Actually it’s like being one of those people who put a photo up on eBay of some stupid furniture and then everyone figures out they can see you in some reflection and you’re REALLY NAKED AND NOT PRETTY.
It’s impossible to overstate how much reviewers hated MacLane and how deeply they held her in contempt, citing her “vulgarity” and calling her book “a revelation of self which is not interesting or sympathetic.” Their insistence on calling her “boring” quickly begins to seem absurd: if she was so boring, why were they so obsessed? Critics also insisted that she was doing the world a disservice by getting attention that they (disingenuously) declared ought to be granted to presumably worthier writers: “Think of the hundreds of poor lonesome girls working away at the making of literature who cannot get their literature printed and published.” When asked to explain MacLane’s popularity, they mostly just threw up their hands in befuddlement: “People go wild over young girls writing slush about themselves,” the author of a MacLane parody “explained” in 1902.
Elanor reads a lot of books. These links are to Goodreads and to Emily Books where appropriate.