24 Following


Currently reading

The Lonely Sea: Collected Short Stories
Alistair MacLean
Her Benny
Silas K. Hocking
Vedere din Parfumerie
Silvia Kerim
Mysticism and Logic (Western Philosophy)
Bertrand Russell
The Analects of Confucious
Pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of Thinking
William James
Does Anything Eat Wasps?: And 101 Other Unsettling, Witty Answers to Questions You Never Thought You Wanted to Ask
New Scientists Books Staff, New Scientist
Mutual Aid
Pyotr Kropotkin
City of Djinns: A Year in Delhi
Olivia Fraser, William Dalrymple
The Brothers Karamazov
Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Bartleby, the Scrivener

Bartleby, the Scrivener - Herman Melville I feel guilty not giving this a five. I recently used Bartleby as a write-in candidate in a poll for U.S. president, based strictly on his reputation of saying "I prefer not to..."

I prefer not to tell you one spurious claim about Bartleby's "problem", this time on Wikipedia, since the theory mixes up cause and effect.

Bartleby is a lot like a spokesman for the information age -- a clerk bored into deadly complancency/indifference, his will too strongly exercised on trivial things.

If Mike Judge, the creator of "Office Space" didn't read this, he didn't need to, since it's the kind of lassitude every office worker immediately recognizes.

I've deducted one star because Bartleby's final contemptuous words to the narrator showed that he harbored some contrarian willpower that seemed missing in all previous and final acts. Even if the narrator is emotionally ignorant, what hint is the reader offered?