History Literature / FenimoreCoopersLiteraryOffences

23rd Apr '18 7:55:47 AM DocWildNole
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I am sorry there is not room to put in a few dozen instances of [[ScarilyCompetentTracker the delicate art of the forest, as practised by Natty Bumppo]] and some of the other Cooperian experts. Perhaps we may venture two or three samples. Cooper was a sailor--a naval officer; yet he gravely tells us how a vessel, driving towards a lee shore in a gale, is steered for a particular spot by her skipper because he knows of an ''undertow'' there which will hold her back against the gale and save her. [[DanBrowned For just pure woodcraft, or sailorcraft, or whatever it is, isn't that neat?]] For several years Cooper was daily in the society of artillery, and he ought to have noticed that when a cannon-ball strikes the ground it either buries itself or skips a hundred feet or so; skips again a hundred feet or so--and so on, till finally it gets tired and rolls. Now in one place he loses some "females"--[[InsistentTerminology as he always calls women]]--in the edge of a wood near a plain at night in a fog, on purpose to give Bumppo a chance to show off [[AuthorCatchphrase the delicate art of the forest]] before the reader. These mislaid people are hunting for a fort. They hear a cannonblast, and a cannon-ball presently comes rolling into the wood and stops at their feet. To the females this suggests nothing. The case is very different with the admirable Bumppo. I wish I may never know peace again if he doesn't strike out promptly and follow the track of that cannon-ball across the plain through the dense fog and find the fort. Isn't it a daisy? [[CriticalResearchFailure If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact]]. For instance: one of his acute Indian experts, Chingachgook ([[ItIsPronouncedTroPAY pronounced Chicago]], [[NoPronunciationGuide I think]]), has lost the trail of a person he is tracking through the forest. Apparently that trail is hopelessly lost. Neither you nor I could ever have guessed out the way to find it. It was very different with [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Chicago]]. Chicago was not stumped for long. He turned a running stream out of its course, and there, in the slush in its old bed, were that person's moccasin-tracks. The current did not wash them away, as it would have done in all other like cases--no, [[ArtisticLicenseGeology even the eternal laws of Nature have to vacate]] when Cooper wants to put up a delicate job of woodcraft on the reader.

to:

I am sorry there is not room to put in a few dozen instances of [[ScarilyCompetentTracker the delicate art of the forest, as practised by Natty Bumppo]] and some of the other Cooperian experts. Perhaps we may venture two or three samples. Cooper was a sailor--a naval officer; yet he gravely tells us how a vessel, driving towards a lee shore in a gale, is steered for a particular spot by her skipper because [[ArtisticLicenseShips he knows of an ''undertow'' there which will hold her back against the gale gale]] and save her. [[DanBrowned For just pure woodcraft, or sailorcraft, or whatever it is, isn't that neat?]] For several years Cooper was daily in the society of artillery, and he ought to have noticed that when a cannon-ball strikes the ground it either buries itself or skips a hundred feet or so; skips again a hundred feet or so--and so on, till finally it gets tired and rolls. Now in one place he loses some "females"--[[InsistentTerminology as he always calls women]]--in the edge of a wood near a plain at night in a fog, on purpose to give Bumppo a chance to show off [[AuthorCatchphrase the delicate art of the forest]] before the reader. These mislaid people are hunting for a fort. They hear a cannonblast, and a cannon-ball presently comes rolling into the wood and stops at their feet. To the females this suggests nothing. The case is very different with the admirable Bumppo. I wish I may never know peace again if he doesn't strike out promptly and [[ImprobableUseOfAWeapon follow the track of that cannon-ball cannon-ball]] across the plain through the dense fog and find the fort. Isn't it a daisy? [[CriticalResearchFailure If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact]]. For instance: one of his acute Indian experts, Chingachgook ([[ItIsPronouncedTroPAY pronounced Chicago]], [[NoPronunciationGuide I think]]), has lost the trail of a person he is tracking through the forest. Apparently that trail is hopelessly lost. Neither you nor I could ever have guessed out the way to find it. It was very different with [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Chicago]]. Chicago was not stumped for long. He turned a running stream out of its course, and there, in the slush in its old bed, were that person's moccasin-tracks. The current did not wash them away, as it would have done in all other like cases--no, [[ArtisticLicenseGeology even the eternal laws of Nature have to vacate]] when Cooper wants to put up a delicate job of woodcraft on the reader.



If Cooper had been an observer his inventive faculty would have worked better; not more interestingly, but more rationally, more plausibly. Cooper's proudest creations in the way of "situations" [[FridgeLogic suffer noticeably from the absence of the observer's protecting gift]]. Cooper's eye was splendidly inaccurate. Cooper seldom saw anything correctly. He saw nearly all things as through a glass eye, darkly. Of course a man who cannot see the commonest little every-day matters accurately is working at a disadvantage when he is constructing a "situation." In the Deerslayer tale Cooper has a stream which is fifty feet wide where it flows out of a lake; it presently narrows to twenty as it meanders along for no given reason; and yet when a stream acts like that it ought to be required to explain itself. Fourteen pages later the width of the brook's outlet from the lake [[SeriesContinuityError has suddenly shrunk thirty feet, and become "the narrowest part of the stream."]] This shrinkage is not accounted for. The stream has bends in it, a sure indication that it has alluvial banks and cuts them; yet these bends are only thirty and fifty feet long. If Cooper had been a nice and punctilious observer he would have noticed that the bends were oftener nine hundred feet long than short of it.

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If Cooper had been an observer his inventive faculty would have worked better; not more interestingly, but more rationally, more plausibly. Cooper's proudest creations in the way of "situations" [[FridgeLogic suffer noticeably from the absence of the observer's protecting gift]]. Cooper's eye was splendidly inaccurate. Cooper seldom saw anything correctly. He saw nearly all things [[BookOfCorinthians as through a glass glass]] [[DeadpanSnarker eye, darkly. darkly.]] Of course a man who cannot see the commonest little every-day matters accurately is working at a disadvantage when he is constructing a "situation." In the Deerslayer tale Cooper has a stream which is fifty feet wide where it flows out of a lake; it presently narrows to twenty as it meanders along for no given reason; and yet when a stream acts like that it ought to be required to explain itself. Fourteen pages later the width of the brook's outlet from the lake [[SeriesContinuityError has suddenly shrunk thirty feet, and become "the narrowest part of the stream."]] This shrinkage is not accounted for. The stream has bends in it, a sure indication that it has alluvial banks and cuts them; yet these bends are only thirty and fifty feet long. If Cooper had been a nice and punctilious observer he would have noticed that the bends were oftener nine hundred feet long than short of it.



The color of the paint is not stated--an important omission, but Cooper deals freely in important omissions. No, after all, it was not an important omission; for this nail-head is a hundred yards from the marksmen, and could not be seen by them at that distance, no matter what its color might be.

How far can the best eyes see a common house-fly? A hundred yards? It is quite impossible. Very well; eyes that cannot see a house-fly that is a hundred yards away cannot see an ordinary nailhead at that distance, for the size of the two objects is the same. It takes a keen eye to see a fly or a nailhead at fifty yards-- one hundred and fifty feet. Can the reader do it?

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The color of the paint is not stated--an important omission, but Cooper deals freely in important omissions. [[TheLawOfConservationOfDetail No, after all, it was not an important omission; omission;]] for this nail-head is a hundred yards from the marksmen, and could not be seen by them at that distance, no matter what its color might be.

How far can the best eyes see a common house-fly? A hundred yards? [[RealityEnsues It is quite impossible. impossible.]] Very well; eyes that cannot see a house-fly that is a hundred yards away cannot see an ordinary nailhead at that distance, for the size of the two objects is the same. It takes a keen eye to see a fly or a nailhead at fifty yards-- one hundred and fifty feet. Can the reader do it?



The recorded feat is certainly surprising just as it stands; but it is not surprising enough for Cooper. Cooper adds a touch. He has made Pathfinder do this miracle with another man's rifle; and not only that, but Pathfinder did not have even the advantage of loading it himself. He had everything against him, and yet he made that impossible shot; and not only made it, but did it with absolute confidence, saying, "Be ready to clench." Now a person like that would have undertaken that same feat with a brickbat, and [[BoringInvincibleHero with Cooper to help he would have achieved it, too.]]

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The recorded feat is certainly surprising just as it stands; but it is not surprising enough for Cooper. Cooper adds a touch. He has made Pathfinder do this miracle with another man's rifle; and not only that, but Pathfinder did not have even the advantage of loading it himself. He had everything against him, and yet he made that impossible shot; and not only made it, but did it with absolute confidence, saying, [[BadassBoast "Be ready to clench." "]] Now a person like that would have undertaken that same feat with a brickbat, and [[BoringInvincibleHero with Cooper to help he would have achieved it, too.]]



