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A Moor's "Un-Twainian" Insights on Cooper's "Un-Readable" Art

In this article, I argue that James F. Cooper should be treasured outside the stifling artistic horizons of Mark Twain’s Cooper’s Literary Offences. Even if Cooper’s texts are allegedly delirium tremens, global readers of world literature should join me—a post-colonial and global student of world texts and contexts—in disregarding Twain’s claims that “Cooper has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115” (4). My present defense of Cooper should therefore be seen as an international homage to James Fennimore Cooper from a North African “Moor” whose Ibn Battutian global academic journey from the South of the Mediterranean to the American Midwest was triggered by the ‘unreadable’ Cooper some twenty years ago. And if I can go down to the grave with the reflection that I have done a little towards it (America), I shall have the consolation of knowing that I have not been useless in my generation (Letters of James Fenimore Cooper, xviii).

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