Hot Best Seller

Bartleby, the Scrivener a Story of Wall-Street (eBook)

Availability: Ready to download

Herman Melville was an 18th century American novelist, poet, essayist and short story writer. He is best known for his works Moby Dick and Typee. During his lifetime he was considered a failure, but after his death his worth as a writer was recognized. Bartleby is a novella, which first appeared in Putnam's Magazine. The narrator is an elderly lawyer who helps his clients Herman Melville was an 18th century American novelist, poet, essayist and short story writer. He is best known for his works Moby Dick and Typee. During his lifetime he was considered a failure, but after his death his worth as a writer was recognized. Bartleby is a novella, which first appeared in Putnam's Magazine. The narrator is an elderly lawyer who helps his clients with mortgages, titles and bonds. The lawyer's office has two employees Nippers and Turkey. Turkey is a drunk and Nippers has indigestion. The office is able to function because Nippers indigestion is at a time when Turkey is sober and Turkey is hung over when Nippers is feeling better. Bartleby is hired in the hopes that his temperament will calm down the office. As the story progresses Melville brings a sense of the human condition as seen through the eyes of a lowly employee.


Compare

Herman Melville was an 18th century American novelist, poet, essayist and short story writer. He is best known for his works Moby Dick and Typee. During his lifetime he was considered a failure, but after his death his worth as a writer was recognized. Bartleby is a novella, which first appeared in Putnam's Magazine. The narrator is an elderly lawyer who helps his clients Herman Melville was an 18th century American novelist, poet, essayist and short story writer. He is best known for his works Moby Dick and Typee. During his lifetime he was considered a failure, but after his death his worth as a writer was recognized. Bartleby is a novella, which first appeared in Putnam's Magazine. The narrator is an elderly lawyer who helps his clients with mortgages, titles and bonds. The lawyer's office has two employees Nippers and Turkey. Turkey is a drunk and Nippers has indigestion. The office is able to function because Nippers indigestion is at a time when Turkey is sober and Turkey is hung over when Nippers is feeling better. Bartleby is hired in the hopes that his temperament will calm down the office. As the story progresses Melville brings a sense of the human condition as seen through the eyes of a lowly employee.

30 review for Bartleby, the Scrivener a Story of Wall-Street (eBook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tony

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

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bill Kerwin

    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 o 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.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    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 doomed ship. On second thought, with a slight sinking feeling, I felt he might be a Romantic figure, someone to be eulogized and applauded. Then, still upbeat about the simplicity of the novella, I was su 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 doomed ship. On second thought, with a slight sinking feeling, I felt he might be a Romantic figure, someone to be eulogized and applauded. Then, still upbeat about the simplicity of the novella, I was sure that he was meant to be an Ironic figure, someone to be understood and assimilated. Soon, as the comic aspects faded into melancholy and unexpected depth started invading the short narrative, I started feeling that he might instead be intended as an Absurd figure, someone to be pondered and puzzled over. Towards the end, as I too devolved with the spirit of the poor man, I felt that he must certainly be a Tragic figure, someone to be pitied and parodied. Finally, along with the narrator, I was on the brink of concluding that he is a Villainous figure, someone to be excluded and ostracized. But, in the end, in the tragic and evasive end, the novella had proved itself to be anything but simple and he was none of this and all of this, of course. He was probably the essential human present in the most inscrutable of strangers, in the inner life of the other. He might also be the scion of capitalism, a representation of its many wonders, and an idle, early sacrifice at the altar of pacifism and non-violence. He was some mysterious combination of the heroic and the ironic, and the rest too, in all probability - of the incongruous and the inevitable. A Gandhi without an audience. He was Bartleby, the Scrivener. I would prefer not to classify or understand him any further. It will be too discomforting.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    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 textual alterations in his The Piazza Tales in 1856. In the story, a Wall Street lawyer hires a new clerk who, after an initial bout of hard work, refuses to make copy or do any other task required 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 textual alterations in his The Piazza Tales in 1856. In the story, a Wall Street lawyer hires a new clerk who, after an initial bout of hard work, refuses to make copy or do any other task required of him, with the words "I would prefer not to". The lawyer cannot bring himself to remove Bartleby from his premises, and decides instead to move his office, but the new proprietor removes Bartleby to prison, where he perishes. عنوانها: ترجیح میدهم که نه؛ بارتلبی محرر و چند داستان دیگر؛ نویسنده: هرمان ملویل؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و سوم دسامتر سال 1979 میلادی و بار دیگر: در بیست و هفتم دسامبر سال 2015 میلادی عنوان: بارتلبی محرر و چند داستان دیگر؛ نویسنده: هرمان ملویل؛ مترجم: هوشنگ پیرنظر؛ تهران، آگاه، 1357؛ در 132 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای کوتاه از نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 19 م عنوان: ترجیح میدهم که نه؛ بارتلبی محرر و چند داستان دیگر؛ نویسنده: هرمان ملویل؛ مترجمها: گروه مترجمان نیکا؛ گزینش و ویرایش: پویا رفویی؛ تهران، نشر نیکا، 1390، 191 ص؛ چاپ دوم 1393؛ شابک: 9786005906257؛ کتاب «ترجیح می‌دهم که نه» کتابی است که به کوشش جناب «پویا رفویی» و با ترجمه ی جناب «کاوه میرعباسی»، در سال 1390 هجری خورشیدی، در نشر نیکا منتشر، و داستان «بارتلبی محرر» و سه جستار فلسفی در آن است. «ژیل دلوز»، فیلسوف فرانسوی در یکی از آخرین مقاله‌ های خود، با عنوان «بارتلبی، یا یک فرمول» به این داستان «هرمان ملویل» پرداخته، که با ترجمۀ جناب«شهریار وقفی پور» در کتاب موجود است. جنا «امیر احمدی آریان» نیز مقاله‌ ای از «ژاک رانسیر» با عنوان «دلوز، بارتلبی و فرمول ادبی» را ترجمه کرده که در آن به بررسی و تشریح دیگاه «دلوز» دربارۀ همین داستان «بارتلبی» پرداخته است. عنوان مقالۀ سوم کتاب، «بارتلبی، یا در باب حدوث» است، که در آن «جورجو آگامبن» وجوه دیگر همین داستان را بررسی کرده، ترجمۀ مقاله ی سوم از جنتب «امید مهرگان» و جناب «پویا رفویی» است. ا. شربیانی

  5. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Ali

    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 فيه لكنت طردته من المبنى حالا " - نعم أوافقك الرأي تماما : هو ليس بشرا مثلنا . " كشبح مجرد ظهر بعد النداء الثالث عند مدخل صومعته على نحو غريب ينسجم مع قوانين التعاويذ السحرية " - نعم أوافقك الرأي تماما 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 فيه لكنت طردته من المبنى حالا " - نعم أوافقك الرأي تماما : هو ليس بشرا مثلنا . " كشبح مجرد ظهر بعد النداء الثالث عند مدخل صومعته على نحو غريب ينسجم مع قوانين التعاويذ السحرية " - نعم أوافقك الرأي تماما : هو شبح " قررت أن استجمع كل قواي، و أن أتخلص للأبد من من هذا الكابوس الذي لا يطاق " - نعم أوفقك الرأي تماما : هو كابوس .... و لكن من يكون ؟ إنه بارتلبي النساخ.... غريب بكآبته و يأسه و حزنه، هو رسالة ميتة فقدت صاحبها و بالتالي فقدت و جهتها، نعم هو لا ينتمي إلى عالم البشر لأنه رسالة، هو وحيد تماما في الكون , قطعة من حطام سفينة في عرض الأطلنطي، تتقاذفها أمواج الحياة العاتية، هو شبح إنسان، أشلاء إنسان تناثرت قطعه و تغربت، هو إنسان ما بعد الصدمة، روح عالقة في جسد، روح متألمة متحسرة تائهة ضائعة مغيبة و بدون عنوان إنه بارتلبي النساخ " قد أمنح صدقات لجسده لكن جسده لم يكن يؤلمه .. كانت روحه هي التي تتألم و التي لا أستطيع الوصول إليها " herbergeur d image آه يا بارتلبي ! آه أيتها الإنسانية hebergeur d images