There have been daring people in the world who claimed that Cooper could write English, but [[TakeThat they are all dead now]]-- [[TakeThatCritics all dead but Lounsbury]]. I don't remember that Lounsbury makes the claim in so many words, still he makes it, for he says that Deerslayer is a "pure work of art." Pure, in that connection, means faultless-- faultless in all details-- and [[CaptainObvious language is a detail]]. If Mr. Lounsbury had only compared Cooper's English with the English which 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. Now I feel sure, deep down in my heart, that Cooper wrote about the poorest English that exists in our language, and that the English of ''Deerslayer'' is the very worst that even Cooper ever wrote.

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There have been daring people in the world who claimed that Cooper could write English, but [[TakeThat they are all dead now]]-- [[TakeThatCritics all dead but Lounsbury]]. I don't remember that Lounsbury makes the claim in so many words, still he makes it, for he says that Deerslayer is a "pure work of art." Pure, in that connection, means faultless-- faultless in all details-- and [[CaptainObvious language is a detail]]. If Mr. Lounsbury had only compared Cooper's English with the English which 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. Now I feel sure, deep down in my heart, that Cooper wrote about the poorest English that exists in our language, and that the English of ''Deerslayer'' is [[SoBadItsHorrible the very worst that even Cooper ever wrote.
wrote.]]
7th Mar '18 9:51:29 AM WillBGood
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I am sorry there is not room to put in a few dozen instances of [[ScarilyCompetentTracker the delicate art of the forest, as practised by Natty Bumppo]] and some of the other Cooperian experts. Perhaps we may venture two or three samples. Cooper was a sailor--a naval officer; yet he gravely tells us how a vessel, driving towards a lee shore in a gale, is steered for a particular spot by her skipper because he knows of an ''undertow'' there which will hold her back against the gale and save her. [[DanBrowned For just pure woodcraft, or sailorcraft, or whatever it is, isn't that neat?]] For several years Cooper was daily in the society of artillery, and he ought to have noticed that when a cannon-ball strikes the ground it either buries itself or skips a hundred feet or so; skips again a hundred feet or so--and so on, till finally it gets tired and rolls. Now in one place he loses some "females"--[[InsistentTerminology as he always calls women]]--in the edge of a wood near a plain at night in a fog, on purpose to give Bumppo a chance to show off [[AuthorCatchphrase the delicate art of the forest]] before the reader. These mislaid people are hunting for a fort. They hear a cannonblast, and a cannon-ball presently comes rolling into the wood and stops at their feet. To the females this suggests nothing. The case is very different with the admirable Bumppo. I wish I may never know peace again if he doesn't strike out promptly and follow the track of that cannon-ball across the plain through the dense fog and find the fort. Isn't it a daisy? [[CriticalResearchFailure If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact]]. For instance: one of his acute Indian experts, Chingachgook ([[ItIsPronouncedTroPAY pronounced Chicago]], [[NoPronunciationGuide I think]]), has lost the trail of a person he is tracking through the forest. Apparently that trail is hopelessly lost. Neither you nor I could ever have guessed out the way to find it. It was very different with [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Chicago]]. Chicago was not stumped for long. He turned a running stream out of its course, and there, in the slush in its old bed, were that person's moccasin-tracks. The current did not wash them away, as it would have done in all other like cases--no, [[MagicalNativeAmerican even the eternal laws of Nature have to vacate]] when Cooper wants to put up a delicate job of woodcraft on the reader.

to:

I am sorry there is not room to put in a few dozen instances of [[ScarilyCompetentTracker the delicate art of the forest, as practised by Natty Bumppo]] and some of the other Cooperian experts. Perhaps we may venture two or three samples. Cooper was a sailor--a naval officer; yet he gravely tells us how a vessel, driving towards a lee shore in a gale, is steered for a particular spot by her skipper because he knows of an ''undertow'' there which will hold her back against the gale and save her. [[DanBrowned For just pure woodcraft, or sailorcraft, or whatever it is, isn't that neat?]] For several years Cooper was daily in the society of artillery, and he ought to have noticed that when a cannon-ball strikes the ground it either buries itself or skips a hundred feet or so; skips again a hundred feet or so--and so on, till finally it gets tired and rolls. Now in one place he loses some "females"--[[InsistentTerminology as he always calls women]]--in the edge of a wood near a plain at night in a fog, on purpose to give Bumppo a chance to show off [[AuthorCatchphrase the delicate art of the forest]] before the reader. These mislaid people are hunting for a fort. They hear a cannonblast, and a cannon-ball presently comes rolling into the wood and stops at their feet. To the females this suggests nothing. The case is very different with the admirable Bumppo. I wish I may never know peace again if he doesn't strike out promptly and follow the track of that cannon-ball across the plain through the dense fog and find the fort. Isn't it a daisy? [[CriticalResearchFailure If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact]]. For instance: one of his acute Indian experts, Chingachgook ([[ItIsPronouncedTroPAY pronounced Chicago]], [[NoPronunciationGuide I think]]), has lost the trail of a person he is tracking through the forest. Apparently that trail is hopelessly lost. Neither you nor I could ever have guessed out the way to find it. It was very different with [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Chicago]]. Chicago was not stumped for long. He turned a running stream out of its course, and there, in the slush in its old bed, were that person's moccasin-tracks. The current did not wash them away, as it would have done in all other like cases--no, [[MagicalNativeAmerican [[ArtisticLicenseGeology even the eternal laws of Nature have to vacate]] when Cooper wants to put up a delicate job of woodcraft on the reader.



