This is Mark Twain's vicious and amusing review of Fenimore Cooper's literary art. It is still read widely in academic circles. Twain's essay, Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses (often spelled "Offences") (1895), particularly criticized The Deerslayer and The Pathfinder. Twain wrote at the beginning of the essay: 'In one place in Deerslayer, and in the restricted space of two-thirds of a page, Cooper has scored 114 offenses against literary art out of a possible 115.
Child-life in Art is written by Estelle M. Hurll. A charming group is Lady Cockburn and her Boys, which has been engraved under the title of the Roman matron Cornelia and her Children. It is said of this splendid production, that when it was brought into the Royal Academy exhibition to be hung.
Critical Miscellanies is written by John Morley. The portrait which he draws of Lord Macaulay is so irresistibly attractive in many ways, that a critic may be glad to have delivered his soul before his judgment was subject to a dangerous bias, by the picture of Macaulay's personal character.
A Critic in Pall Mall is written by Oscar Wilde. "The real difficulty that we all have to face in life is not so much the science of cookery as the stupidity of cooks. And in this little handbook to practical Epicureanism the tyrant of the English kitchen is shown in her proper light. Her entire ignorance of herbs."
Contemporary American Novelists is written by Carl Van Doren. There is, to begin with, the type associated with the now moribund cult of local color, which originally had Bret Harte for its prophet, and which, beginning almost at once after the Civil War, gradually broadened out until it saw priests in every state and followers.
Contemporary American Composers is written by Rupert Hughes. This is the story of every master in every art: The younger Raphael was only Perugino junior. Beethoven's first sonatas were more completely Haydn's than the word "gewidmet" would declare. The youthful Canova was swept off his feet by the unearthing of old Greek masterpieces.
Confessions and Criticisms is written by Julian Hawthorne. The true rewards of literature, for men of limited calibre, are the incidental ones,--the valuable friendships and the charming associations which it brings about. For the sake of these I would willingly endure again many passages of a life that has not been all roses.
A Collection of Stories, Reviews is written by Willa Cather. The roof was covered with earth and was supported by one gigantic beam curved in the shape of a round arch. It was almost impossible that any tree had ever grown in that shape. The Norwegians used to say that Canute had taken the log across his knee and bent it into the shape he wished.
Citation and Examination is written by Walter Savage Landor. The frolic of Shakspeare in deer-stealing was the cause of his Hegira; and his connection with players in London was the cause of his writing plays. Had he remained in his native town, his ambition had never been excited by the applause of the intellectual.
Bunyan Characters is written by Alexander Whyte. The word 'character' occurs only once in the New Testament, and that is in the passage in the prologue of the Epistle to the Hebrews, where the original word is translated 'express image' in our version. Our Lord is the Express Image of the Invisible Father.