  7. 5 out of 5

    Seemita

    I could ask you to look beyond your desk if you are at work or peep down your balcony if you are at home and spot a Bartleby. But I would prefer not to. I could urge you to frame that calamitous Bartleby whose 'selective' inveterate muteness is either enhancing your tolerance reserves or sharpening your fighting skills. But I would prefer not to. I could exhort you to unsuccessfully debase this Bartleby’s assiduity in light of his proven peculiarity. But I would prefer not to. I could ask I could ask you to look beyond your desk if you are at work or peep down your balcony if you are at home and spot a Bartleby. But I would prefer not to. I could urge you to frame that calamitous Bartleby whose 'selective' inveterate muteness is either enhancing your tolerance reserves or sharpening your fighting skills. But I would prefer not to. I could exhort you to unsuccessfully debase this Bartleby’s assiduity in light of his proven peculiarity. But I would prefer not to. I could ask you the reason behind your acquiescence of this Bartleby's presence in your life and compel you to accept this Bartleby's apparent expertise in disarming your faculties. But I would prefer not to. I could challenge you to tear open your heart and then smirk at the sight of Bartleby's shades in it. But I would prefer not to. I could ask you to stop reading this annoying review right now and instead read the amusing novella by Herman Melville chartering the life of a benevolent employer and his eccentric scrivener, Bartleby. But I would prefer not to.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Raya راية

    "لكنه يبدو وحيدًا، وحيدًا تمامًا في الكون، قطعة من حُطام سفينة في عُرض الأطلنطي." سمعت بهذه القصة لأول مرة من خلال هذا الموقع، فرأيت الكثير من القرّاء يراجعونها وبدوا متأثرين بها كثيرًا، وقد بقيت عالقة في ذهني لفترة من الوقت، وقبل عدة أيام، حين كنت أقوم بتحرير لترجمة كتاب Everybody lies قرأت بأن بعض خيول السباق قد تُصاب خلال حياتها بما يُعرف بـ "متلازمة بارتلبي" والتي تتوّقف فجأة بلا سابق إنذار عن الجري! وهذا ما دعاني جديًّا لقراءة "بارتلبي النسّاخ" لهرمان ملفل. من هو بارتلبي هذا؟ ولماذا يبدو "لكنه يبدو وحيدًا، وحيدًا تمامًا في الكون، قطعة من حُطام سفينة في عُرض الأطلنطي." سمعت بهذه القصة لأول مرة من خلال هذا الموقع، فرأيت الكثير من القرّاء يراجعونها وبدوا متأثرين بها كثيرًا، وقد بقيت عالقة في ذهني لفترة من الوقت، وقبل عدة أيام، حين كنت أقوم بتحرير لترجمة كتاب Everybody lies قرأت بأن بعض خيول السباق قد تُصاب خلال حياتها بما يُعرف بـ "متلازمة بارتلبي" والتي تتوّقف فجأة بلا سابق إنذار عن الجري! وهذا ما دعاني جديًّا لقراءة "بارتلبي النسّاخ" لهرمان ملفل. من هو بارتلبي هذا؟ ولماذا يبدو بائسًا هكذا؟ ولماذا يقرر أن يتوقف عن النسخ فجأة و"يفضّل ألّا" يقوم بأي عمل آخر سوى التحديق في جدران المبنى والتقوقع ساكنًا في صومعته؟! أظن بأن بارتلبي هو كل إنسان مصدوم ومُحطّم وتعرّض لكارثة كبرى في هذه الحياة، بارتلبي المسكين الذي رأى في عمله السابق أشد أنواع البؤس تأثيرًا في النفس البشرية. تكالبت عليه ظروف الحياة القاسية فحطمت روحه وقلبه، وجعلته يحيا خارج دائرة الحياة، في عالم خاص به، عالم من العزلة التامة والخواء، أشبه بحجر صلب أو مقعد قديم في زاوية غرفة لا يدخلها أحد. كان بارتلبي يعمل كاتبًا في مكتب للرسائل الميتة، تلك الرسائل التي لم تصل لأصحابها! ولم يفرحوا بها! ولم ينتشوا بسعادة التواصل مع أحبائهم! تلك الرسائل تُحرق وتموت أخبار من فيها في ثانية! كيف لإنسان يملك روحًا نقية سويّة أن لا تتألم ولا تعانى في مثل هذا العمل! أرجوكم يا أصدقائي، أرجوكم يا من تقرؤون هذه الكلمات الآن، أن تحاولوا جاهدين دومًا لأن توصلوا رسائلكم لكل من تحبون، أن لا تتردوا لحظة ولأي سبب كان في عدم إرسالها، فقد يكون في كلماتكم العزاء والمواساة والحُب والأمل لقلوب من تحبون ولقلوب الأشخاص الرازحين تحت ضغوط الحياة. آهٍ يا بارتلبي! آهٍ أيتها الإنسانية! قصة إبداعية غاية في الروعة والتأثير، بأسلوب سردي مشوّق جميل جدًا. ...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    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 textual alterations in his The Piazza Tales in 1856. In the story, The narrator, an elderly, unnamed Manhattan lawyer with a comfortable business, already employs two scriveners, Nippers and Turkey, to 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 textual alterations in his The Piazza Tales in 1856. In the story, The narrator, an elderly, unnamed Manhattan lawyer with a comfortable business, already employs two scriveners, Nippers and Turkey, to copy legal documents by hand. An increase in business leads him to advertise for a third, and he hires the forlorn-looking Bartleby in the hope that his calmness will soothe the irascible temperaments of the other two. An office boy called Ginger Nut completes the staff. At first, Bartleby produces a large volume of high-quality work, but one day, when asked to help proofread a document, Bartleby answers with what soon becomes his perpetual response to every request: "I would prefer not to". To the dismay of the lawyer and the irritation of the other employees, Bartleby performs fewer and fewer tasks and eventually none, instead spending long periods of time staring out one of the office's windows at a brick wall. The narrator makes several futile attempts to reason with Bartleby and to learn something about him; when the narrator stops by the office one Sunday morning, he discovers that Bartleby has started living there. Tension builds as business associates wonder why Bartleby is always there. Sensing the threat to his reputation but emotionally unable to evict Bartleby, the narrator moves his business out. Soon the new tenants come to ask for help in removing Bartleby, who now sits on the stairs all day and sleeps in the building's doorway at night. The narrator visits Bartleby and attempts to reason with him; to his own surprise, he invites Bartleby to live with him, but Bartleby declines the offer. Later the narrator returns to find that Bartleby has been forcibly removed and imprisoned in the Tombs. Finding Bartleby glummer than usual during a visit, the narrator bribes a turnkey to make sure he gets enough food. When the narrator returns a few days later to check on Bartleby, he discovers that he died of starvation, having preferred not to eat. Sometime afterwards, the narrator hears a rumor that Bartleby had worked in a dead-letter office and reflects that dead letters would have made anyone of Bartleby's temperament sink into an even darker gloom. The story closes with the narrator's resigned and pained sigh, "Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!". عنوانها: ترجیح میدهم که نه؛ بارتلبی محرر و چند داستان دیگر؛ نویسنده: هرمان ملویل؛تاریخ نخستین خوانش: نخستین بار بیست و سوم ماه دسامبر سال 1979 میلادی و بار دیگر: روز بیست و هفتم ماه دسامبر سال 2015 میلادی عنوان: بارتلبی محرر و چند داستان دیگر؛ نویسنده: هرمان ملویل؛ مترجم: هوشنگ پیرنظر؛ تهران، آگاه، 1357؛ در 132 ص؛ موضوع: داستانهای کوتاه از نویسندگان امریکایی سده 19 م کاوه میرعباسی نیز این داستان را ترجمه و نشر نیکا در 1390 هجری خورشیدی آن را منتشر کرده است نقل از متن: بارتلبی، آیا به من می‌گویی کجا به دنیا آمده‌ ای؟ ترجیح می‌دهم نگویم آیا حاضری راجع به خودت به من بگویی؟ ترجیح می‌دهم نگویم. پایان نقل اینها پرسشهای ساده‌ ای‌ هستنند، که صاحب محضری معتبر، از کارمند تازه‌ کار خود: «بارتلبی»، که محرر ساده‌ ای بیش نیست، می‌پرسد؛ و هربار مواجه با ناکامی از دریافت پاسخ می‌شود. بارتلبی محرر؛ نوشته هرمان ملویل، ماجرای محرری فقیر، و کارمندی دون‌ پایه‌ است، که نه غذای درست‌ و حسابی می‌خورد، و نه حتی، جایی برای زندگی‌ کردن دارد، ولی نیروی شخصی‌ اش بزرگوار است، نیرویی کاملا: «نه»، اما قدرتمند؛ که ترجیح می‌دهد به انتظاراتی که دیگران از او دارند، تن در ندهد. «ترجیح می‌دهم نه» تم اصلی ماجراست، آغاز نه گفتن، به رییس از آنجا آغاز می‌شود، که صاحب‌ محضر، که از قضا مردی آسانگیر، و صبور است. از بارتلبی می‌خواهد: متنی مختصر را، باهم مقابله کنند، اما بارتلبی به‌ جای مقابله ی متن، با لحنی بس‌ ملایم و قاطع جواب می‌دهد: «ترجیح می‌دهم این کار را نکنم». محضردار از فرط نابهنگامی پاسخ کارمند خویش، سخت متعجب می‌شود: «بلافاصله گمان بردم که گوش‌هایم مرا فریب داده‌ اند، یا بارتلبی ابدا متوجه منظورم نشده، درخواستم را به واضح‌ترین صورت ممکن، تکرار کردم.». اما پاسخ پیشین با همان وضوح بیان شد‌: «ترجیح می‌دهم این کار را نکنم»؛ و ...؛ ا. شربیانی