Cooper made the exit of that stream fifty feet wide, in the first place, for no particular reason; in the second place, he narrowed it to less than twenty to accommodate some Indians. He bends a "sapling" to the form of an arch over this narrow passage, and conceals six Indians in its foliage. They are "laying" for a settler's scow or ark which is coming up the stream on its way to the lake; it is being hauled against the stiff current by a rope whose stationary end is anchored in the lake; its rate of progress cannot be more than a mile an hour. Cooper describes the ark, but pretty obscurely. In the matter of dimensions "it was little more than a modern canal-boat." Let us guess, then, that it was about one hundred and forty feet long. It was of "greater breadth than common." Let us guess, then, that it was about sixteen feet wide. [[YouFailPhysicsForever This leviathan had been prowling down bends which were but a third as long as itself]], and scraping between banks where it had only two feet of space to spare on each side. We cannot too much admire this miracle. A low-roofed log dwelling occupies "two-thirds of the ark's length"-- a dwelling ninety feet long and sixteen feet wide, let us say a kind of vestibule train. The dwelling has two rooms-- each forty-five feet long and sixteen feet wide, let us guess. One of them is the bedroom of the Hutter girls, Judith and Hetty; the other is the parlor in the daytime, at night it is papa's bedchamber. 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. There is a foot to spare on each side of the boat. Did the Indians notice that there was going to be a tight squeeze there? 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? [[FailedASpotCheck No, other Indians would have noticed these things, but Cooper's Indians never notice anything]]. [[CharacterShilling Cooper thinks they are marvelous creatures for noticing]], but he was almost always in error about his Indians. [[IdiotPlot There was seldom a sane one among them.]]

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Cooper made the exit of that stream fifty feet wide, in the first place, for no particular reason; in the second place, he narrowed it to less than twenty to accommodate some Indians. He bends a "sapling" to the form of an arch over this narrow passage, and conceals six Indians in its foliage. They are "laying" for a settler's scow or ark which is coming up the stream on its way to the lake; it is being hauled against the stiff current by a rope whose stationary end is anchored in the lake; its rate of progress cannot be more than a mile an hour. Cooper describes the ark, but pretty obscurely. In the matter of dimensions "it was little more than a modern canal-boat." Let us guess, then, that it was about one hundred and forty feet long. It was of "greater breadth than common." Let us guess, then, that it was about sixteen feet wide. [[YouFailPhysicsForever [[ArtisticLicensePhysics This leviathan had been prowling down bends which were but a third as long as itself]], and scraping between banks where it had only two feet of space to spare on each side. We cannot too much admire this miracle. A low-roofed log dwelling occupies "two-thirds of the ark's length"-- a dwelling ninety feet long and sixteen feet wide, let us say a kind of vestibule train. The dwelling has two rooms-- each forty-five feet long and sixteen feet wide, let us guess. One of them is the bedroom of the Hutter girls, Judith and Hetty; the other is the parlor in the daytime, at night it is papa's bedchamber. 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. There is a foot to spare on each side of the boat. Did the Indians notice that there was going to be a tight squeeze there? 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? [[FailedASpotCheck No, other Indians would have noticed these things, but Cooper's Indians never notice anything]]. [[CharacterShilling Cooper thinks they are marvelous creatures for noticing]], but he was almost always in error about his Indians. [[IdiotPlot There was seldom a sane one among them.]]
7th Mar '18 9:14:29 AM WillBGood
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I am sorry there is not room to put in a few dozen instances of [[ScarilyCompetentTracker the delicate art of the forest, as practised by Natty Bumppo]] and some of the other Cooperian experts. Perhaps we may venture two or three samples. Cooper was a sailor--a naval officer; yet he gravely tells us how a vessel, driving towards a lee shore in a gale, is steered for a particular spot by her skipper because he knows of an undertow there which will hold her back against the gale and save her. [[DanBrowned For just pure woodcraft, or sailorcraft, or whatever it is, isn't that neat?]] For several years Cooper was daily in the society of artillery, and he ought to have noticed that when a cannon-ball strikes the ground it either buries itself or skips a hundred feet or so; skips again a hundred feet or so--and so on, till finally it gets tired and rolls. Now in one place he loses some "females"--[[InsistentTerminology as he always calls women]]--in the edge of a wood near a plain at night in a fog, on purpose to give Bumppo a chance to show off [[AuthorCatchphrase the delicate art of the forest]] before the reader. These mislaid people are hunting for a fort. They hear a cannonblast, and a cannon-ball presently comes rolling into the wood and stops at their feet. To the females this suggests nothing. The case is very different with the admirable Bumppo. I wish I may never know peace again if he doesn't strike out promptly and follow the track of that cannon-ball across the plain through the dense fog and find the fort. Isn't it a daisy? [[CriticalResearchFailure If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact]]. For instance: one of his acute Indian experts, Chingachgook ([[ItIsPronouncedTroPAY pronounced Chicago]], [[NoPronunciationGuide I think]]), has lost the trail of a person he is tracking through the forest. Apparently that trail is hopelessly lost. Neither you nor I could ever have guessed out the way to find it. It was very different with [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Chicago]]. Chicago was not stumped for long. He turned a running stream out of its course, and there, in the slush in its old bed, were that person's moccasin-tracks. The current did not wash them away, as it would have done in all other like cases--no, [[MagicalNativeAmerican even the eternal laws of Nature have to vacate]] when Cooper wants to put up a delicate job of woodcraft on the reader.

