Dienstag, 20. Dezember 2011
Cooper ist in dem Vorwort (zur zweiten Auflage), aus dem das Zitat oben stammt, sehr ehrlich gegenüber dem Leser. In order to prevent mistake, it may be well to say that the incidents of this tale are purely a fiction, schreibt er dort. Und er beklagt in einer Fußnote, dass die Natur, so wie er sie als Kind erlebte, längst verschwunden ist: Though forests still crown the mountains of Otsego, the bear, the wolf, and the panther are nearly strangers to them. Even the innocent deer is rarely seen bounding beneath their arches; for the rifle and the activity of the settlers have driven them to other haunts. To this change (which in some particulars is melancholy to one who knew the country in its infancy), it may be added that the Otsego is beginning to be a niggard of its treasures. Diese Klage über die Vernichtung von God's own paradise durch den Menschen finden wir in vielen seiner Romane, dies ist der erste Ökoroman der amerikanischen Literatur, lange vor Edward Abbey, dem Thoreau of the American West.
Gleich zu Beginn des Romans kommt es im Schnee beinahe zu einem schrecklichen Unfall:
Richard, by a sudden application of the whip, succeeded in forcing the leaders into the snow-bank that covered the quarry; but the instant that the impatient animals suffered by the crust, through which they broke at each step, they positively refused to move an inch farther in that direction. On the contrary, finding that the cries and blows of their driver were redoubled at this juncture, the leaders backed upon the pole-horses, who in their turn backed the sleigh. Only a single log lay above the pile which upheld the road on the side toward the valley, and this was now buried in the snow. The sleigh was easily forced across so slight an impediment, and before Richard became conscious of his danger one-half of the vehicle was projected over a precipice, which fell perpendicularly more than a hundred feet. The Frenchman, who by his position had a full view of their threatened flight, instinctively threw his body as far forward as possible, and cried
“Oh! mon cher Monsieur Deeck! mon Dieu! que faites vous!”
“Donner und blitzen, Richart!” exclaimed the veteran German, looking over the side of the sleigh with unusual emotion, “put you will preak ter sleigh and kilt ter horses!”
“Good Mr. Jones,” said the clergyman, “be prudent, good sir—be careful.”
frontier in diesem jungen Amerika.
“Thou jerk! thou recover thyself, Dickon!” he said; ‘but for that brave lad yonder, thou and thy horses, or rather mine, would have been dashed to pieces—but where is Monsieur Le Quoi?”
“Oh! mon cher Juge! mon ami!” cried a smothered voice,” praise be God, I live; vill you, Mister Agamemnon, be pleas come down ici, and help me on my leg?”
The divine and the negro seized the incarcerated Gaul by his legs and extricated him from a snow-bank of three feet in depth, whence his voice had sounded as from the tombs. The thoughts of Mr. Le Quoi, immediately on his liberation, were not extremely collected; and, when he reached the light, he threw his eyes upward, in order to examine the distance he had fallen. His good-humor returned, however, with a knowledge of his safety, though it was some little time before he clearly comprehended the case.
“What, monsieur,” said Richard, who was busily assisting the black in taking off the leaders; “are you there? I thought I saw you flying toward the top of the mountain just now.”
“Praise be God, I no fly down into the lake,” returned the Frenchman, with a visage that was divided between pain, occasioned by a few large scratches that he had received in forcing his head through the crust, and the look of complaisance that seemed natural to his pliable features.
“Ah! mon cher Mister Deeck, vat you do next? - dere be noting you no try.”
“The next thing, I trust, will be to learn to drive,” said the Judge, who bad busied himself in throwing the buck, together with several other articles of baggage, from his own sleigh into the snow; “here are seats for you all, gentlemen; the evening grows piercingly cold, and the hour approaches for the service of Mr. Grant; we will leave friend Jones to repair the damages, with the assistance of Agamemnon, and hasten to a warm fire. Here, Dickon, are a few articles of Bess’ trumpery, that you can throw into your sleigh when ready; and there is also a deer of my taking, that I will thank you to bring. Aggy! remember that there will be a visit from Santa Claus to-night.”
A Visit from St Nicholas. Jetzt werden wir ihn nicht mehr los.
Die Winterbilder sind von Louis Rémy Mignot, einem Maler, der zur Hudson River School gerechnet wird.
Posted by jay at 11:10