Mark Twain wrote a critique of James Fenimore Cooper. I it, he criticizes Cooper’s writing technique. Twain’s critique was known as a legendary attack. In this critique, Twain was funny, which I think is odd, but cool. He was also scathing towards Cooper’s writing technique. This critique was a rhetorical masterpiece. Twain lists eighteen rules of romantic fiction that Cooper violated. Rule #18 was Twain’s strength, “Employ a simple and straightforward style”. Something that Cooper did not do. He ridiculed Cooper’s techniques. If you read this critique, you would almost feel sorry for Cooper, but if you read Cooper’s book(s), you would understand and be on Twain’s side. I know I was.

Here is an example of Cooper’s works. It is called “Deerslayer”. This book has no visible plot and makes no sense. Let me show you what I mean. The book begins with two men lost in the woods. One man, Deerslayer, was an expert hunter. The other man, Hurry Harry (what kind of a name is that?!), was not. Harry also speaks in two different dialects at the same time, making him very hard to translate. Deerslayer finds the place where they were hiking to, but Harry does not recognize it, even though it was Harry who picked out the spot. Later, they were talking about a man called Tom Hutter, who lives on the land they were hunting on, but does not own the land. If Tom does not own the land, why is he living there? There is then an extended dialogue about Indians who can shoot a target the size of a fly at five hundred yards. That is not possible! No man’s eye could pick something like that up! Tom lives on a floating house called the ark. It is a fortress! It is a huge houseboat, and it has bullet proof walls. The lake that the boat is on right now, Deerslayer does not recognize it. Later Tom says the lake has no pale-face name yet, but Deerslayer’s tribe calls it “Glimmerglass”. How can Deerslayer know the name of the lake if he does not even recognize it? Even later in the book, it describes that Deerslayer and Harry are looking for Tom again, so they search downstream in their canoe. They come upon a turn in the river that the canoe could barely get through. Then go a little farther and see Tom on the shore with no sign of the ark. He says it is hidden in the brush, and it is. Two things do not make sense. Number one, if Deerslayer’s canoe could barely fit through the river in some parts, how could the massive ark fit through those places? And also, if it was that big, it would be too big to be hidden in the brush. It was just not possible. And there are many other instances in the book that make no sense to the reader that Cooper wrote either because he did not care, or he was just not thinking.