Cooper writes from the need to come to imaginative terms with the mass killings of Native peoples and expropriation of their lands Anxiety of ownership
Mythological imagination gives access to moments of historical coordinates Literature exists to invent human ways to come into terms
America: A Land from Time Immemorial
Paradox, pg.1 eventfulness that produces it gives a sense into the past Hawkeye
Cooper’s genesis myth: An American Adam
Cooper invented a make-believe moral economy that Richard Slotkin has described as “ regeneration through violence” that enables Cooper’s American Adam to regain Eden through acts of violence Mythic Rationale
Mankind has fallen out of nature, and must be instructed how to return to it Reason itself is a mythology
To recover true Eden, cooper brings together two utterly incompatible descriptions of the American continent: America is Eden inhabited by the unfallen.
America is a New World Hell inhabited by demonic savages
Cooper’s Origin Story
Adam, Eve and the serpent remain the chief actors
But Cooper’s American Adam [Hawkeye] prefers to learn what the serpent [Chingachgook means “Great Serpent”] can teach him about the wilderness from which Eve [Judith Hetter] would send him into exile Chingachgook is the personification of nature
Sacred bond between Hawkeye and Chingachgook when Indian Removal was becoming government policy This bond which brings together two men who inhabit different times, places, and cultural traditions in part compensates for all the US government violations * Deerslayer’s: Vision Quest
Cooer uses Harry March to produce a distinction between Deerslayer and the likes of Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone Hurry Harry is a caricature of Deerslayer –he doesn’t share Deerslayer’s moral code and he doesn’t possess Deerslayer’s virtue The antithesis of Chingachgook, Hurry Harry is impatient, greedy, ravenous , lustful
Cooper wrote the book to...