to:

I am sorry there is not room to put in a few dozen instances of [[ScarilyCompetentTracker the delicate art of the forest, as practised by Natty Bumppo]] and some of the other Cooperian experts. Perhaps we may venture two or three samples. Cooper was a sailor--a naval officer; yet he gravely tells us how a vessel, driving towards a lee shore in a gale, is steered for a particular spot by her skipper because he knows of an undertow ''undertow'' there which will hold her back against the gale and save her. [[DanBrowned For just pure woodcraft, or sailorcraft, or whatever it is, isn't that neat?]] For several years Cooper was daily in the society of artillery, and he ought to have noticed that when a cannon-ball strikes the ground it either buries itself or skips a hundred feet or so; skips again a hundred feet or so--and so on, till finally it gets tired and rolls. Now in one place he loses some "females"--[[InsistentTerminology as he always calls women]]--in the edge of a wood near a plain at night in a fog, on purpose to give Bumppo a chance to show off [[AuthorCatchphrase the delicate art of the forest]] before the reader. These mislaid people are hunting for a fort. They hear a cannonblast, and a cannon-ball presently comes rolling into the wood and stops at their feet. To the females this suggests nothing. The case is very different with the admirable Bumppo. I wish I may never know peace again if he doesn't strike out promptly and follow the track of that cannon-ball across the plain through the dense fog and find the fort. Isn't it a daisy? [[CriticalResearchFailure If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact]]. For instance: one of his acute Indian experts, Chingachgook ([[ItIsPronouncedTroPAY pronounced Chicago]], [[NoPronunciationGuide I think]]), has lost the trail of a person he is tracking through the forest. Apparently that trail is hopelessly lost. Neither you nor I could ever have guessed out the way to find it. It was very different with [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Chicago]]. Chicago was not stumped for long. He turned a running stream out of its course, and there, in the slush in its old bed, were that person's moccasin-tracks. The current did not wash them away, as it would have done in all other like cases--no, [[MagicalNativeAmerican even the eternal laws of Nature have to vacate]] when Cooper wants to put up a delicate job of woodcraft on the reader.
10th Feb '18 7:47:44 PM Doug86
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->''The Pathfinder'' and ''The Deerslayer'' stand at the head of Cooper's novels as artistic creations. There are others of his works which contain parts as perfect as are to be found in these, and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome scenes even more thrilling]]. Not one can be compared with either of them as a finished whole.\\

