‘Twice-told Tales’ were to appear for the first time to-morrow they would attract no more attention than they did fifty years ago. Mr. Stockton
has lately made a similar suggestion as to the stories of Edgar Poe
. Perhaps this gives half a century as the approximate measure of the variations of fate—the periodicity of the pendulum.
On the other hand, Jane Austen
, who would, fifty years ago, have been regarded as an author suited to desolate islands or long and tedious illnesses, has now come to be the founder of a school, and must look down benignly from heaven to see the brightest minds assiduously at work upon that ‘little bit of ivory, two inches square’ by which she symbolized her novels.
Then comes in, as an alterative, the strong Russian
tribe, claimed by realists as real, by idealists as ideal, and perhaps forcing the pendulum in a new direction.
Nothing, surely, since Hawthorne
's death, has given us so much of the distinctive flavor of his genius as Tourgueneff
's extraordinary ‘Poems in Prose’ in the admirable version of Mrs. T. S. Perry
But the question, after all, recurs: why