Wrong? See, I want all the other things that go with pages: the hierarchical organization (library -> authors -> essays), the irrelevance of chronological order, etc.
Yes, wrong. See, Posts get all those other things automatically. Hierarchy is achieved through categories.
Also, chronological order is not irrelevant if you want to make a feed out of them, because a feed has an implied order and absolutely depends on date and time of the entries.
Once the essay's up, it never changes. It's static. Sounds like a page to me.
You missed the part where I said "Pages should not change very often or be added very often." The word "static" is used here in terms of the site as a whole, not only in terms of the content of the page.
If you're adding content on a regular (or irregular) basis, that content should be posts. Posts rarely change after they are made too, that doesn't make them static. They're dynamic in terms of the site because there are new ones every so often.
In fact, the only behavior I'm looking for that Page doesn't already deliver is the RSS feed for new essays.
Pages cannot be put into a feed specifically because Pages have no inherent ordering. They don't have date and times. Feeds *require* dates and times to function correctly. That's how new content is differentiated from old content, in a feed. By dates and times.
You could hack some way to do it, no doubt, but whatever you do is just that: a hack. The correct way is to make these Pages you have into Posts. Why? Because you are creating new content on a semi-regular basis. That is exactly what a Post is made to do.
It's not a very active feed, mind you, but I think some of my readers would like to know when we occasionally add new essays to the library.
The activity of the feed is irrelevant. The only things I can suggest at this point are either:
a) Move all these Pages to Posts, create the hierarchy using Category and Author calls instead, or
b) Make a Post whenever you add a new library Page to tell your readers.
Essentially, you're saying that you want to make feeds for a Page, which inherently makes no sense. It's the wrong question, in other words. That's not what Pages are nor how they work.
If, instead, you had said something like "I want to make a library of essays and articles which I add to semi-regularly. I will organize it hierarchically and by authors and such, and I want feeds to tell people when I add new ones." then I would tell you to:
1. Make all your articles as Posts.
2. Assign these posts proper categories in the hierarchy.
3. Make these posts written by their authors.
4. Use category feeds to notify users of new articles.
5. If you want to make some kind of Page to list them, use custom Category Templates and Author Templates to display the things the way you want to display them instead.
6. If you don't want these to appear with your other, normal posts, use plugins like "Category Visibility" to hide them from places like the front page and so forth.
That's what I'd tell you to do.