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->''The Pathfinder'' and ''The Deerslayer'' stand at the head of Cooper's novels as artistic creations. There are others of his works which contain parts as perfect as are to be found in these, and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome scenes even more thrilling]]. Not one can be compared with either of them as a finished whole.\\
9th Jun '16 3:37:52 PM Gideoncrawle
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Cooper's gift in the way of invention was not a rich endowment; but [[GiftedlyBad such as it was he liked to work it]], he was pleased with the effects, and indeed he did some quite sweet things with it. In his little box of stage properties he kept [[SignatureStyle six or eight cunning devices, tricks, artifices]] for his savages and woodsmen to deceive and circumvent each other with, and he was never so happy as when he was working these innocent things and seeing them go. A favorite one was to make a moccasined person tread in the tracks of the moccasined enemy, and thus hide his own trail. Cooper wore out barrels and barrels of moccasins in working that trick. Another [[{{Trope}} stage-property]] that he pulled out of his box pretty frequently was his [[SoMuchForStealth broken twig.]] He prized his broken twig above all the rest of his effects, and worked it the hardest. [[SoMuchForStealth It is a restful chapter in any book of his when somebody doesn't step on a dry twig and alarm all the reds and whites for two hundred yards around.]] Every time a Cooper person is in peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, [[WithCatlikeTread he is sure to step on a dry twig.]] There may be a hundred handier things to step on, but that wouldn't satisfy Cooper. [[RunningGag Cooper requires him to turn out and find a dry twig;]] and if he can't do it, go and borrow one. [[OverusedRunningGag In fact, the Leather Stocking Series ought to have been called the Broken Twig Series.]]

I am sorry there is not room to put in a few dozen instances of [[ScarilyCompetentTracker the delicate art of the forest, as practised by Natty Bumppo]] and some of the other Cooperian experts. Perhaps we may venture two or three samples. Cooper was a sailor--a naval officer; yet he gravely tells us how a vessel, driving towards a lee shore in a gale, is steered for a particular spot by her skipper because he knows of an undertow there which will hold her back against the gale and save her. [[DanBrowned For just pure woodcraft, or sailorcraft, or whatever it is, isn't that neat?]] For several years Cooper was daily in the society of artillery, and he ought to have noticed that when a cannon-ball strikes the ground it either buries itself or skips a hundred feet or so; skips again a hundred feet or so--and so on, till finally it gets tired and rolls. Now in one place he loses some "females"--[[InsistentTerminology as he always calls women]]--in the edge of a wood near a plain at night in a fog, on purpose to give Bumppo a chance to show off the delicate art of the forest before the reader. These mislaid people are hunting for a fort. They hear a cannonblast, and a cannon-ball presently comes rolling into the wood and stops at their feet. To the females this suggests nothing. The case is very different with the admirable Bumppo. I wish I may never know peace again if he doesn't strike out promptly and follow the track of that cannon-ball across the plain through the dense fog and find the fort. Isn't it a daisy? [[CriticalResearchFailure If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact]]. For instance: one of his acute Indian experts, Chingachgook ([[ItIsPronouncedTroPAY pronounced Chicago]], [[NoPronunciationGuide I think]]), has lost the trail of a person he is tracking through the forest. Apparently that trail is hopelessly lost. Neither you nor I could ever have guessed out the way to find it. It was very different with [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Chicago]]. Chicago was not stumped for long. He turned a running stream out of its course, and there, in the slush in its old bed, were that person's moccasin-tracks. The current did not wash them away, as it would have done in all other like cases--no, [[MagicalNativeAmerican even the eternal laws of Nature have to vacate]] when Cooper wants to put up a delicate job of woodcraft on the reader.

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Cooper's gift in the way of invention was not a rich endowment; but [[GiftedlyBad such as it was he liked to work it]], he was pleased with the effects, and indeed he did some quite sweet things with it. In his little box of stage properties he kept [[SignatureStyle six or eight cunning devices, tricks, artifices]] for his savages and woodsmen to deceive and circumvent each other with, and he was never so happy as when he was working these innocent things and seeing them go. A favorite one was to make a moccasined person tread in the tracks of the moccasined enemy, and thus hide his own trail. Cooper wore out barrels and barrels of moccasins in working that trick. Another [[{{Trope}} stage-property]] that he pulled out of his box pretty frequently was his [[SoMuchForStealth broken twig.]] He prized his broken twig above all the rest of his effects, and [[SignatureStyle worked it the hardest. [[SoMuchForStealth hardest]]. [[BreatherEpisode It is a restful chapter chapter]] in [[AuthorCatchphrase any book of his his]] when [[AvertedTrope somebody doesn't step on on]] a dry twig [[SoMuchForStealth and alarm all the reds and whites for two hundred yards around.]] Every time a Cooper person is in peril, and absolute silence is worth four dollars a minute, [[WithCatlikeTread he is sure to step on a dry twig.]] There may be a hundred handier things to step on, but [[AuthorCatchphrase that wouldn't satisfy Cooper.Cooper]]. [[RunningGag Cooper requires him to turn out and find a dry twig;]] and if he can't do it, go and borrow one. [[OverusedRunningGag In fact, the Leather Stocking Series ought to have been called the Broken Twig Series.]]

