art of intellectual bread-making — the production of permanent literature.
It must be readily admitted that the contributions of American women to the poetry and fiction of the day are abundant and creditable.
But it must be remembered that journalism itself is hardly more ephemeral than all poetry or fiction short of the highest; and our rapid American life has already created and forgotten several generations of such short-lived celebrities.
's laborious “Female poets of America
,” published some forty years ago, there is hardly a name that is now remembered; and Poe
in those days used to place a crown of the most perishable materials on the head of every woman who flattered them or whom they wished to flatter.
Apart from their tributes, a place on Parnassus
was supposed to be securely held by the Davidson
sisters, for instance, two half-developed girls, who earned by their pathetic early deaths what really passed for fame.
It is doubtful whether a place more permanent can be assigned to the good-natured Cary
A greater loss to memory is the fame of Miss Sedgwick
, whose graphic and sensible fiction-realistic in the best sense-seems absolutely unknown to the generation now growing up. Is it so certain that the women now popular as poets and novelists are securer in their position than their predecessors?