The oddly diverse character of James Fenimore Cooper's writings and activities has led many critics to view his career as fragmentary. Stephen Railton takes a psychoanalytic approach to the novelist's most important works and the most significant events in his life. By showing how the aesthetic struggle to create reflected attempts to reconcile conflicting emotional needs, the author is able to provide a much-needed coherent interpretation of Cooper's achievement. Professor Railton's analysis shows that an awareness of the extent to which Cooper's father dominated his life is central to an understanding of his novels and his often contradictory behavior.
Originally published in 1978.
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Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Stephen Railton: