Re: Brave Display of CURIOSITY by Ann:o)

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Posted by Gayle on July 30, 1998 at 08:52:28:

In Reply to: Brave Display of Ignorance by Ann:o) posted by ann on July 30, 1998 at 07:59:14:

First of all, let's not call your interest and curiosity "ignorance" - no such thing! Considering the general obscurity of Cooper's work, the contrasts of the movie with Cooper's book, and the rampant parodies and general gassing around here on the Board, "confusion" is our operative policy. We welcome all who wish to be confused with us. That said, we will attempt to answer your further questions with our usual unassailable wisdom and clarity of expression.

Ann wrote:
Whenever Cooper's Bumppo novels are listed, "Deerslayer" is one of them -- isn't that one of Robt DeNiro's movies?....thought it was about Vietnam.....not sure of the subject matter since I avoid most of his cinemas(if I feel the need for violence, I read the daily newspaper & watch TV news:o)

Ann -
According to the principles of Six Steps to LOTM, yes this is a movie about Natty Bumppo in Vietnam, so should actually be included in the discussions on our Board. No, actually, the word "Deerslayer" is like the word "Pathfinder" - it is useful for the associations and emotions it generates, so movies, vehicles, NASA, Indian reservations and social service institutions borrow freely from the Indian names of Cooper's hunter, Natty Bumppo. I didn't see de Niro's movie either, so I can't comment on the connection of the title.

Ann added:
(note for Gayle: somehow my English Lit. teachers only required memorization of the author & date of publication for "Last of the Mohicans"....that was the extent of my Cooper knowledge(don't faint:-D) before viewing LOTM. I understand he has written a long list of books--do any of them come close to his fascinating story plot in LOTM?)

Gayle then went into her characteristic song and dance:
Cooper's book "The Deerslayer" is the story of Hawkeye and Chingachgook as young men on their first warpath. In the sequence of their lives, "Last of the Mohicans" would come next, then "The Pathfinder", then "The Pioneers", and last of all, "The Prairie" in which Hawkeye's career comes to a close with his last adventures and a beautifully written death scene among the Pawnees on the Western Prairies. The story plot of LOTM is much different from the book, since Mann borrowed only the characters and the historic massacre at Ft. William Henry. For the rest, he inserted his own excellent creative imagination, as well as his consumate skill as a director and his knowledge of what the American public was looking for in terms of a good adventure story. I would encourage you to read five books of "The Leatherstocking Tales" as they include marvelous adventure as well as philosophy about the settlement of America. They are not read in a day, and they take a great deal of open-mindedness to view the characters and the action in the context of 1700s thinking, but they are well worth the effort, and yes, they are great stories!
(I think).


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