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September 10 , 2008

Bartleby, the Scrivener (with audio)

Read-aloud eBook with English audio narration for language learning


"Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street" (1853) is a short story by the American writer Herman Melville. It is considered the masterpiece of the short fiction in the Melville canon.

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.

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