  10. 5 out of 5

    Florencia

    ...happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay; but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none. (15) I see a blurred silhouette. There is a person sitting at table. He is writing. He doesn't look up. Nobody could have ever seen his face. It's been hours and he doesn't get up. A man, a chair, a table and a million papers. The spitting image of desolation. Does he have any life outside that place? Probably not. I hope he does. I read about this particular theme concerning ...happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay; but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none. (15) I see a blurred silhouette. There is a person sitting at table. He is writing. He doesn't look up. Nobody could have ever seen his face. It's been hours and he doesn't get up. A man, a chair, a table and a million papers. The spitting image of desolation. Does he have any life outside that place? Probably not. I hope he does. I read about this particular theme concerning jobs that drain life out of people, before. I am talking about Benedetti's Poemas de la oficina / Poemas del hoyporhoy, a collection of masterfully written poems that I highly recommend. I wrote some little notes in the form of a "review" so, I really don't have anything more to add. This is a new side of Melville for me. I am not proud of my experience with Moby Dick. At the same time, I am not sure if I will ever come back to that book. Perhaps, I should. Because the writing I found in this short story captivated me. Maybe it is due to the fact that I could also relate to the story. The kind of story at which good-natured gentlemen might smile, and sentimental souls might weep. I see people writing and reading and filing old papers, new papers, somebody else's papers. Same rhythm, same tired-looking eyes, same purpose in life: to survive. It has been said that happiness is not doing what you want but wanting what you do. I agree. Otherwise, living becomes mere existing. Mechanical breathing. Surviving. Conceive a man by nature and misfortune prone to a pallid hopelessness, can any business seem more fitted to heighten it than that of continually handling these dead letters, and assorting them for the flames? (30) Melville, I feel an uplifting joy. Our relationship has been rekindled thanks to this short story. A perfect combination of vivid sorrow and a tender, subtle humor. His words used the saddest yet most endearing beauty to describe one of the feelings every human being has experienced at least once: that raw feeling of loneliness. A lonely character in the middle of a crowd. A crowd of all countries and of all times. A passive, mild person able to awake a violent reaction and a sense of sympathy, at the same time. I finished writing these rambling thoughts and I still see that man writing on his desk. The amount of papers is increasing, so is his weariness. And now, he hardly blinks. Cold and unable to move, like a snowman made by some kid after school. Night is coming. Soon, he will be in complete darkness. He can't move but he could speak. He seems weak but he stood up for himself once, because he simply preferred not to do something. I salute you, silent man. And I wish everyone to never have to experience the slow vanishing that dead letters can cause. I can see that figure now—pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn! (7) I see Bartleby. A human mirror. May 7, 14 * Also on my blog. ** Photo credit: Bartleby the Scrivener via Theatre in Chicago

