Question:

What is the short story Bartleby about, written by Herman Melville?

Answer:

It is about a lawyer's office that has two employees, a drunk and a man with indigestion. Bartleby is hired to calm the office.

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Bartleby is a 2001 comedy/drama film adaptation of Herman Melville's short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener". The film was directed by Jonathan Parker, and stars Crispin Glover as Bartleby, and David Paymer as his boss. The film diverges from Melville's story, setting it in a modern office and adding sitcom-style humor, with an element of surrealism.
Pierre: or, The Ambiguities is a novel written by Herman Melville, and published in 1852 by Harper & Brothers. The publication of Pierre was a critical and financial disaster for Melville. It was universally condemned for both its morals and its style. With the exception of Israel Potter, he never published another conventional novel, although he subsequently wrote and published many exceptional stories, including Bartleby, the Scrivener and Benito Cereno, and the experimental "masque" The Confidence-Man. It tells the story of Pierre Glendinning, junior, the 19-year-old heir of the manor at Saddle Meadows in upstate New York. Pierre is engaged to the blonde Lucy Tartan in a match approved by his domineering mother, who controls the estate since the death of his father, Pierre, senior. When he encounters, however, the dark and mysterious Isabel Banford, he hears from her the claim that she is his half-sister, the illegitimate and orphaned child of his father and a European refugee. Pierre reacts to the story (and to his magnetic attraction for Isabel) by devising a remarkable scheme to preserve his father’s name, spare his mother’s grief, and give Isabel her proper share of the estate. He announces to his mother that he is married; she promptly throws him out of the house. He and Isabel then depart for New York City, accompanied by a disgraced young woman, Delly Ulver. During their stagecoach journey, Pierre finds and reads a fragment of a treatise on “Chronometricals and Horologicals” on the differences between absolute and relative virtue by one Plotinus Plinlimmon. In the city, Pierre counts on the hospitality of his friend and cousin Glendinning Stanley, but is surprised when Glen refuses to recognize him. The trio (Pierre, Isabel, and Delly) find rooms in a former church converted to apartments, the Church of the Apostles, now populated by impecunious artists, writers, spiritualists, and philosophers, including the mysterious Plinlimmon. Pierre attempts to earn money by writing a book, encouraged by his juvenile successes as a writer. He learns that his mother has died and has left the Saddle Meadows estate to Glen Stanley, who is now engaged to marry Lucy Tartan. Suddenly, however, Lucy shows up at the Apostles, determined to share Pierre’s life and lot, despite his apparent marriage to Isabel, and Pierre and the three women live there together as best they can, while their scant money runs out. Pierre’s writing does not go well — having been "Timonized" by his experiences, the darker truths he has come to recognize cannot be reconciled with the light and innocent literature the market seeks. Unable to write, he has a vision in a trance of an earth-bound stone giant Enceladus and his assault on the heavenly Mount of Titans. Beset by debts, by fears of the threats of Glen Stanley and Lucy’s brother, by the rejection of his book by its contracted publishers, by fears of his own incestuous passion for Isabel, and finally by doubts of the truth of Isabel’s story, Pierre guns down Glen Stanley at rush hour on Broadway, and is taken to jail in The Tombs. There Isabel and Lucy visit him, and Lucy dies of shock when Isabel addresses Pierre as her brother. Pierre then seizes upon the secret poison vial that Isabel carries and drinks it, and Isabel finishes the remainder, leaving three corpses as the novel ends. Melville initially proposed to his publisher that Pierre be published anonymously and credited "By a Vermonter". When it was published in July 1852, it bore the author's real name and was immediately met with negative critical response. One negative review which ran in the New York Day Book bore the title "Herman Melville Crazy" while the American Whig Review wrote that Melville's "fancy is diseased". The book was the source for the French film, Pola X (Pierre ou les ambiguïtés, 1999), directed by Leos Carax. The American composer Richard Beaudoin is writing an opera based on the book. Act I was staged in August 2007 at the Arcola Theatre in London.
Bartleby is a 1976 French drama film directed by Maurice Ronet and starring Michael Lonsdale, Maxence Mailfort and Maurice Biraud. It is an adaptation of the novel Bartleby by Herman Melville.
Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street is a short story by the American writer Herman Melville (1819–1891). It first appeared anonymously in two parts in the November and December 1853 editions of Putnam's Magazine, and was reprinted with minor textual alterations in his The Piazza Tales in 1856. The narrator, an elderly Manhattan lawyer with a very comfortable business helping wealthy men deal with mortgages, deeds, and bonds, relates the story of the strangest man he has ever known. At the start of the story, the narrator already employs two scriveners, nicknamed Nippers and Turkey, to copy legal documents by hand. Nippers (the younger of the two) suffers from chronic indigestion, and Turkey is an alcoholic, but the office survives because in the mornings Turkey is sober and Nippers is irritable, while in the afternoons Nippers has calmed down and Turkey is drunk. Ginger Nut, the office boy, gets his name from the little cakes he brings the two scriveners. An increase in business leads the narrator to advertise for a third scrivener, and he hires the forlorn-looking Bartleby in hopes that his calmness will soothe the temperaments of Nippers and Turkey. At first, Bartleby appears to be a boon to the practice, as he produces a large volume of high-quality work. One day, though, when asked by the narrator to help proofread a copied document, Bartleby answers with what soon becomes his stock response: "I would prefer not to". To the dismay of the narrator and to the irritation of the other employees, Bartleby performs fewer and fewer tasks around the office. The narrator makes several attempts to reason with him and to learn something about him but Bartleby offers nothing but his signature "I would prefer not to". One Sunday the narrator stops by the office unexpectedly and discovers that Bartleby has started living there. The loneliness of Bartleby's life impresses him: at night and on Sundays, Wall Street is as desolate as a ghost town and the window in Bartleby's corner allows him no view except that of a blank wall three feet away. The narrator's feelings for Bartleby alternate between pity and revulsion. For a while Bartleby remains willing to do his main work of copying but eventually he ceases this activity as well, so that finally he is doing nothing. The narrator finds himself unable to make Bartleby leave; his unwillingness or inability to move against Bartleby mirrors Bartleby's strange inaction. Tension gradually builds as the narrator's business associates wonder why the strange and idle Bartleby is ever-present in the office. Sensing the threat of a ruined reputation but emotionally unable to throw Bartleby out, the exasperated narrator finally decides to move out himself, relocating his entire business and leaving Bartleby behind. Soon the new tenants of the old space come to ask for his help: Bartleby still will not leave. Although they have thrown him out of the rooms, he now sits on the stairs all day and sleeps in the building's front doorway. The narrator visits Bartleby and attempts to reason with him. Feeling desperate, the narrator now surprises even himself by inviting Bartleby to come and live with him at his own home. Bartleby, alas, "would prefer not to." Deciding to stay away from work for the next few days for fear he will become embroiled in the new tenants' campaign to evict Bartleby, the narrator returns to find that Bartleby has been forcibly removed and imprisoned at The Tombs. The narrator visits him, finding him even glummer than usual. As ever, Bartleby rebuffs the narrator's friendliness. Nevertheless, the narrator bribes a turnkey to make sure Bartleby gets good and plentiful food. When the narrator visits again a few days later, he discovers that Bartleby has died of starvation, having apparently preferred not to eat. Some time afterward, the narrator hears of a rumor to the effect that Bartleby had worked in a dead letter office but had lost his job there. The narrator reflects that the dead letters would have made anyone of Bartleby's temperament sink into an even darker gloom. Dead letters are emblems of human nature and the plight of failing. Through Bartleby, the narrator has glimpsed the world as the miserable scrivener must have seen it. The closing words of the story are the narrator's resigned and pained sigh: "Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!". Herman Melville may have written the story as an emotional response to the fact that Pierre, his preceding novel, was published to bad reviews. Christopher Sten writes in "Bartleby, the Transcendentalist: Melville's Dead Letter to Emerson" Melville found inspiration in Ralph Waldo Emerson's essays, particularly "The Transcendentalist" which shows parallels to "Bartleby". Bartleby is a scrivener—a kind of clerk or a copyist -- "who obstinately refuses to go on doing the sort of writing demanded of him." During the spring of 1851, Melville felt similarly about his work on Moby Dick. Thus, Bartleby may represent Melville’s frustration with his own situation as a writer, and the story itself is “about a writer who forsakes conventional modes because of an irresistible preoccupation with the most baffling philosophical questions.” Bartleby may also be seen to represent Melville's relation to his commercial, democratic society. Melville made an allusion to the John C. Colt case in this short story. The narrator restrains his anger toward Bartleby, his unrelentingly difficult employee, by reflecting upon "the tragedy of the unfortunate Adams and the still more unfortunate Colt and how poor Colt, being dreadfully incensed by Adams ... was unawares hurled into his fatal act." Bartleby's character can be read in a variety of ways. Based on the perception of the narrator and the limited details supplied in the story, his character remains elusive even as the story comes to a close. Bartleby shows classic symptoms of depression, especially his lack of motivation. He is a passive person, although he is the only reliable worker in the office other than the narrator and Ginger Nut. Bartleby is a good worker until he starts to refuse to do his work. Bartleby does not divulge any personal information to the narrator. Bartleby's death suggests the effects of depression—having no motivation to survive, he refrains from eating until he dies. Bartleby’s character can be interpreted as a “psychological