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Ephemera Critica

or plain truths about current literature

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Published: 1902
Language: English
Wordcount: 85,175 / 263 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 50.8
LoC Category: PN
Downloads: 479
Added to site: 2010.11.19
mnybks.net#: 29626
Origin: gutenberg.org

It is time for some one to speak out. When we compare the condition and prospects of Science in all its branches, its organization, its standards, its aims, its representatives with those of Literature, how deplorable and how humiliating is the contrast! In the one we see an ordered realm, in the other mere chaos. The one, serious, strenuous, progressive, is displaying an energy as wonderful in what it has accomplished as in what it promises to accomplish; the other, without soul, without conscience, without nerve, aimless, listless and decadent, appears to be stagnating, almost entirely, into the monopoly of those who are bent on futilizing and degrading it.

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le province which it once held, but is extending its dominion in all directions. It has its representatives in every department of Art and Letters. It has its poets, its critics, its philosophers, its historians. It crowds not our club-tables and news-stalls only, but our libraries. Thus what was originally a mere excrescence on literature, in the proper sense of the term, has now assumed proportions so gigantic, that it has not merely overshadowed that literature, but threatens to supersede it.

No thoughtful man can contemplate the present condition of current literature without disgust and alarm. We have still, indeed, lingering among us a few masters whose works would have been an honour to any age; and here and there among writers may be discerned men who are honourably distinguished by a conscientious desire to excel, men who respect themselves, and respect their calling. But to say that these are in the minority, would be to give a very imperfect idea of the proportion which their numbers bear to

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