This is a short
story about a lawyer with offices on Wall Street in New York City.
He runs an advertisement for a scrivener, or professional copyist,
for his office and Bartleby responds to his advertisement and comes
to work for the lawyer. At first Bartleby appears to be a competent
worker, but later he refuses to work when requested, repeatedly
uttering the phrase "I would prefer not to." As Bartleby’s
behavior escalates, the lawyer is confronted with how he will handle
and respond to this bizarre behavior.
In 2001, the
story was adapted into a movie titled “Bartleby”.
was an American novelist, essayist and poet. During his lifetime,
his early novels were popular, but his popularity declined later
in his life, until at the time of his death he had nearly been forgotten.
famous work was Moby-Dick and is often considered one of the greatest
American novels. His short story "Bartleby the Scrivener"
is among his most important pieces, and has been considered a precursor
to Existentialist and Absurdist literature. In the 20th century
there were several biographies about Melville and his vision by
prominent writers, which started a rediscovery of his works and
led to his current status as a significant American Writer.