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Bears, Culture-Crossing, and the Leatherstocking Tales
James Fenimore Cooper Society Miscellaneous Papers (2005)
  • Matthew Sivils
Abstract
When dealing with the work of authors such as Cooper who celebrate and complicate the
significance of the natural world, scholars tend to overlook the animals that help populate these texts.
While a handful of critics such as Scott Michaelsen and Christina Starobin have conducted studies
devoted specifically to understanding the ways animals figure into Cooper's work, critical
anthropocentricism remains the norm. This trend probably stems in part from the larger social
tendency to prioritize human concerns, to spend our time and energy devoted to the study of what
most overtly concerns ourselves. Nevertheless, analyzing the specific components that make up
Cooper's concept of nature allows us to see the animals of his fiction as figures that can tell us much
about his vision of the relationship between humans and nature and even between different cultural
groups.
Publication Date
2005
Publisher Statement
Copyright 2005 James Fenimore Cooper Society
Citation Information
Matthew Sivils. "Bears, Culture-Crossing, and the Leatherstocking Tales" James Fenimore Cooper Society Miscellaneous Papers Vol. 21 (2005) p. 5 - 9
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/matthew_sivils/7/