Re: RARA-AVIS: Last of the Mohicans

From: Nathan Cain (
Date: 29 May 2007

Am I the only person that finds Cooper unreadable? Every time I've tried to read something of his I've never been able to finish it.

On 5/29/07, Jess Nevins <> wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> >From: Michael Robison <<>
> >
> >
> >I've been looking back at the roots of the hardboiled
> >genre in America, Ring Lardner, Twain, Bret Harte, and
> >London. It was only a matter of time before I made it
> >to Cooper's The Last of the Mohicans. There might be
> >earlier American works that foreshadow the hardboiled
> >genre, but I haven't found it yet.
> >soul being a stoic killer. The quote was inspired by
> >Cooper's writing. Cooper's style was overwrought and
> >his technical expertise questionable, but he
> >established a model for a tough American character
> >that still survives today.
> I think Twain said it well: "'Deerslayer' is just
> simply a literary delirium tremens."
> Cooper's counterpart, and another influence on the
> American hardboiled tradition, is Robert Montgomery
> Bird's "Nick of the Woods" (1837). "Nick," which has
> never gone out of print, was very popular for
> many years in the 19th century--at least the equal
> of "Last of the Mohicans." Bird wrote it as a
> response to what he saw as the radically pro-
> native message of Cooper's fiction. The main
> character is Nathan Slaughter, who after the death
> of his family during a Shawnee attack becomes
> the Indian Killer "Nick of the Woods."
> If Hawkeye was the proto-Marlowe, Nick is the
> proto-Mike Hammer: just as hard, just as
> unbalanced, just as merciless. They were both
> influential as opposing character types in
> the magazine fiction of the 19th century, which
> is another major influence on hardboiled fiction
> of the 20th.
> jess

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