  11. 5 out of 5

    Fernando

    Repetí la orden con la mayor claridad posible; pero con claridad se repitió la respuesta. -Preferiría no hacerlo. -Preferiría no hacerlo -repetí como un eco, poniéndome de pie, excitadísimo y cruzando el cuarto a grandes pasos-. ¿Qué quiere decir con eso? Está loco. Necesito que me ayude a confrontar esta página; tómela -y se la alcancé. -Preferiría no hacerlo -dijo.” Detrás de la grandilocuencia epopéyica que resultó tardíamente para la literatura la obra magna de Herman Melville y que se llamó Mo Repetí la orden con la mayor claridad posible; pero con claridad se repitió la respuesta. -Preferiría no hacerlo. -Preferiría no hacerlo -repetí como un eco, poniéndome de pie, excitadísimo y cruzando el cuarto a grandes pasos-. ¿Qué quiere decir con eso? Está loco. Necesito que me ayude a confrontar esta página; tómela -y se la alcancé. -Preferiría no hacerlo -dijo.” Detrás de la grandilocuencia epopéyica que resultó tardíamente para la literatura la obra magna de Herman Melville y que se llamó Moby Dick, publicada allá por 1851, en contraposición se iba apagando la imagen de este excepcional autor tanto para sus críticos como para el público de su época hasta casi desaparecer. El mismo Melville terminaría sus días finales trabajando como un simple empleado administrativo de la Aduana de Nueva York y fue unos cuantos años después, cuando finalmente lograron recuperar el lustre de su obra perenne para mantenerla viva y con brillo hasta el día de hoy. Nosotros los lectores somos los que más trabajamos para ello. Quizás, y sin quererlo, Melville durante sus últimos años haya visto a algún empleado en donde trabajaba o tal vez él mismo habrá tenido una reacción tan parecida a la de este maravilloso e inolvidable personaje que es Bartleby, el escribiente y decidió darle vida. Este cuento, que fuera publicado en su colección de relatos "The Piazza Tales" (1856) supo transformarse, con tan sólo unas 90 páginas de longitud en un texto de relevancia eterna y que equiparó literariamente y aunque no lo parezca al tamaño del leviatán blanco perseguido sin cuartel por el capitán Ahab y su Pequod. Cosa rara la literatura... es un arte que transforma lo insignificante en glorioso, lo minúsculo en imponente, lo pequeño en universal. Porque eso es Bartleby: es un personaje universal que hace que todo lector de clásicos sepa quién es y que recuerde al instante su inoxidable frase insignia "Preferiría no hacerlo." ¿Cómo es posible que al parecer, un personaje tan pequeño como Bartleby alcance una notoriedad que traspase casi ciento setenta años para transformarse en algo tan actual y que aún hoy sigamos leyendo este cuento con tanta atención? Creo que en el caso de Bartleby lo solventa la simplicidad de una frase que resuena a través de los tiempos y especialmente en la actitud estoica de un personaje tan peculiar que no admite copias, aunque sí se puede decir que tiene colegas. Ya desde las primeras páginas sabemos que será un personaje único cuando su jefe anuncia: "En contestación a mi aviso, un joven inmóvil apareció una mañana en mi oficina... Reveo esa figura: ¡pálidamente pulcra, lamentablemente decente, incurablemente desolada! Era Bartleby." Para mí Bartleby forma parte de una pequeña elite de personajes que, como definiera Jorge Luis Borges para los de Franz Kafka daría en llamarse "Los profesionales de la derrota". Son aquellos personajes que están destinados a perder y es ahí en donde ganan la inmortalidad. La altísima dosis de soledad, desasosiego, desamparo y tristeza de Bartleby es compartida con otros tan o más trágicos que él: quién no recuerda la triste y lamentable historia sobre la pérdida de Akaki Akakievich en cuento "El capote" de Nikólai Gógol, el fatal desenlace que condena a Gregor Samsa en "La metamorfosis" de Franz Kafka o el alegato desesperado de "El Sr. Projarchin", escrito por Fiódor Dostoievski. Podríamos agregar a otro emblemático personaje que auto posterga su destino como es el caso de "Wakefield", en el homónimo cuento de Nathaniel Hawthorne. Todos ellos, al igual que Bartleby están condenados al fracaso, la muerte, la humillación para erigirse en algo que trascenderá los tiempos y nunca será olvidado. El final de todos ellos se trastoca en el recuerdo, en la memoria, en la constante relectura de sus páginas. Para la época en que se escribió este cuento estaba muy en boga en la vida real tanto en empresas como en los juzgados, estudios de abogados o en las editoriales utilizar empleados que se denominaban copistas o amanuenses, quienes, con una paciencia de araña pasaban horas y horas realizando el tedioso y aburrido trabajo de la copia de documentos. A esta casta pertenecen estos hombrecillos que, como parte de alguna maraña burocrática y por muy pocos centavos trabajaban día y noche. Bartleby y Projarchin son claros ejemplos. Cuando Bartleby llega a la oficina del narrador de esta historia, lo hace un secreto que se devela en las líneas finales y más allá de que al principio trabaja con ganas, algo demuestra que no lo sostendrá mucho tiempo hasta que poco tiempo después dispara su frase fatídica, "Preferiría no hacerlo” y ya no habrá vuelta atrás, ya que ante tanta insistencia las negativas de este pequeño muchacho son sistemáticas y como dice el narrador, "Nada exaspera más a una persona seria que una resistencia pacífica." Es que para mí Bartleby profesa algo llamado "Nihilismo pacífico" y sostiene incólume su estandarte hasta su triste final. Ya sobre el desenlace, su jefe afirma: "Yo podía dar una limosna a su cuerpo; pero su cuerpo no le dolía; tenía el alma enferma, y yo no podía llegar a su alma." Clara metáfora de la soledad en las grandes urbes, de la desconexión social a las que muchos hombres se ven sometidos o a eso que muchos llaman fantasías psicológicas, Bartleby se nos muestra como un mensaje de alerta a tener en cuenta, más aún en estos tiempos que corren en donde lo humano ha sido totalmente vapuleado por la fría tecnología, la frivolidad de las redes sociales, los deteriorados lazos afectivos entre las personas y un egoísmo hacia el prójimo peligrosamente en aumento. Para concluir, creo que el mensaje que Bartleby nos deja es claro y no es para nada una crítica al narrador, que pone en práctica todos los recursos posibles antes del desastre. Lo más importante que nos atañe es el hecho de que todos y cada uno de nosotros en cualquier momento de la vida podríamos transformarnos en un Bartleby si no ponemos nuestras miradas en lo que de veras importa: corremos el riesgo de perder eso que nos hace únicos: el acontecimiento tan único y tan grandioso de SER HUMANOS.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    “Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!” Reading the closing lines of this novella, one part of my self immediately exclaims: “That was unexpected, brilliant, absolutely perfect, let’s write a review!” Another part of me, confused, stubborn, rebellious, rejoins: “I prefer not to!” My social self, eager to share my reading experience, and to act according to the established patterns and traditions I have set up for my literary projects, cannot understand that attitude, as it doesn’t make any sense. “But WHY? “Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!” Reading the closing lines of this novella, one part of my self immediately exclaims: “That was unexpected, brilliant, absolutely perfect, let’s write a review!” Another part of me, confused, stubborn, rebellious, rejoins: “I prefer not to!” My social self, eager to share my reading experience, and to act according to the established patterns and traditions I have set up for my literary projects, cannot understand that attitude, as it doesn’t make any sense. “But WHY?” “I prefer not to!” And thus the review has to wait for a day, until the effect of Bartleby’s stubborn attitude towards conventional agreements and social behaviour has worn off enough for my regular self to reappear. Bartleby leaves me bewildered in many ways. I partly understand him, and sympathise with his wish to decide for himself what he is willing to do, and what he “prefers not to do”, regardless of the external expectations. I cheer him on in his rebellion against “what people are supposed to do”, and feel a liberating power emanating from his strong sense of integrity. At the same time, he drives me nuts - just like he drives his environment to passionate rage and confusion, most notably his caring, compassionate employer, who simply can’t deal with Bartleby’s straight refusal to do what is expected of him. Over the course of my professional life, I have known many Bartlebys, - people who put their own needs, wishes and preferences first and reject the very idea of working together to achieve a common goal. Those are the colleagues who add to the workload of other people, who can’t compromise, who don’t see the need to help out and support others. Whenever there is an additional task that needs to be done, they say: “I prefer not to!” And it is incredibly hard to argue against a wish. If a person offers a rationale for his or her preference, it can be challenged. But the simple statement disarms most people, who are used to finding compromises. More often than not, somebody else in the room offers to do what the Bartlebys of the world “prefer not to” do. The short story describes the dilemma of individual and collective responsibility in a narrative that is both sad and humorous, and intensely engaging. I often identify with Bartleby’s wish to separate himself from mainstream rules and conventions, but to make life run smoothly, I end up saying: “I prefer not to, but if there is no other way of solving this problem, I will do it!” Most people rely on the majority sticking to unwritten rules of social conduct, and Bartleby shows our incapability to deal with rule-breakers. An absolutely absorbing must-read for people interested in humanity’s balance between self and the world!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    Tulsa Doom: Bartleby the Scrivener, contemplate this on the tree of woe. Bartleby the Scrivener: I would prefer not to. Monica Bellucci: Bartleby, come to me! Bartleby the Scrivener: Um ... Melville as a pre-existentialist, good read, and funny, also a precursor to absurdist theater, it reads like a long joke, I was left waiting for the punch line

  14. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    My favorite short story of all time! "I prefer not to" is the best answer ever.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Luís C.

    An unusual and very exciting reading. Each character of Bartleby is unique in its way of doing. It is so annoying, impossible to manage, refractory to everything with his little sentence if known. It is unclear where to take it. A man who gives you feels like tearing your hair. A very nice discovery, a writing beautiful, spicy, full of humor thanks to the patron of Bartleby that tells us this unlikely and unforgettable encounter. And an unexpected end. A novel to read to discover, a real treat. Lis An unusual and very exciting reading. Each character of Bartleby is unique in its way of doing. It is so annoying, impossible to manage, refractory to everything with his little sentence if known. It is unclear where to take it. A man who gives you feels like tearing your hair. A very nice discovery, a writing beautiful, spicy, full of humor thanks to the patron of Bartleby that tells us this unlikely and unforgettable encounter. And an unexpected end. A novel to read to discover, a real treat. Lisbon Book-Fair 2016.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Tadiana ✩Night Owl☽

