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Bartleby, the Scrivener

Herman Melville

Book Overview: 

“Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street” is a short story by Herman Melville. The story first appeared, anonymously, in Putnam’s Magazine in two parts. The work is said to have been inspired, in part, by Melville’s reading of Emerson, and some have pointed to specific parallels to Emerson’s essay.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ness—that of a conveyancer and title hunter, and drawer-up of recondite documents of all sorts—was considerably increased by receiving the master's office. There was now great work for scriveners. Not only must I push the clerks already with me, but I must have additional help. In answer to my advertisement, a motionless young man one morning, stood upon my office threshold, the door being open, for it was summer. I can see that figure now—pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn! It was Bartleby.

After a few words touching his qualifications, I engaged him, glad to have among my corps of copyists a man of so singularly sedate an aspect, which I thought might operate beneficially upon the flighty temper of Turkey, and the fiery one of Nippers.

I should have stated before that ground glass folding-doors divided my premises into two parts, one of which was occupied by my scriveners, the other b. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I would tell you what I think of this story, but I prefer not to.

"I sat awhile in perfect silence, rallying my stunned faculties."

Herman Melville's 'Bartleby, the Scrivener', a thought-provoking novella with excellent prose, addresses two of the sides of human beings - the deep and empathising thought process of the narrator; and the self-isolating and self-impo

Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville

I would prefer not to. In the story, a lawyer hired a clerk but he preferred not to do any work. Now the interesting part is how the lawyer would handle him. That's a magnificent story about sympathy and depression. The beauty of the book is the way it develo

Ah, Bartleby. Ah, Humanity.

At first, as I tried to contain my surprise that Melville, who awed me in Moby Dick, was now writing with such humour and lightness, I felt that Bartleby was a Heroic figure, someone to be admired and emulated - and a welcome break from the complicated characters of the do

This classic 1853 Herman Melville novella is absurd and bleak, darkly humorous and heart-wrenching at the same time. It's the first time I've read it since a college English course years ago, when I didn’t much care for it. I appreciated it much more this time around.

Bartleby is a scrivener - essent

أفضل ألا أكتب أي شيء عن هذه القصة القصيرة، و لكن في نفس الوقت و بنفس درجة الإلحاح في عدم الكتابة أفضل أن أكتب أي شيء، شعور متناقض أليس كذلك ؟ .

" كيف هذا ؟ قال ممون الطعام مخاطبا إياي و هو يحدق بذهول في : إنه غريب أليس كذلك ؟ "

- نعم أوافقك الرأي تماما : إنه غريب

" لو كان ثمة أي شيء بشري بصورة عادية

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

Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street, Herman Melville

Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street is a short story by the American writer Herman Melville, first serialized anonymously in two parts in the November and December 1853 issues of Putnam's Magazine, and reprinted with minor t

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