricks of the trapper, all the delicate art of the forest were familiar to Cooper from his youth up. Cooper's characters are larger than life, they speak plain, they rise above the others and almost always are better in the things that non-Cooper people are considered to be experts in. He missed the house, and landed in he stern of the scow. Then the Cooper miracles began. If the house had been ninety-seven feet long he would have made the trip.
To believe that such talk really ever came out of people's mouths would be to believe that there was a time when time was of no value to a person who thought he had something to say; when it was the custom to spread a two-minute remark out to ten; when a man's mouth was a rolling-mill, and busied itself all day long in turning four-foot pigs of thought into thirty-foot bars of conversational railroad iron by attenuation; when subjects were seldom faithfully stuck to, but the talk wandered all around and arrived nowhere; when conversations consisted mainly of irrelevancies, with here and there a relevancy, a relevancy with an embarrassed look, as not being able to explain how it got there. Apparently annoyed by the high regard in which prominent literary critics held J. It is never boring, and even though I've never actually read any of Cooper's novels, it hold the interest all the way through. It is still read widely in academic circles. There have been daring people in the world who claimed that Cooper could write English, but they are all dead now. It's funny, although Natasha wasn't impressed that I kept reading bits aloud.
The craft of the woodsman, the tricks of the trapper, all the delicate art of the forest were familiar to Cooper from his youth up. Twain nitpicks on things that can almost be categorized into tropes in the given style of writing. I had tears in my eyes while reading it, and had to pause several times to get myself under control. He even failed to notice that the man who talks corrupt English six days in the week must and will talk it on seventh, and can't help himself. When describing the actions of the five Indians, Twain applies a mocking tone because what he is explaining is humorous and ridiculous within itself. There are others of his works which contain parts as perfect as are to be found in these, and scenes even more thrilling.
But by God, he was funny. Did the Indians notice that there was going to be a tight squeeze there? I think Twain nailed it perfectly. Basically, it is a twenty-seven page review of 's writing. The error lay in the construction of the house. When a person has a poor ear for words, the result is a literary flatting and sharping; you perceive what he is intending to say, but you also perceive that he doesn't say it. With the help of Henry Huttleston Rogers, however, he eventually overcame his financial troubles. He keeps near the tune, but it is not the tune.