    This classic 1853 Herman Melville novella is absurd and bleak, darkly humorous and heartwrenching at the same time. It's the first time I've read it since a college English course, when I didn’t much care for it. I appreciated it much more this time around. Bartleby is a scrivener - essentially, a human copy machine, back in the pre-Xerox days - working for a Manhattan-based lawyer who is the narrator of the tale. His co-workers: two other irritable scriveners of dubious temperament, and a office This classic 1853 Herman Melville novella is absurd and bleak, darkly humorous and heartwrenching at the same time. It's the first time I've read it since a college English course, when I didn’t much care for it. I appreciated it much more this time around. Bartleby is a scrivener - essentially, a human copy machine, back in the pre-Xerox days - working for a Manhattan-based lawyer who is the narrator of the tale. His co-workers: two other irritable scriveners of dubious temperament, and a office boy, identified only by their odd nicknames. Initially an industrious employee, Bartleby declines to participate in certain normal office tasks, giving no reason other than his oft-repeated mantra: "I would prefer not to." <----If you say if often and implacably enough, other people will grudgingly accept it and move on. But as Bartleby's reluctance to do his work expands to more and more tasks until it becomes all-consuming, his employer, though sympathetic to Bartleby's forlorn, lonely life, has to decide what to do with him. Bartleby is an elusive work. It's partly a cry out against materialism and the dehumanizing effect of the pursuit of money (the subtitle is "A Story of Wall Street") and partly an examination of isolation and depression, but there's much more to it, and it defies easy explanation. Some observations toward the ending are heart-wrenching:Dead letters! does it not sound like dead men? Conceive a man by nature and misfortune prone to a pallid hopelessness, can any business seem more fitted to heighten it than that of continually handling these dead letters, and assorting them for the flames? ... a bank-note sent in swiftest charity:—he whom it would relieve, nor eats nor hungers any more; pardon for those who died despairing; hope for those who died unhoping; good tidings for those who died stifled by unrelieved calamities. On errands of life, these letters speed to death.Gah! Those lines killed me! And just because it's interesting, I'll share the one observation my college English professor made that has stuck with me through the years. There's a reference in the end to Bartleby sleeping "with kings and counselors" that the professor pointed out is a reference to these lines from the Bible:"13 For now should I have lain still and been quiet, I should have slept; then would I have been at rest 14 with kings and counselors of the earth, who built desolate places for themselves, 15 or with princes that had gold, who filled their houses with silver"Job 3:13-15 (KJV) - A reference not just to death, but to a certain equality men have in death, despite their differences in worldly fortunes. Food for thought, like so much of this story!

  17. 5 out of 5

    فايز غازي Fayez Ghazi

    - لا ادري اذا كان يصح اطلاق تسمية "الأثر المفتوح" على هذه القصة او الرواية القصيرة، فهي مبنية على الإحتمالات والتأويلات الذاتية لكل قارئ، على الأسئلة التي تطرح نفسها مع كل بداية مقطع، على الإفتراضات او الفرضيات التي نضعها لنكتشف لاحقاً خطوطاً متوازية اكثر وفرضيات واحتمالات بالجملة... لذلك "اظن" ان التسمية تصح لكنني "افضل الا" اكون متأكداً!!!.... - سأستيقظ غدا لأكمل المراجعة!... بعد الإستيقاظ: أفضل الا...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Guille

    Leí este cuento hace mucho mucho tiempo. No lo entendí y me gustó, quizás porque el no entender algo implica buscarle un sinfín de posibilidades sin decidirnos por ninguna pero sin rechazar ninguna tampoco. Así, sin quererlo, envolvemos el relato en un halo de misterio y, de paso, le dotamos de una especial relevancia. Y he pensado si no será esto mismo lo que le ocurre al abogado sin nombre con Bartleby. He pensado que el relato se nos escapa, que el relato se nos resiste, con una resistencia pa Leí este cuento hace mucho mucho tiempo. No lo entendí y me gustó, quizás porque el no entender algo implica buscarle un sinfín de posibilidades sin decidirnos por ninguna pero sin rechazar ninguna tampoco. Así, sin quererlo, envolvemos el relato en un halo de misterio y, de paso, le dotamos de una especial relevancia. Y he pensado si no será esto mismo lo que le ocurre al abogado sin nombre con Bartleby. He pensado que el relato se nos escapa, que el relato se nos resiste, con una resistencia pacífica y hermosa, bien es verdad. Precisamente Melville nos avisa del peligro: “Nada exaspera más a una persona seria que una resistencia pasiva. Si el individuo resistido no es inhumano y el individuo resistente es inofensivo en su pasividad, el primero, en sus mejores momentos, caritativamente procurará que su imaginación interprete lo que su entendimiento no puede resolver.” Y he pensado si no será esto mismo que sentimos ante el cuento lo que siente el abogado ante su subordinado Bartleby. He pensado que quizás Bartleby no representa una respuesta al sinsentido de la existencia, ni al absurdo de la vida: Bartleby representa el absurdo, el sinsentido que de pronto entra en la monótona, segura y acomodada vida del abogado y, sin saber cómo ni de dónde viene, tiene que enfrentarse a él. He pensado que es posible que sea el abogado el protagonista de esta historia y que Bartleby solo esté jugando aquí el papel del dedo que señala la luna (por favor, que nadie se me moleste, es solo algo que he pensado). Claro que así me quedo con el personaje aburrido y descarto al personaje mítico y misterioso. Quién soy yo al lado de mi admirado Vila-Matas que, en su famoso libro Bartleby y compañía , nos decía: «Hablar -parecen indicarnos tanto Wakefield como Bartleby- es pactar con el sinsentido del existir. En los dos habita una profunda negación del mundo.» Y entre el "negar al mundo" del escribiente y la reacción melancólica y de sincera lástima ante la desolación de Bartleby del abogado, no hay color.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Lynne King

    What an amazing story about a scrivener! I haven't read such an excellent novella as this in a long time. Set in the 1850's and narrated by a lawyer in New York, this tale breathes and glows like a star and yet death is lurking in the background throughout. The lawyer has known many scriveners but not one such as this particular individual who continues to fascinate him so much. Nuances about the bible with Adam and Eve, etc. give such a sense of place and spirit to this work that I can only desc What an amazing story about a scrivener! I haven't read such an excellent novella as this in a long time. Set in the 1850's and narrated by a lawyer in New York, this tale breathes and glows like a star and yet death is lurking in the background throughout. The lawyer has known many scriveners but not one such as this particular individual who continues to fascinate him so much. Nuances about the bible with Adam and Eve, etc. give such a sense of place and spirit to this work that I can only describe as a metaphysical experience which must indeed be repeated. Excellent.

  20. 4 out of 5

    amapola

    Irriducibile Questo è un racconto misterioso, lo si legge pervasi da un sottile disagio e non lo si dimentica più. Giunti alla fine cerchiamo di tirare le fila della vicenda, ma non ne veniamo a capo in modo soddisfacente, convincente; i fatti non quadrano, qualcosa non torna. E’ come cercare di montare un mobile senza il libretto di istruzioni (ma credo che la cosa non migliorerebbe anche in presenza di istruzioni): c’è sempre qualcosa che non si incastra alla perfezione, un tassello che manca, Irriducibile Questo è un racconto misterioso, lo si legge pervasi da un sottile disagio e non lo si dimentica più. Giunti alla fine cerchiamo di tirare le fila della vicenda, ma non ne veniamo a capo in modo soddisfacente, convincente; i fatti non quadrano, qualcosa non torna. E’ come cercare di montare un mobile senza il libretto di istruzioni (ma credo che la cosa non migliorerebbe anche in presenza di istruzioni): c’è sempre qualcosa che non si incastra alla perfezione, un tassello che manca, un pezzo che avanza… quasi che il racconto avesse una personalità irriducibile, che si rifiuta di farsi rinchiudere in uno schema, che sfugge a qualsiasi interpretazione univoca. Le spiegazioni che possiamo dare sono infinite come le scie stellari https://youtu.be/LMxtAe8H2DI ma il mistero rimane. Chissà, forse è un mistero che riguarda noi stessi e il nostro modo di stare al mondo. “Ah, Bartleby! Ah, umanità!”. Capolavoro.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Algernon (Darth Anyan)