I am sorry there is not room to put in a few dozen instances of [[ScarilyCompetentTracker the delicate art of the forest, as practised by Natty Bumppo]] and some of the other Cooperian experts. Perhaps we may venture two or three samples. Cooper was a sailor--a naval officer; yet he gravely tells us how a vessel, driving towards a lee shore in a gale, is steered for a particular spot by her skipper because he knows of an undertow there which will hold her back against the gale and save her. [[DanBrowned For just pure woodcraft, or sailorcraft, or whatever it is, isn't that neat?]] For several years Cooper was daily in the society of artillery, and he ought to have noticed that when a cannon-ball strikes the ground it either buries itself or skips a hundred feet or so; skips again a hundred feet or so--and so on, till finally it gets tired and rolls. Now in one place he loses some "females"--[[InsistentTerminology as he always calls women]]--in the edge of a wood near a plain at night in a fog, on purpose to give Bumppo a chance to show off [[AuthorCatchphrase the delicate art of the forest forest]] before the reader. These mislaid people are hunting for a fort. They hear a cannonblast, and a cannon-ball presently comes rolling into the wood and stops at their feet. To the females this suggests nothing. The case is very different with the admirable Bumppo. I wish I may never know peace again if he doesn't strike out promptly and follow the track of that cannon-ball across the plain through the dense fog and find the fort. Isn't it a daisy? [[CriticalResearchFailure If Cooper had any real knowledge of Nature's ways of doing things, he had a most delicate art in concealing the fact]]. For instance: one of his acute Indian experts, Chingachgook ([[ItIsPronouncedTroPAY pronounced Chicago]], [[NoPronunciationGuide I think]]), has lost the trail of a person he is tracking through the forest. Apparently that trail is hopelessly lost. Neither you nor I could ever have guessed out the way to find it. It was very different with [[OnlyKnownByTheirNickname Chicago]]. Chicago was not stumped for long. He turned a running stream out of its course, and there, in the slush in its old bed, were that person's moccasin-tracks. The current did not wash them away, as it would have done in all other like cases--no, [[MagicalNativeAmerican even the eternal laws of Nature have to vacate]] when Cooper wants to put up a delicate job of woodcraft on the reader.
8th Feb '16 5:01:52 AM Freshmeat
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->''The Pathfinder'' and ''The Deerslayer'' [[MagnumOpus stand at the head of Cooper's novels as artistic creations]]. There are others of his works which contain parts as perfect as are to be found in these, and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome scenes even more thrilling]]. Not one can be compared with either of them as a finished whole.\\

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->''The Pathfinder'' and ''The Deerslayer'' [[MagnumOpus stand at the head of Cooper's novels as artistic creations]].creations. There are others of his works which contain parts as perfect as are to be found in these, and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome scenes even more thrilling]]. Not one can be compared with either of them as a finished whole.\\
7th Feb '16 11:22:02 AM Xoorligan
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A work of art? [[ClicheStorm It has no invention]]; [[RandomEventsPlot it has no order, system, sequence, or result]]; [[RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic it has no lifelikeness]], [[EightDeadlyWords no thrill, no stir]], [[CriticalResearchFailure no seeming of reality]]; [[CharacterDerailment its characters are confusedly drawn]], and by their acts and words they prove that [[InformedAttribute they are not the sort of people the author claims that they are]]; [[HumorDissonancey its humor is pathetic]]; [[{{Narm}} its pathos is funny]]; its conversations are--oh! [[SeinfeldianConversation indescribable]]; [[StrangledByTheRedString its love-scenes odious]]; [[BadWriting its English a crime against the language]].

