In which a perfectly normal law firm is unexpectedly disrupted by one of modernity’s strangest byproducts: a copyist named Bartleby.
In our final portion from Melville’s “Encantada Sketches,” we examine examples of perfect liberty on Barrington Isle and total tyranny under the Dog King.
In his literary sketches of the Galapagos Islands, Melville sees a lens through which individuals can fully explore existence, power, liberty, and responsibility.
Melville’s short story echoes his generation of artists’ widespread fears for America’s future. Without sufficient individual virtue, could polite society survive?
A failure at business and a failure at life, Jimmy Rose was a lot like the rest of his generation—drowning in change.
In our second portion of “Bartleby,” we ask why exactly his simple expression of preference remains so troubling and meaningful to the present day.
In our final portion from “Bartleby,” we probe Melville’s relationship to Young America and Bartleby’s relationship to our modern world.
With a taste of actual poverty and a whiff of fake charity, Melville leaves us doubting whether our personal ethics have much improved.
Melville suggests that unless the modernizing, industrializing world retained its humanistic sensibilities, we’ll create our own Hells.
Melville provides a more-or-less first-hand account of the almost excruciatingly lucious lives of London’s lawyerly elite.
A review of Herman Melville’s probes into Jacksonian America’s existential crisis.
Melville reflected literary Young America’s hopes that a culture of republicanism and democracy could serve all individuals.
“Thompson’s art has always been guided by the principle that the story of getting the story is always more important than the story itself.”
Riggenbach handles the mainstay and workhorse of modern fiction.
The Loco-Focos’ “life-long ‘War on Monopoly,’ resulted in a long series of events which in many ways diffused and democratized power throughout the populace.”