Archives: James Fenimore Cooper

Mark Twain takes aim

May 13, 2013 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: editing.

In a famous 1895 essay, Mark Twain delivered a stinging critique of one of America’s 19th century literary icons, James Fennimore Cooper. Twain was very much a modern writer, advocating active, descriptive verbs and short rather than long words. His essay is worth reading, not necessarily for what it says about Cooper, but for what it says about writing itself.

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