Read Bartleby, the Scrivener by Herman Melville Free Online
Book Title: Bartleby, the Scrivener|
The author of the book: Herman Melville
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 664 KB
Edition: Dodo Press
Date of issue: August 12th 2006
ISBN 13: 9781406509885
Read full description of the books Bartleby, the Scrivener:What a pleasure it is to return to a work of genius and find it inexhaustible! What a host of insights, what a web of subtleties, are contained within this short account of the breakdown of one man in a five man office!
I think of Melville the sailor, accustomed to wide sea vistas and many sea duties, recoiling at the confined, reduced lives of New York City office workers. I think of Melville the innovative writer, his popularity—and income—waning as his daring increased, contemplating the act of writing considered in itself as a bleak task performed for money. I think of Melville the prophet, warning of the starkness of the coming metropolis and the small brutalities of cubicle capitalism.
I also marvel at the literary landscape which flows past the windows of this tale, for Bartleby, though it speeds non-stop from the village of Dickens to Kafka Terminal, yet gives us a glimpse of the cities of Dostoevsky and Zola, their chimneys darkening sunset in the hills beyond.
But the truth which haunts me is how precisely Melville delineates how we all survive--or do not survive--our workaday worlds. Either we reduce our personalities to caricature and numb ourselves through substance abuse (the clerks Turkey and Nippers) or we deceive ourselves through a pattern of benign neglect disrupted by fits of compassion (the Manhattan lawyer). Otherwise we are doomed to be Bartleby, dismantling ourselves little by little, uttering—in small “I prefer not to” portions—The Everlasting No.
Read information about the authorHerman Melville was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet. His first two books gained much attention, though they were not bestsellers, and his popularity declined precipitously only a few years later. By the time of his death he had been almost completely forgotten, but his longest novel, Moby-Dick — largely considered a failure during his lifetime, and most responsible for Melville's fall from favor with the reading public — was rediscovered in the 20th century as one of the chief literary masterpieces of both American and world literature.
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