    I can see that figure now -- pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn! It was Bartleby. One more on my reading list that comes from a Goodreads tip. Thanks again, folks! I've read it in an hour or so, but I believe it will stay with me for a lot longer. I had to check twice the year this novella was first published : 1853!!! I couldn't wrap my mind around how modern and fresh and relevant the story of Bartleby, the human xerox machine, still is. Decades before Franz Kafka or Eugene I can see that figure now -- pallidly neat, pitiably respectable, incurably forlorn! It was Bartleby. One more on my reading list that comes from a Goodreads tip. Thanks again, folks! I've read it in an hour or so, but I believe it will stay with me for a lot longer. I had to check twice the year this novella was first published : 1853!!! I couldn't wrap my mind around how modern and fresh and relevant the story of Bartleby, the human xerox machine, still is. Decades before Franz Kafka or Eugene Ionesco or Haruki Murakami toyed with the theatre of the absurd and with the meaningless of existence, Herman Melville was exploring these territories through the meek character of a clerk on Wall Street. Another striking aspect of the story for me is the humour, something than passed unnoticed in the ponderous weight of Moby Dick (my only previous experience with Melville's prose). Here the funny observation and the wordplay have a strong presence right from the opening paragraphs, but always with an undercurrent of melancholy, hinting at a deep seated despair. Ah, happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay, but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none. The story is not told by Bartleby, but by his employer, a middle aged, laidback, financially succesful and quietly witty attorney for the bigwigs of industry, who needs clerks to make copies of his legal papers. With a great sense of comedic timing, enter Turkey and Nippers, followed by errand boy Ginger Nut. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, and what I missed in their first introduction, became apparent as the novella unfolds. They are the prototipes of the wage slave, tied to their desk day after day, lost in menial and unsatisfying work. One is productive in the mornings, one in the afternoons, and both try to hide their basic alienation (one through drink, one through compulsive rearranging of his desk set). The patron is a kindly soul, so instead of firing both their asses, 21 century style, he proposes to hire a third scrivener. Enters Bartleby and out goes normality. He starts as the perfect employee until an innocent request throws us into unexplored territories. Side note : I was considering the advisability of including the story in a high school literary curriculum, until I had a clear picture of a full class of unruly teenagers answering : " I would prefer not to! " when asked for their homework. Maybe that's why my English teacher was mum on the subject and I had to discover Bartleby so late in my life. I see Bartleby as the spanner thrown in the well greased wheels of burgeois complacency and willful ignorance. Ignorance of precious time wasted on meaningless pursuits, ignorance of the suffering and need of our fellow humans, ignorance of the broken communication channels between same fellow humans. The ending prefers emotion over explanations, with the motivations behind Bartleby's passive resistant anarchy ( He was more a man of preferences than assumptions ) becoming insignificant in the face of his immense sadness. I wonder though, how many readers will read the final words, and then go on as they had each day before, in this age where the constant bombardment with news of catastrophy and murder on every TV screen / newspaper page / internet blog has desensitized our minds to suffering that is not immediate and personal. Instead of ending my review with the devastating closing epitaph of our humanity, I went back to an earlier passage that shows a less pessimistic approach on the part of the narrator: Aside from higher considerations, charity often operates as a vastly wise and prudent principle -- a great safeguard to its possessor. Men have committed murder for jealousy's sake, and anger's sake, and hatred's sake, and selfishness' sake, and spiritual pride's sake; but no man that ever I heard of ever committed a diabolical murder for sweet charity's sake. Mere self-interest, then, if no better motive can be enlisted, should, especially with high-tempered men, prompt all beings to charity and philanthropy.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Janice

    A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a public seminar on Herman Melville’s short story, Bartleby, the Scrivener, given by Paul Auster and Nobel Laureate, JM Coetzee, hosted by the NYS Writer’s Institute. Because I am a huge nerd, I sat in the very front of the venue space (the first two rows of the theater were reserved for Writer’s Institute people), so I was in the third row. But Auster and Coetzee sat directly in front of me before the seminar started!! Swoon! I’ve never felt “st A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a public seminar on Herman Melville’s short story, Bartleby, the Scrivener, given by Paul Auster and Nobel Laureate, JM Coetzee, hosted by the NYS Writer’s Institute. Because I am a huge nerd, I sat in the very front of the venue space (the first two rows of the theater were reserved for Writer’s Institute people), so I was in the third row. But Auster and Coetzee sat directly in front of me before the seminar started!! Swoon! I’ve never felt “star-struck” before. Hopefully, the fact that I was in such close proximity to literary genius has rubbed off on me enough to be able to competently review this story. Melville’s nameless narrator starts out as an unsympathetic one; embodying many of the typical characteristics of the stereotypical, odious lawyer. He is arrogant: I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is the best. He shamelessly name-drops: I do not speak it in vanity, but simply record the fact, that I was not unemployed in my profession by the late John Jacob Astor; a name which, I admit I love to repeat.... He’s a snob: I procured a high green folding screen, which might entirely isolate Bartleby from my sight, though not remove him from my voice. I found this story to be bleakly hilarious. First, there are the Dickensian nicknames for the other clerks in the law office (Turkey, Ginger Nut, Nippers). Then we have this crazy passive-aggressive Bartleby character, that starts out as an industrious model employee, but then inexplicably refuses to perform routine tasks. Then we learn he is actually living in this law office. Then there is his statement, “I prefer not to,” in response to his employer’s requests (“Bartleby, will you examine these copies?” “I prefer not to.” “Bartleby, you need to move out of my office.” “I prefer not to.”) By responding with “I prefer not to,” rather than a flat out refusal, Bartleby is asserting his autonomy, and subverting the traditional employer-employee role. “I prefer not to,” forces the requester to insist upon the desired course of action. It forces the requester to wheedle and massage the declarant into reconsidering their aversion to what has been requested. This is a great lesson in Advanced Manipulation Tactics. But the bleakness! The dead white walls and dead letters! What are we to make of this? Well, Auster and Coetzee didn’t have any definitive answers. Coetzee thought that the whole spiel about the dead letters was a structural defect in the story, and added on as an after-thought, as it felt so out of place. I took it to be a comment on the paradox of nihilism -- all there is is emptiness and meaninglessness (“I prefer not to,” but I’ll do it if you can convince me, because it doesn’t matter anyway), but the acknowledgment of this emptiness is meaningful. Coetzee talked about the terror of looking into the face of the white whale in Moby-Dick and seeing what nature is truly like and opined that Melville was after the same thing here, in Bartleby. That the acknowledgment of the emptiness, the blankness, is one that is truly horrific. Anyone that hasn’t read this, should read it. It’s a short story, and it can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg - so no excuses! You know you have nothing better to do at work. I’m a dumb bimbo. Stop reading my fatuous drivel and read it yourself, and write a review that will blow my gibberish out of the water. (Please.)

