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September 13 - 1 James Fenimore Cooper(1789-1851 a Son of a...

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September 13, 2010 1. James Fenimore Cooper (1789-1851) a. Son of a Quaker judge and landowner b. Cooperstown, NY is founded by his father c. Expelled from Yale for training a donkey to sit in a professor’s chair d. Financially independent by age 20 e. First novel written on a dare from his wife. e.i. Wrote more than 30 novels, in addition to memoir, political tract, travel narrative, and history, included a two-volume “history of the navy and the united states” e.ii. “The last of the Mohicans” (1826) f. First American bestseller f.i. Before cooper, there effectively was no market for American books. f.ii. Novels came from England f.iii. Mohicans is the bestselling book of the first half of the 19 th century. 2. The Last of the Mohicans a. Genre: a.i. Historical novel (set 40 years in the past; but a historical use of known facts) a.ii. Adventure Novel (very general) a.iii. Captivity Narrative: (themes of providence, predestination, religious salvation, nonfictional originating in the late 1600’s) a.iv. Narrative Trope: “Regeneration through Violence” Richard Slotkin. (argued that the crucial part of the American “myth” is the attempt to “get back to the primary source of blood-knowledge of the wilderness”. b. Double Captivity b.i. The shape of the book is a double captivity: the women are taken, and saved, and taken again. c. Implied author and reader: Intro of 1826 c.i. What kind of story does Cooper say he is writing?
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