28 December 2005

Bartleby the Scrivener

So, I read Bartleby the Scrivener, part of this book here called The Shorter Novels of Herman Melville. I checked this book out of my local library.

If I had more time I'd probably read the other shorter novels of Herman Melville, but as it is I've been busy and I only checked this out to read Bartleby. I did this on the advice of a friend, but I no longer know how the subject came up. To be honest, I'm not sure I got Bartleby. Was there something to get? Or was I just looking for something more than was there. I guess this was just absurdism, and as such, it was an interesting read. Though I would have to argue with a few points. The coda wherein it is supposed that Bartleby worked in the dead letter office really seemed to destroy the mood. I don't know. I liked the idea of Bartleby just being impossible to figure.

That said, I like the way he controlled his situation. I'd like to see something similar happen in reality, to see how it would play out. How long could you get away with simply prefering not to do things? I'd prefer not to go to work, but I don't think I'd quite manage that as successfully as Bartleby controlled his boss.

It was interesting. And short, which is nice, since the books remaining on my reading list are both very long and have taken me a long time to read.

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