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A work of art? [[ClicheStorm It has no invention]]; [[RandomEventsPlot it has no order, system, sequence, or result]]; [[RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic it has no lifelikeness]], [[EightDeadlyWords no thrill, no stir]], [[CriticalResearchFailure no seeming of reality]]; [[CharacterDerailment its characters are confusedly drawn]], and by their acts and words they prove that [[InformedAttribute they are not the sort of people the author claims that they are]]; [[HumorDissonancey [[HumorDissonance its humor is pathetic]]; [[{{Narm}} its pathos is funny]]; its conversations are--oh! [[SeinfeldianConversation indescribable]]; [[StrangledByTheRedString its love-scenes odious]]; [[BadWriting its English a crime against the language]].
7th Feb '16 11:21:44 AM Xoorligan
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A work of art? [[ClicheStorm It has no invention]]; [[RandomEventsPlot it has no order, system, sequence, or result]]; [[RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic it has no lifelikeness]], [[EightDeadlyWords no thrill, no stir]], [[CriticalResearchFailure no seeming of reality]]; [[CharacterDerailment its characters are confusedly drawn]], and by their acts and words they prove that [[InformedAttribute they are not the sort of people the author claims that they are]]; [[DudeNotFunny its humor is pathetic]]; [[{{Narm}} its pathos is funny]]; its conversations are--oh! [[SeinfeldianConversation indescribable]]; [[StrangledByTheRedString its love-scenes odious]]; [[BadWriting its English a crime against the language]].

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A work of art? [[ClicheStorm It has no invention]]; [[RandomEventsPlot it has no order, system, sequence, or result]]; [[RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic it has no lifelikeness]], [[EightDeadlyWords no thrill, no stir]], [[CriticalResearchFailure no seeming of reality]]; [[CharacterDerailment its characters are confusedly drawn]], and by their acts and words they prove that [[InformedAttribute they are not the sort of people the author claims that they are]]; [[DudeNotFunny [[HumorDissonancey its humor is pathetic]]; [[{{Narm}} its pathos is funny]]; its conversations are--oh! [[SeinfeldianConversation indescribable]]; [[StrangledByTheRedString its love-scenes odious]]; [[BadWriting its English a crime against the language]].
28th Jan '16 7:32:31 PM vifetoile
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The ark is one hundred and forty feet long; the dwelling is ninety feet long. The idea of the Indians is to drop softly and secretly from the arched sapling to the dwelling as the ark creeps along under it at the rate of a mile an hour, and butcher the family. It will take the ark a minute and a half to pass under. It will take the ninety foot dwelling a minute to pass under. Now, then, what did the six Indians do? [[WhatAnIdiot It would take you thirty years to guess, and even then you would have to give it up, I believe]]. Therefore, I will tell you what the Indians did. Their chief, a person of [[OverlyNarrowSuperlative quite extraordinary intellect for a Cooper Indian]], warily watched the canal-boat as it squeezed along under him, and when he had got his calculations fined down to exactly the right shade, as he judged, he let go and dropped. And missed the house! [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer That is actually what he did.]] He missed the house, and landed in the stern of the scow. It was not much of a fall, yet it knocked him silly. He lay there unconscious. If the house had been ninety-seven feet long he would have made the trip. The fault was Cooper's, not his. The error lay in the construction of the house. Cooper was no architect.

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The ark is one hundred and forty feet long; the dwelling is ninety feet long. The idea of the Indians is to drop softly and secretly from the arched sapling to the dwelling as the ark creeps along under it at the rate of a mile an hour, and butcher the family. It will take the ark a minute and a half to pass under. [[LudicrousSpeed It will take the ninety foot dwelling a minute to pass under.under]]. Now, then, what did the six Indians do? [[WhatAnIdiot It would take you thirty years to guess, and even then you would have to give it up, I believe]]. Therefore, I will tell you what the Indians did. Their chief, a person of [[OverlyNarrowSuperlative quite extraordinary intellect for a Cooper Indian]], warily watched the canal-boat as it squeezed along under him, and when he had got his calculations fined down to exactly the right shade, as he judged, he let go and dropped. And missed the house! [[NotMakingThisUpDisclaimer That is actually what he did.]] He missed the house, and landed in the stern of the scow. It was not much of a fall, yet it knocked him silly. He lay there unconscious. If the house had been ninety-seven feet long he would have made the trip. The fault was Cooper's, not his. The error lay in the construction of the house. Cooper was no architect.
28th Jan '16 7:16:15 PM vifetoile
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Especially humerous due to its [[ExpospeakGag old-timey]] language. If this was written today it would probably be incredibly boring.



->''The Pathfinder'' and ''The Deerslayer'' [[DamnedByFaintPraise stand at the head of Cooper's novels as artistic creations]]. There are others of his works which contain parts as perfect as are to be found in these, and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome scenes even more thrilling]]. Not one can be compared with either of them as a finished whole.\\

to:

->''The Pathfinder'' and ''The Deerslayer'' [[DamnedByFaintPraise [[MagnumOpus stand at the head of Cooper's novels as artistic creations]]. There are others of his works which contain parts as perfect as are to be found in these, and [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome scenes even more thrilling]]. Not one can be compared with either of them as a finished whole.\\
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