Saturday, June 10, 2017


Whether he's called Natty Bumppo, the Deerslayer, the Pathfinder, Leather-Stocking, La Longue Carabine or Hawk-eye, he's America's first literary hero, inspired in large measure by Daniel Boone, a distant relative of mine. When I learned in my youth of his being my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, I became emotionally invested in investigating his life. This path eventually led me to find the five novels in James Fenimore Cooper's cycle of stories.

In The Deerslayer, Hawk-eye is about 23; in The Last of the Mohicans he's about 36; in The Pathfinder he's about 38; but then in The Pioneers he's 71 or 72, and in The Prairie about 81 or 82. Strangely, what we have is a gap of thirty-plus years in Hawk-eye's life during his prime.

So, this feeling keeps growing in mind that these stories exist and want to be found.

I see Leather-Stocking, Tomahawk, and Nathaniel as working titles for three works focusing on events in the hero's life during his 40s, 50s, and 60s.

In order to take on the challenging task of writing this sort of fan fiction, I would want to create as much of the proper tone and feeling as possible for verisimilitude, but would not attempt to write stories intended to fool anyone into thinking that these were "lost works" of JFC. They'd be novellas, heavily influenced by Daniel Boone's experiences, not focusing on huge battles, but rather his time perhaps held hostage by a tribe.

I mention this here just because I know if I don't then there's no chance of anything.

No comments:

Post a Comment