The Piazza Tales
Dix & Edwards, 1856 - 431 páginas
This collection of short stories is the only such book published in Melville's lifetime. "Bartley the Scrivener," the collection's most famous story, concerns a clerk who works as a copyist for a well-to-do Manhattan lawyer. Bartleby steadfastly refuses to perform any of the tasks required by his job and his reply, "I would prefer not to," comes to haunt his employer. Today "Bartleby" is considered one of the most significant American short stories and a precursor to the absurdist fiction of Franz Kafka. Also notable is the novella "Benito Cereno." The story concerns a slave rebellion on board a Spanish slave-trading ship in 1799 and is noted for its foreboding atmosphere and dark, complex plot. Another novella in the collection, "The Encantadas," offers a philosophical look at the Galápagos Islands.
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Amasa American answer appeared arms asked Bartleby better boat called calm Captain Delano close coming commanded continued dark deck deponent Don Benito dropped Enchanted entirely eyes face followed four further give given glance half hand head heard heart hour human Hunilla isle keep killed land least less LIBRARIES light live looked master means mind morning mountains nature negro Babo never night Oberlus observed once passed perhaps person poor prefer present proved reason remain rest rock round sailors sails seemed seen servant ship side sight sometimes soon sort sound Spaniard Spanish speak stand STANFORD UNIVERSITY stood story strange stranger tell things thought tortoises touching true Turkey turned vessel voyage wind
Página 85 - A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. Hereby shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you.
Página 73 - Oh certainly, sir, if you prefer that I should." As he opened the folding-door to retire, Nippers at his desk caught a glimpse of me, and asked whether I would prefer to have a certain paper copied on blue paper or white. He did not in the least roguishly accent the word prefer. It was plain that it involuntarily rolled from his tongue.
Página 83 - ... before I had prospectively assumed that Bartleby would depart, so now I might retrospectively assume that departed he was. In the legitimate carrying out of this assumption, I might enter my office in a great hurry, and pretending not to see Bartleby at all, walk straight against him as if he were air. Such a proceeding would in a singular degree have the appearance of a homethrust.
Página 46 - ... no view at all, though it gave some light. Within three feet of the panes was a wall, and the light came down from far above, between two lofty buildings, as from a very small opening in a dome. Still further to a satisfactory arrangement, I procured a high green folding screen, which might entirely isolate Bartleby from my sight, though not remove him from my voice. And thus, in a manner, privacy and society were conjoined.
Página 270 - Some months after, dragged to the gibbet at the tail of a mule, the black met his voiceless end. The body was burned to ashes; but for many days, the head, that hive of subtlety, fixed on a pole in the Plaza, met, unabashed, the gaze of the whites; and across the Plaza looked towards St.
Página 86 - I endeavored, also, immediately to occupy myself, and at the same time to comfort my despondency. I tried to fancy, that in the course of the morning, at such time as might prove agreeable to him, Bartleby, of his own free accord, would emerge from his hermitage and take up some decided line of march in the direction of the door. But no. Half-past twelve o'clock came; Turkey began to glow in the face, overturn his inkstand, and become generally obstreperous; Nippers abated down into quietude and...
Página 85 - ... excited, was at unawares hurried into his fatal act — an act which certainly no man could possibly deplore more than the actor himself. Often it had occurred to me in my ponderings upon the subject, that had that altercation taken place in the public street, or at a private residence, it would not have terminated as it did. It was the circumstance of being alone in a solitary office, up stairs, of a building entirely unhallowed by humanizing domestic associations...
Página 65 - For the first time in my life a feeling of overpowering stinging melancholy seized me. Before, I had never experienced aught but a not nnpleasing sadness. The bond of a common humanity now drew me irresistibly to gloom. A fraternal melancholy ! For both I and Bartleby were sons of Adam.
Página 84 - What earthly right have you to stay here? Do you pay any rent? Do you pay my taxes? Or is this property yours? He answered nothing. "Are you ready to go on and write now? Are your eyes recovered? Could you copy a small paper for me this morning? or help examine a few lines? or step round to the post-office? In a word, will you do any thing at all, to give a coloring to your refusal to depart the premises?