  23. 5 out of 5

    هَنَـــاءْ

    "نظيفاً بشكل شاحب، مهذباً بشكل يُرثى له، وبائساً على نحوٍ يتعذَّر شفاؤه!." طرق ذلك الشاب "الغريب" باب الوظيفة الجديدة، ليظهر استعداده التام على القيام بأعباءها .. لم يدرك المحامي العجوز أنه لم يفتح الباب لموظف جديد .. بل لقصة جديدة سوف تسرقه من نفسه معظم الوقت. بــــــارتلــبــــــــي ! تقرأ قصته بكثير من التعاطف، وتشعر في قرارة نفسك أن هذا الكائن عانى ما يفوق التعبير، ما يغير المزاج والطباع، ما يعيد صياغة النفس على صورة لا مفهومة. في عالمٍ آخر تسكن روح بارتلبي، تعيش بعيداً عن المساس، والصوت، والصور ‏ "نظيفاً بشكل شاحب، مهذباً بشكل يُرثى له، وبائساً على نحوٍ يتعذَّر شفاؤه!." ‏ طرق ذلك الشاب "الغريب" باب الوظيفة الجديدة، ليظهر استعداده التام على القيام بأعباءها .. لم يدرك المحامي العجوز أنه لم يفتح الباب لموظف جديد .. بل لقصة جديدة سوف تسرقه من نفسه معظم الوقت. بــــــارتلــبــــــــي ! تقرأ قصته بكثير من التعاطف، وتشعر في قرارة نفسك أن هذا الكائن عانى ما يفوق التعبير، ما يغير المزاج والطباع، ما يعيد صياغة النفس على صورة لا مفهومة. ‏ في عالمٍ آخر تسكن روح بارتلبي، تعيش بعيداً عن المساس، والصوت، والصورة. أين تسكن روحك أيها الشاحب ؟ بل أين ماتت روحك أيها المسكين ؟ :( ‏ ‏ يقف العجوز حائراً مع أنسب الحلول معه، لا يدري أي نداء يلبي .. الشفقة أم الواجب !! لا يدري كيف يقبل بوجود هذا الكائن الذي يرفض كل المهام الموجهة له، وينسحب منها بسلبية مرعبة. ‏ ‏ ‏ "أفَضّـــــــل أن لا " تلك الجملة التي لا يكف عن ترديدها أمام أي مسؤولية.. يفضل الرفض على كل شيء ! يفضل أن لا يكون مرئياً حتى .. يفضل أن يقبع في عزلته إلى الأبد ولا يقلقه أي صوت ! "بارتلبي البائس".. لم تعد تغريه الحياة أكثر من الموت، كل أضواءها رمادية أمام عينية .. استحال إلى قطعة خشبية عالقة في منتصف الوقت، والواقع، والمستقبل. يفضل أن يختفي، يتسمر في مكانه، يذوب حتى لا يتعرف عليه أحد .. ‏ ينهمك في عمله، وعزلته، يضع الحواجز لتفصله عن نفسه، والعالم، والكون بأسره .. ينهمك .. بشكل مخيف ! أحياناً تجد أن روحاً أخرى تلبست أفعالك، لتتمرد على كل شيء، ... ربما جرح قديم، أو ذكرى مزعجة، تدفعك إلى أن تكون لست أنت .. تتصرف بعدائية .. أو قد تقف صامتاً لا تدري إلى أين يأخذك الصمت الهائج .. أو أين سيرسى بقلبك المحطم .. ‏ تفكروا في الشخصيات الغريبة !! تأملواً ملامحها جيداً، تأملوا تجاعيد الوجوه، أطراف الإبتسامات، ثنايا الكلمات .. لعلها تخفي ألماً جرفها للضفة الأخرى ! أو كارثة سحقتها وشكلتها على صورة مختلفة ! ‏ النهايات المأساوية قد لا تكون لاستدراج الدمع، بل لتحطيم الأفكار الكارثية التي نتخذها حيال ظروف أو أشخاص أو معاني .. النهايات تقول الكثير ! "السعادة تغازل الضوء، لذلك نعتقد أن العالم مبتهج، ولكن البؤس يختفي بعيداً .. لذلك نعتقد أن لا بؤس هناك .."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Sidharth Vardhan

    "He was more a man of preferences than assumptions." You know I often buy food from a local dhabha ( North Indian native restaurants). The waiters and cooks there work 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week before going to bed in a room within restaurants.Their whole life involves for months involves waking up at 6, cleaning the place, cooking, serving all day. Their social life for months is limited to the fellow workers. Many of them start working when they aren't even in teens. Literally no jo "He was more a man of preferences than assumptions." You know I often buy food from a local dhabha ( North Indian native restaurants). The waiters and cooks there work 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week before going to bed in a room within restaurants.Their whole life involves for months involves waking up at 6, cleaning the place, cooking, serving all day. Their social life for months is limited to the fellow workers. Many of them start working when they aren't even in teens. Literally no job security. The wages are low too, most of them will never even to make to middle class. They regularly take leaves for a couple of months to return to their families (who are in different states). I always a combination of guilt, sorry and respect for them (they don't, they are happy with their lot not knowing that the luckier people are cheating them), with all my introvertion, physical and mental health, I probably won't last two days in such a life. Anyway, back to the book. Life comes with a lot of assumptions - the assumption that things can be and are owned by people and you can't use another's things without their permission. Unless you are too rich, you have to earn . To earn, you have to suck up to people especially your bosses. And it could be even worse, if your job is not stimulating for you. Such a job must be like a cancer of individuality and personality. The only way to save people doing such jobs from being torn down and being turned into a function of their job is to keep working hours low so that they can do something more interesting to them in leisure time, unfortunately most of the times, the pay is so low that these very same people are most overworked. Now some people are able to see them that. That is price of people. Some people whose suffering, from circumstances and/or his psychological health, think that that life is not worth it. They would prefer not to go with the assumptions. Bartleby is one such person. Unfortunately he is poor, so, such nihlism proves fatal to him. I think the narrator's character was important too. His conflict-aversion makes sure that he doesn't judge Bartleby too quickly. His dillema of choosing between self-interest (the so-called practical choice) and compassionate approaches probably need no ellaboration. The combination of attraction towards Bartleby and frustration he feels when later won't do the 'practical' thing reminds one of different characters' reactions to Myshkin in 'The Idiot'. Quotes: (view spoiler)[ "Nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance." "My first emotions had been those of pure melancholy and sincerest pity; but just in proportion as the forlornness of Bartleby grew and grew to my imagination, did that same melancholy merge into fear, that pity into repulsion. So true it is, and so terrible too, that up to a certain point the thought or sight of misery enlists our best affections; but, in certain special cases, beyond that point it does not. They err who would assert that invarialbly this is owing to the inherent selfishness of the human heart. It rather proceeds from a certain hopelessness of remedying excessive and organic ill. To a sensitive being, pity is not seldom pain. And when at last it is perceived that such pity cannot lead to effectual succor, common sense bids the soul rid of it. What I saw that morning persuaded me that the scrivener was the victim of innate and incurable disorder." "Ah, happiness courts the light, so we deem the world is gay; but misery hides aloof, so we deem that misery there is none." (hide spoiler)]

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dream.m

    آیا مادر شما هم مثل مادرِ من وسواسِ نظافت داره و هفته ای سه بار کلِ خونه رو ،حتی زیر فرشها رو جاروبرقی میکشه( میکِشونه😓) یا نه؟ اگر بله، برای بالا رفتن روحیه و جهت گول زدن افکارِ منفی، شمارو توصیه میکنم به گوش دادنِ این کتاب در حین کُلفتی! . البته یک راه حل دیگه هم میتونم پیشنهاد کنم، به این صورت که وقتی مامانتون میگه فلانی جانِ گلم، بیا جاروبرقی بکش، مثل شخصیت اصلی داستان با خونسردی بهش بگید" ترجیح میدم این کارو نکنم" :)) که خب البته چون اینجا با یک مامانِ غیورِ ایرانی طرفیم نه یک رییس آروم مثل کس آیا مادر شما هم مثل مادرِ من وسواسِ نظافت داره و هفته ای سه بار کلِ خونه رو ،حتی زیر فرشها رو جاروبرقی میکشه( میکِشونه😓) یا نه؟ اگر بله، برای بالا رفتن روحیه و جهت گول زدن افکارِ منفی، شمارو توصیه میکنم به گوش دادنِ این کتاب در حین کُلفتی! . البته یک راه حل دیگه هم میتونم پیشنهاد کنم، به این صورت که وقتی مامانتون میگه فلانی جانِ گلم، بیا جاروبرقی بکش، مثل شخصیت اصلی داستان با خونسردی بهش بگید" ترجیح میدم این کارو نکنم" :)) که خب البته چون اینجا با یک مامانِ غیورِ ایرانی طرفیم نه یک رییس آروم مثل کس بارتلبی باهاش کار میکرد، احتمالا شما به مرگ زودهنگام دچار می شید یا خیلی شانس بیارید جوری کتک می خورید که دیگه جراتِ ترجیح دادن نکنید. . . خب بیایید کمی جدی باشیم... داستان خوب و باحالی بود، من جستارهای بعدش رو نداشتم که گوش کنم و فقط اصل داستان رو شنیدم. بنظرم داستان طنز تلخی داشت که میتونست با شخصیت پردازی بیشتر در مورد بارتلبی، و گسترش داستان جذابتر بشه. نظر دیگه ای ندارم ... تا بعد