double” for the narrator that criticizes the “sterility, impersonality, and mechanical adjustments of the world which the lawyer inhabits.” Until the very end of the short story, the work gives the reader no history of Bartleby. This lack of history suggests that Bartleby may have just sprung from the narrator’s mind. Also consider the narrator’s behavior around Bartleby: screening him off in a corner where he can have his privacy “symbolizes the lawyer’s compartmentalization of the unconscious forces which Bartleby represents.” The psychoanalyst Christopher Bollas insists the story is more about the narrator than the narrated. "The narrator’s willingness to tolerate [Bartleby's] work stoppage is what needs to be explained ... As the story proceeds, it becomes increasingly clear that the lawyer identifies with his clerk. To be sure, it is an ambivalent identification, but that only makes it all the more powerful." The narrator, Bartleby’s employer, provides a first-person narration of his experiences working with Bartleby. He portrays himself as a generous man, although there are instances in the text that question his reliability. His kindness may be derived from his curiosity and fascination for Bartleby. Moreover, once Bartleby’s work ethic begins to decline, the narrator still allows his employment to continue, perhaps out of a desire to avoid confrontation. He also portrays himself as tolerant towards the other employees, Turkey and Nippers, who are unproductive at different points in the day; however, this simply re-introduces the narrator’s non-confrontational nature. Throughout the story, the narrator is torn between his feelings of responsibility for Bartleby and his desire to be rid of the threat that Bartleby poses to the office and to his way of life on Wall Street. Ultimately, the story may be more about the narrator than Bartleby, not only because the narrator attempts to understand Bartleby’s behavior, but also because of the rationales he provides for his interactions with and reactions to Bartleby. Various philosophical influences can be found in "Bartleby the Scrivener". The introduction alludes to Jonathan Edwards's “Inquiry into the Freedom of the Will.” Jay Leyda, scholar and author of the introduction passage in The Complete Stories of Herman Melville, comments on the similarities between Bartleby and Doctrine of Philosophical Necessity by Joseph Priestley. Both Edwards and Priestley wrote about free will. Edwards states that free will requires the will to be isolated from the moment of decision. Bartleby’s isolation from the world allows him to be completely free. He has the ability to do whatever he pleases. Both Priestley and Edwards discuss determinism in their considerations of the story, suggesting that Bartleby's exceptional exercise of his personal will, even though it leads to his death, spares him from an externally determined fate. There are various analogues between Bartleby and lepers of ancient times. Lepers were often exiled from communities because of their illness. Bartleby was fired from his job because he refused to perform his duties. When a leper would be taken to a leper colony, he was given a few items such as a blanket, a pillow, a wooden bowl for bathing and a towel. When the narrator discovers Bartleby's residence in the office, he locates under Bartleby's desk the same items the lepers were given. Lepers were also forbidden to enter any markets or places of worship. The narrator is surprised when he learns Bartleby “never visited any refectory or eating house.” Though no great success at the time of publication, "Bartleby the Scrivener" is now among the most noted of American short stories. It has been considered a precursor of absurdist literature, touching on several of Franz Kafka's themes in such works as "A Hunger Artist" and The Trial. There is nothing to indicate that the Bohemian writer was at all acquainted with the work of Melville, who remained largely forgotten until some time after Kafka's death. Albert Camus, in a personal letter to Liselotte Dieckmann published in The French Review in 1998, cites Melville as a key influence.
Bartleby en coulisses is a documentary film shot in 2009 by the filmmaker Jérémie Carboni. At the beginning of 2009, French filmmaker Jérémie Carboni followed French writer Daniel Pennac during rehearsals of Bartleby the scrivener's reading in Pépinière Opéra theatre in Paris. "Bartleby the scrivener" is a short story by Herman Melville. Initially, the footage focused on François Duval's work directing, but after the premiere of the show, Jérémie Carboni decided to edit footage and make a documentary with other interviews.
Bartleby is a 1972 British drama film directed by Anthony Friedman and starring Paul Scofield, John McEnery and Thorley Walters. It is an adaptation of the short story Bartleby, the Scrivener; A Story of Wall-street by Herman Melville.
The Piazza Tales is a collection of short stories by Herman Melville, which he published with Dix & Edwards in 1856 in the United States. A British edition followed shortly afterward. Except for the title story, "The Piazza," all of the stories had appeared in Putnam's Monthly over the years before. It was the only such collection published during Melville's lifetime. Originally, Melville had intended to entitle the volume Benito Cereno and Other Sketches, but it was The Encantadas, his sketches of the Galápagos Islands, that garnered the most attention from critics. Even though The Piazza Tales received largely favorable reviews, it did not sell well enough to get Melville out of his financial straits.

Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American writer best known for the novel Moby-Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, became a bestseller), but after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime.

When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. In 1919, the unfinished manuscript for his novella Billy Budd was discovered by his first biographer, Raymond M. Weaver, who published a version in 1924 which was acclaimed by notable British critics as another Melville masterpiece. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America.

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Herman Melville (August 1, 1819 – September 28, 1891) was an American writer best known for the novel Moby-Dick. His first three books gained much contemporary attention (the first, Typee, became a bestseller), but after a fast-blooming literary success in the late 1840s, his popularity declined precipitously in the mid-1850s and never recovered during his lifetime.

When he died in 1891, he was almost completely forgotten. It was not until the "Melville Revival" in the early 20th century that his work won recognition, especially Moby-Dick, which was hailed as one of the literary masterpieces of both American and world literature. In 1919, the unfinished manuscript for his novella Billy Budd was discovered by his first biographer, Raymond M. Weaver, who published a version in 1924 which was acclaimed by notable British critics as another Melville masterpiece. He was the first writer to have his works collected and published by the Library of America.

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Bartleby en coulisses is a documentary film shot in 2009 by the filmmaker Jérémie Carboni.

At the beginning of 2009, French filmmaker Jérémie Carboni followed French writer Daniel Pennac during rehearsals of Bartleby the scrivener's reading in Pépinière Opéra theatre in Paris. "Bartleby the scrivener" is a short story by Herman Melville. Initially, the footage focused on François Duval's work directing, but after the premiere of the show, Jérémie Carboni decided to edit footage and make a documentary with other interviews.

"Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street" is a short story by the American writer Herman Melville (1819–1891). It first appeared anonymously in two parts in the November and December 1853 editions of Putnam's Magazine, and was reprinted with minor textual alterations in his The Piazza Tales in 1856.

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In journalism, a human interest story is a feature story that discusses a person or people in an emotional way. It presents people and their problems, concerns, or achievements in a way that brings about interest, sympathy or motivation in the reader or viewer.

Human interest stories may be "the story behind the story" about an event, organization, or otherwise faceless historical happening, such as about the life of an individual soldier during wartime, an interview with a survivor of a natural disaster, a random act of kindness or profile of someone known for a career achievement.

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