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Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall…

Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street (1853)

by Herman Melville

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English (51)  French (3)  German (2)  Italian (2)  Danish (1)  Spanish (1)  Catalan (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (62)
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3.5* for the audiobook, available through Audible Channels; 3* for the story itself. Stefan Rudnicki did a very good narration.

Bartleby sure is a strange character! ( )
  leslie.98 | Aug 22, 2017 |
Con ogni probabilità l'excipit più potente della storia della letteratura dell'evo moderno :-)
E un protagonista il cui ricordo è molto più vivo dentro di me di quello di tante persone che ho conosciuto in vita mia :-) Un po' per affinità [al netto del mutismo] ( )
  downisthenewup | Aug 17, 2017 |
The Unexplained Intrusion, as in Kafka, or more particularly Godot, Turkey and Nippers two halves of the same personality (one calm in the morning, the other in the afternoon, thus forming between them a single functional person), the young boy who occasionally appears, and Bartleby the anti-Godot who never leaves ("but surely tomorrow" says the narrator). Yes, Melville wasn't the first (Schubert wrote his B-flat sonata in 1828: that trill is Bartleby) and the parallels are all accidents; except there aren't really any accidents, we're all in the same universe, some of us just see things before others. The Unexplained Intrusion is always life itself, of course. It is also (which seldom goes noticed in Melville) very funny. ( )
  stilton | Jul 20, 2017 |
This (very short) book (really a short story) is so funny, until it's suddenly sad. It is about a man who begins to work for the narrator in a law office. He works well until he "prefers not to." And he uses this sentence over and over again until it becomes a real problem for his employer (the narrator).
I had only read Moby Dick by Herman Melville, so I was glad to read this and find that I enjoyed his writing so much! He has a wonderful sense of humor, but also a good sense for humanity, and kind of pull your heartstrings from both sides! I was surprised and pleased, and plan to read more Melville in the future! ( )
  TerriS | Jul 7, 2017 |
Wow. I thought I must have read this in my youth, but now I'm sure I would have remembered Bartleby had I encountered him before! Bartleby, employed as a lawyer's clerk, takes his passive resistance to exerting any effort to the ultimate extreme. If Bartleby were merely disinclined to work, his employer, literature's most accommodating employer, and we, the story's readers, would know what to make of him. Bartleby, however, is not inclined to humor us in that or in any regard. To our requests that he explain or justify his behavior, accept our sympathy, or act according to convention, reason, or self-preservation, Bartleby will respond, with quiet determination, "I would prefer not to." Somehow, in his refusal to be controlled, pressured, or in any way manipulated, I found him perversely inspiring. ( )
  meandmybooks | May 10, 2017 |
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I am a rather elderly man.
Imagine my surprise, nay, my consternation,
when without moving from his privacy, Bartleby
in a singularly mild, firm voice, replied, “I would prefer not
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0974607800, Paperback)

"I prefer not to," he respectfully and slowly said, and mildly disappeared.

Academics hail it as the beginning of modernism, but to readers around the world—even those daunted by Moby-DickBartleby the Scrivener is simply one of the most absorbing and moving novellas ever. Set in the mid-19th century on New York City’s Wall Street, it was also, perhaps, Herman Melville's most prescient story: what if a young man caught up in the rat race of commerce finally just said, "I would prefer not to"?

The tale is one of the final works of fiction published by Melville before, slipping into despair over the continuing critical dismissal of his work after Moby-Dick, he abandoned publishing fiction. The work is presented here exactly as it was originally published in Putnam's magazine—to, sadly, critical disdain.

The Art of The Novella Series

Too short to be a novel, too long to be a short story, the novella is generally unrecognized by academics and publishers. Nonetheless, it is a form beloved and practiced by literature's greatest writers. In the Art Of The Novella series, Melville House celebrates this renegade art form and its practitioners with titles that are, in many instances, presented in book form for the first time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:23 -0400)

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Wall Street is turned upside-down when Bartleby, a copier, decides he is no longer willing to do it.

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