Thursday, May 01, 2008

Book No. 16: Herman Melville - Bartleby The Scrivener

Is it cheating that I'm including a novella? Fuck it, I make my own rules, man!

Bartleby is a wonderful story, natch, and this is maybe the 30th time I've read it. I just spent too much money on the attractive Art Of The Novella printing. They have a great idea - printing great novellas in pleasant colors adorned only with the declarative font you can see at left. However, I paid almost $10 for mine, and the thing about novellas is that you can typically read them in about an hour, tops. So... worth it? Maybe and maybe not.

Anyway, if you've never read it, the narrator is a bureaucrat who is telling the story from years before of a young scrivener (sort of like an attorney and a copyist) who slowly retreats from his duties and eventually all trappings of life itself with the statement "I would prefer not to." Rather delightful for anyone who has glanced about their life and realized that the game is rigged and that the only way not to lose is not to play. That's a concept easier to imagine, of course, than it is to implement, as refuseniks will often end up with poor Bartleby's fate. The rest of us are on a pay-to-play plan.


My photo
Cary, NC, United States
reachable at firstname lastname (all run together) at gmail dot com

About This Blog

From Here To Obscurity, founded ca. 2003, population 1. The management wishes to emphasize that no promises vis-a-vis your entertainment have been guaranteed and for all intents and purposes, intimations of enlightenment fall under the legal definition of entertainment. No refunds shall be given nor will requests be honored. Although some may ask, we have no intention of beginning again.

  © Blogger templates Brooklyn by 2008

Back to TOP