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nickolas the Kid

    Ποιός είναι ο Μπάρτλεμπυ; Τι ακριβώς είναι ο Μπάρτλεμπυ; Ένα φάντασμα; Ένα στοιχειό; Μια ονειρική οντότητα ή εν τέλει το "alter ego" του ιδίου του Μελβιλ; Ο Αμερικανός συγγραφέας στον ρόλο του αφηγητή δικηγόρου της Γουόλ Στρήτ, μας διηγείται την ιστορία του Μπάρτλεμπυ... Ενός υπαλλήλου του που προσελήφθη για την θέση του γραφιά και ενώ ξεκίνησε ως απόλυτα εργασιομανής και ευσυνείδητος υπάλληλος με το πέρας των ημερών έγινε ένας μικρός αρνητής των πάντων! Ένας μικρός επαναστάτης... Ο Μέλβιλ στήνει Ποιός είναι ο Μπάρτλεμπυ; Τι ακριβώς είναι ο Μπάρτλεμπυ; Ένα φάντασμα; Ένα στοιχειό; Μια ονειρική οντότητα ή εν τέλει το "alter ego" του ιδίου του Μελβιλ; Ο Αμερικανός συγγραφέας στον ρόλο του αφηγητή δικηγόρου της Γουόλ Στρήτ, μας διηγείται την ιστορία του Μπάρτλεμπυ... Ενός υπαλλήλου του που προσελήφθη για την θέση του γραφιά και ενώ ξεκίνησε ως απόλυτα εργασιομανής και ευσυνείδητος υπάλληλος με το πέρας των ημερών έγινε ένας μικρός αρνητής των πάντων! Ένας μικρός επαναστάτης... Ο Μέλβιλ στήνει ένα σχεδόν καφκικό σκηνικό με πρωταγωνιστή ένα φάντασμα! Φτιάχνει μια ιστορία η οποία επιδέχεται διάφορες ερμηνείες ανάλογα μέσα από πιο πρίσμα την "κοιτά" κάποιος. Για μένα ο συγγραφέας είναι όμως ξεκάθαρος ως προς το δίλημμα του. "Κάνουμε αυτό που πρέπει ή αυτό που θέλουμε, σε αυτό το σύντομο πέρασμα μας από την ζωή"; Εν τέλει τι αξίζει περισσότερο; Τι είναι αυτό που δίνει κάποιο νόημα στην ζωή μας και τι απογινόμαστε αν αυτό ποτέ χαθεί; Την απάντηση όμως θα την δώσει ο κάθε αναγνώστης χωριστά, ανάλογα με τι του ταιριάζει αλλά και ανάλογα με τα βιώματα του. Θα μπορούσα να πω πολλά ακόμη αλλά.. "Θα προτιμούσα όχι" όπως θα έλεγε σύμφωνα με την προσφιλή του συνήθεια και ο συμπαθής γραφιάς της μικρής νουβέλας. Η συγκεκριμένη έκδοση περιέχει ακόμα 3 ιστορίες από τις οποίες ξεχώρισα την "Ο άνθρωπος με το αλεξικέραυνο". Όλες οι ιστορίες ήταν καλογραμμένες και η μετάφραση του Μένη Κουμανταρέα εξαιρετική. Και οι 4 ιστορίες έχουν ένα κοινό παρονομαστή. Τον άνθρωπο και την ματαιότητα της ύπαρξης του!! 5/5 αστεράκια για τις ιστορίες και την αριστουργηματική γραφή του Χέρμαν Μέλβιλ. ΥΓ: Θεωρώ πως η επιρροή του Μπάρτλεμπυ σε έργα άλλων συγγραφέων και σκηνοθετών είναι τεράστια...

  27. 5 out of 5

    Paul Secor

    I read Bartleby years ago. I read it again recently. I still don't know what to make of it in a logical sense, but it speaks very deeply to something inside of me. What that something is, I may never know, but I do know that the book will stay with me for as long as I'm around. Is there a Bartleby somewhere in each of us?

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kalliope

    Bartleby, To ask you for your preferences, I prefer not. Kall.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nahed.E

    آه يا بارتلبي ! آه أيتها الإنسانية ! تقول بثينة العيسي في اقتباس ما أعجبني ... أما عن هذه الرواية ... فسيراودك إحساس لا يقاوم في رغبتك في ان تصرخ في وجه هذا العالم بعد قرائتك لها سيراودك إحساس فظيع بأنك تريد أن تزيح هذه الإنسانية المزيفة من الوجود أن تزيلها بكم معطفك .. أن تُمحيها كما تُمحي شوائب نظاراتك .. أن تصحو يوما ما ولا تجدها تحتل بابتسامتها الصفراء وقناعها المزيف غرفتك كيف يمكننا أن نتخلص منها ؟ كيف يمكننا أن نتخلص من صراخنا الصامت بداخلنا ويأسنا الذي تعدي حدود اليأس ؟ أري بارتلبي هنا .. وأر آه يا بارتلبي ! آه أيتها الإنسانية ! تقول بثينة العيسي في اقتباس ما أعجبني ... أما عن هذه الرواية ... فسيراودك إحساس لا يقاوم في رغبتك في ان تصرخ في وجه هذا العالم بعد قرائتك لها سيراودك إحساس فظيع بأنك تريد أن تزيح هذه الإنسانية المزيفة من الوجود أن تزيلها بكم معطفك .. أن تُمحيها كما تُمحي شوائب نظاراتك .. أن تصحو يوما ما ولا تجدها تحتل بابتسامتها الصفراء وقناعها المزيف غرفتك كيف يمكننا أن نتخلص منها ؟ كيف يمكننا أن نتخلص من صراخنا الصامت بداخلنا ويأسنا الذي تعدي حدود اليأس ؟ أري بارتلبي هنا .. وأري بطل رواية ديستويفيسكي (في قبوي) ، وأري بطل (التحول) لكافكا ، وأري بطل (الغثيان) لسارتر، وأري بطل (الغريب) لألبير كامي، وأري بطل (الرهان) لتشيكوف .. وإذا أردت يمكنك ان تضيف عليهم بطل (مونولوج عازف البيانو) ل باريكو، و(ابتسامة عند قدم السلم) لهنري ميللر كلهم نفس البطل، كلهم بارتلبي .. كلهم الصرخة الصامتة ذاتها، اليأس ذاته، الغربة ذاتها والحضور المقنع بالغياب ذاته كلهم ... يفضلون ألا ... !!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Ben Winch

    Wow, that was beautiful! How have I never read this before? It's as good as Kafka - as now as Kafka. This man, this Bartleby, is as basic a character as could realistically exist, yet as human. I defy you not to love him, though he barely does more than stand and stare and politely refuse to act. But I defy you not to empathise with the narrator too. This is about as pertinent as fiction gets. Bartleby is Oblomov, the Hunger Artist, Hamsun's stand-in in Hunger and Beckett's in everything from El Wow, that was beautiful! How have I never read this before? It's as good as Kafka - as now as Kafka. This man, this Bartleby, is as basic a character as could realistically exist, yet as human. I defy you not to love him, though he barely does more than stand and stare and politely refuse to act. But I defy you not to empathise with the narrator too. This is about as pertinent as fiction gets. Bartleby is Oblomov, the Hunger Artist, Hamsun's stand-in in Hunger and Beckett's in everything from Eleutheria to the 'closed room' stories. He's any sensitive soul who wants only a quiet corner and the most basic sustenance. He's the baseline - what, in an ideal world, every human being should be entitled to. They say if everyone meditated the world would be a better place. So too if every office had a Bartleby, to remind us of charity, of dignity, of peace.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.