Edward Salmon: Mystery on Mystery

Отправлено 21 нояб. 2017 г., 13:30 пользователем Sven Karsten   [ обновлено 21 нояб. 2017 г., 13:32 ]

After about a decade of hard work as a litterateur, I was beginning in 1871 to feel that I had secured the very smallest niche possible in the Temple of Fame. I was then, as I am now, a novelist—not a Scott, but still a novelist; not a genius, but a sufficiently capable wielder of the pen as penmen go. To be a great popular writer of fiction has always been my ambition, to be a toiling and inadequately-remunerated scribe has, until quite recently, been my lot.

'If the public or the publishers, or whoever it might have been, had been of the mind of some of my generous critics, I might have been pardoned if I had fancied myself one of those heroes who are born, not made. But whilst one reviewer here detected in my work more than a suggestion of 'quite Dickensesque power,' and another a 'strong Wilkie Collins-like uncanniness,' the public was laughing over Dickens and shuddering before Wilkie Collins and—I was writing. I produced a good deal more than the public ever read. For almost every manuscript that was printed, I placed another in the capacious recesses of several pigeon-holes, charitably determined if I was not permitted to realise the full fruits of my labours, some one, when it was posthumously discovered that my work was worth perusing, should have the opportunity of turning an easy shilling.

'Fame and fortune were, I found, not necessarily identical in the great republic of letters. Of the former I seemed to have enough and to spare; of the latter little or none. But it is unfair to grumble. I earned sufficient to make both ends meet, and lucky is the man who can say so much.

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