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American Passages: A Literary SurveyUnit IndexAmerican Passages Home
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5. Masculine Heroes   

5. Masculine

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Activities: Author Activities

James Fenimore Cooper - Selected Archive Items

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[1161] John Wesley Jarvis, James Fenimore Cooper (1822),
courtesy of the New York State Historical Association.
Cooper is best known for his frontier novels of white-Indian relations. The Pioneers (1823), The Last of the Mohicans (1826), The Prairie (1827), The Pathfinder (1840), and The Deerslayer (1841) are known collectively as the Leatherstocking Tales.

[6974] Matthew Brady Studio, James Fenimore Cooper (c. 1850),
courtesy of the National Archives and Records Administration. Brady photographed a number of famous Americans around 1850. This portrait of Cooper was taken shortly before the author's death in 1851.

[7314] Thomas Cole, Landscape Scene from The Last of the Mohicans (1827),
courtesy of the New York State Historical Association.
A founder of the Hudson River School, Cole painted several scenes from James Fenimore Cooper's novels. Cole was concerned that such industrial developments as the railroad would spoil the beauty of the Catskills.

[7734] Blake Allmendinger, Interview: "Male Bonding/Homo-Eroticism in Cooper's Novels" (2001),
courtesy of Annenberg Media.
Blake Allmendinger, professor of English at UCLA and author of The Cowboy: Representations of Labor in American Work Culture and Ten Most Wanted: The New Western Literature, discusses male bonding and homo-eroticism in Cooper's novels.

[7735] Richard Slotkin, Interview: "Cooper's Critical American Hero, Relationship to Indians" (2001),
courtesy of Annenberg Media.
Richard Slotkin, professor of American Studies at Wesleyan University, discusses Cooper's hero and his relationship with Native Americans. Slotkin's trilogy on the myth of the frontier in America includes Regeneration through Violence, The Fatal Environment, and Gunfighter Nation.

[7530] F. O. C. Darley, The Watch [from the Cooper Vignettes] (1862),
courtesy of Reed College.
Cooper established a pattern in American literature of different races relating outside the bounds of society. In the example of Natty Bumppo and Chingachgook, white masculinity is developed through an ethnic "other" in the American wilderness.

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