Nonfiction > Carl Van Doren > The American Novel > Subject Index > Page 46
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · SUBJECT INDEX

Carl Van Doren (1885–1950).  The American Novel.  1921.


Page 46

call for minute analysis, and needs no more than the opportunity, which Cooper gave him, to move through a long succession of events aimed to display his valor and test his virtues. There was thus produced the panorama of the American frontier which at once became and has remained the classic record of an heroic age.
  The classic record of an heroic age!—although not classic at all in the stricter sense of fidelity to all the circumstances of the frontier. And yet in spite of the many charges that have been brought against Cooper’s accuracy, charges well founded and well proved, his fame holds steadily up. He may not have recorded his universe at all points exactly, but he created one. His mighty landscapes lie still unshaken in a secure district of the human imagination. Over such mountains through such dim and terrifying forests to such glorious lakes the mind still marches, for the moment convinced. His Indians, whatever their authenticity, are securely established in the world’s romantic memory as a picture of those belated and unfortunate men of the stone age who were fated to oppose the ruthless advance of a more complex civilization. It is to the credit of mankind that those naked savages, unjustly as they were dealt with while alive, should be a little honored with a chivalrous reputation when dead or conquered. In this manner all high-minded peoples remember their ancient defeated enemies. And recent studies of the art and ritual of the Indians have gone far toward showing that the race possessed, if not precisely the qualities Cooper ascribed to them, at least a fineness and elevation of mind which are worlds closer to Cooper’s representation of them than to the picture as corrected



CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD · SUBJECT INDEX
  PREVIOUS NEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors