The Man of Letters as a Man of Business eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 39 pages of information about The Man of Letters as a Man of Business.
was lived-in the idyllic times of the earlier settlement, long before motors and almost before private carriages; “American Literary Centres,” “American Literature in Exile,” “Puritanism in American Fiction,” “Politics of American Authors,” were, with three or four other papers, the endeavors of the American correspondent of the London Times’s literary supplement, to enlighten the British understanding as to our ways of thinking and writing eleven years ago, and are here left to bear the defects of the qualities of their obsolete actuality in the year 1899.  Most of the studies and sketches are from an extinct department of “Life and Letters” which I invented for Harper’s Weekly, and operated for a year or so toward the close of the nineteenth century.  Notable among these is the “Last Days in a Dutch Hotel,” which was written at Paris in 1897; it is rather a favorite of mine, perhaps because I liked Holland so much; others, which more or less personally recognize effects of sojourn in New York or excursions into New England, are from the same department; several may be recalled by the longer-memoried reader as papers from the “Editor’s Easy Chair” in Harper’s Monthly; “Wild Flowers of the Asphalt” is the review of an ever-delightful book which I printed in Harper’s Bazar; “The Editor’s Relations with the Young Contributor” was my endeavor in Youth’s Companion to shed a kindly light from my experience in both seats upon the too-often and too needlessly embittered souls of literary beginners.

So it goes as to the motives and origins of the collection which may persist in disintegrating under the reader’s eye, in spite of my well-meant endeavors to establish a solidarity for it.  The group at least attests, even in this event, the wide, the wild, variety of my literary production in time and space.  From the beginning the journalist’s independence of the scholar’s solitude and seclusion has remained with me, and though I am fond enough of a bookish entourage, of the serried volumes of the library shelves, and the inviting breadth of the library table, I am not disabled by the hard conditions of a bedroom in a summer hotel, or the narrow possibilities of a candle-stand, without a dictionary in the whole house, or a book of reference even in the running brooks outside. 
                       W. D. Howells.

Literature and life

THE MAN OF LETTERS AS A MAN OF BUSINESS

I think that every man ought to work for his living, without exception, and that, when he has once avouched his willingness to work, society should provide him with work and warrant him a living.  I do not think any man ought to live by an art.  A man’s art should be his privilege, when he has proven his fitness to exercise it, and has otherwise earned his daily bread; and its results should be free to all.  There is an instinctive sense of this, even in the midst of the grotesque confusion of our economic being;

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The Man of Letters as a Man of Business from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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