Herman Melville: Bartleby the Scrivener

(2212 words)
  • Christopher Gonzalez (Ohio State University)

After the financial and critical failure of his novels Moby-Dick (1851), Pierre (1852) and Israel Potter (1855), Herman Melville turned to writing stories and novellas. The first result was his pair of stories “The Paradise of Batchelors” and “The Tartarus of Maids” (1855) which offer brilliant satirical allegories on industrialisation, sexual social segregation, the paper industry and the hopelessness of writing. He then produced the novella “Bartleby, the Scrivener” — subtitled “A Story of Wall-Street” — which was serialised in Putnam’s Monthly Magazine in 1853 and then included in The Piazza Tales in 1856. “Bartleby” is tale which continues and extends the …

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Gonzalez, Christopher. "Bartleby the Scrivener". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 23 February 2009
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6453, accessed 25 September 2016.]