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Other titles in the Cambridge Studies in American Literature & Culture series:

The American Abraham (Cambridge Studies in American Literature & Culture)

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this book Warren Motley offers an original interpretation of James Fenimore Cooper's career. Whereas most studies of Cooper have centered on the figure of the Leatherstocking - that solitary model of the self-sufficient American hero untrammeled by civilization - this book examines Cooper's interest in the pioneer patriarchs who built new societies in the wilderness. Throughout his career Cooper explored an essential American problem: how to achieve the right balance between freedom and authority. He did this by retelling the story of the frontier settlement and thereby assessing its successes and failures. Like other writers in the decades before the Civil War, Cooper struggled with the legacy of the Revolutionary fathers - a legacy made more personal in Cooper's case by his father's role as a frontier land developer, judge, and Federalist politician. This book breaks new ground by relating Cooper's artistic development, and his ideas about authority in society, to his efforts to become independent of his father. Motley traces Cooper's preoccupation with authority from his youthful letters, through the troubled decade that preceded his decision to be a writer, and on to his studies of American history at its different stages in such books as The Wept of Wisb-Ton-Wish, Satanstoe, The Pioneers, The Prairie, and The Crater. By making his fiction into a series of imaginative negotiations with authority, Cooper offered a radical re-presentation of American history and frontier settlement. This view acknowledged the achievement of the nation's founders while at the same time expressing Cooper's independent vision and establishing him in the role of a founder as the nation's first majornovelist. In Cooper's fiction, the future of American society ultimately rests not with the Leatherstocking and his fictional progeny but with the American Abraham.

Synopsis:

Throughout his career Cooper explored an essential American problem: how to achieve the right balance between freedom and authority. This book relates Cooper's artistic development, and his ideas about authority in society, to his efforts to become independent of his father.

Synopsis:

In this book Warren Motley offers an original interpretation of James Fenimore Cooper's career. Whereas most studies of Cooper have centered on the figure of the Leatherstocking - that solitary model of the self-sufficient American hero untrammeled by civilization - this book examines Cooper's interest in the pioneer patriarchs who built new societies in the wilderness. Throughout his career Cooper explored an essential American problem: how to achieve the right balance between freedom and authority. He did this by retelling the story of the frontier settlement and thereby assessing its successes and failures. Like other writers in the decades before the Civil War, Cooper struggled with the legacy of the Revolutionary fathers - a legacy made more personal in Cooper's case by his father's role as a frontier land developer, judge, and Federalist politician. This book breaks new ground by relating Cooper's artistic development, and his ideas about authority in society, to his efforts to become independent of his father.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments; Introduction; 1. Paradigmatic tensions; 2. Family origins and patriarchal designs; 3. Negotiating a place in the patriarchy; 4. The prairie and the family of an Ishmael; 5. Satanstoe; 6. The patriarch as isolato; Notes; Index.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780521327824
Editor:
Gelpi, Albert
Editor:
Posnock, Ross
Editor:
Gelpi, Albert
Editor:
Posnock, Ross
Author:
Gelpi, Albert
Author:
Motley, Warren
Author:
Posnock, Ross
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Location:
Cambridge Cambridgeshire ;
Subject:
History
Subject:
American
Subject:
American - General
Subject:
Literature and society
Subject:
Family in literature
Subject:
Frontier and pioneer life in literature
Subject:
Authority in literature
Subject:
Domestic fiction, American
Subject:
Fathers in literature.
Subject:
Patriarchy in literature.
Subject:
Cooper, James Fenimore, --1789-1851--Politica
Subject:
Literature and society -- United States.
Subject:
Literary Criticism : General
Edition Description:
Bibliography: p. 179-183.
Series:
Cambridge Studies in American Literature & Culture
Series Volume:
27
Publication Date:
19880131
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
Professional and scholarly
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
200
Dimensions:
9 x 8 inches

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Linguistics » General
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Science and Mathematics » Physics » Relativity Theory

The American Abraham (Cambridge Studies in American Literature & Culture) New Hardcover
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$130.25 In Stock
Product details 200 pages Cambridge University Press - English 9780521327824 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Throughout his career Cooper explored an essential American problem: how to achieve the right balance between freedom and authority. This book relates Cooper's artistic development, and his ideas about authority in society, to his efforts to become independent of his father.
"Synopsis" by , In this book Warren Motley offers an original interpretation of James Fenimore Cooper's career. Whereas most studies of Cooper have centered on the figure of the Leatherstocking - that solitary model of the self-sufficient American hero untrammeled by civilization - this book examines Cooper's interest in the pioneer patriarchs who built new societies in the wilderness. Throughout his career Cooper explored an essential American problem: how to achieve the right balance between freedom and authority. He did this by retelling the story of the frontier settlement and thereby assessing its successes and failures. Like other writers in the decades before the Civil War, Cooper struggled with the legacy of the Revolutionary fathers - a legacy made more personal in Cooper's case by his father's role as a frontier land developer, judge, and Federalist politician. This book breaks new ground by relating Cooper's artistic development, and his ideas about authority in society, to his efforts to become independent of his father.
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