Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville

Bartleby the ScrivenerBartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This a wonderful story, beautifully written, but wow. Is it about mental illness in a time when all its permutations were unknown? Is it, as suggested by the sentence, "I am a man who, from his youth upwards, has been filled with a profound conviction that the easiest way of life is best," a treatise on how a man may self-deceive himself about his own flaws by attributing them to his piety? Or is it a symbolic pitting of a Taoist against a Christian?

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