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In Short: A Group Discussion of Herman Melville's "Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street" led by Sheridan Hay


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Thursday, 6:00 pm May 14, 2020

6pm ET / 3pm PT

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A masterpiece of the short form, “Bartleby” is perhaps the most considered American short story to reach from the nineteenth century all the way into our own. First published in two parts in 1853, in Putnam’s magazine, it is a short story perhaps best remembered for Bartleby’s implacable, mysterious utterance – perhaps the most enigmatic in all American literature: “I would prefer not to.” It is like no other American short story, certainly no other in Melville’s time. Is “Bartleby” a story about writing, about reading, about labor, copying, originality – is it about will, individual agency, societal obligation, abandonment, sanity? Let’s talk about it, together, on May 14.

Click here for access to this story or email Allison Escoto to have a copy of the story emailed to you.


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  • Sheridan Hay Photo

    Sheridan Hay

    Sheridan Hay

    Sheridan Hay holds an MFA from the Bennington Writing Seminars. Her first novel, The Secret of Lost Things (Doubleday/Anchor), which features a lost novel by Herman Melville, was a Booksense Pick, a Barnes and Noble Discover selection, short listed for the Border’s Original Voices Fiction Prize, and nominated for the International Impac Award. A San Francisco Chronicle bestseller and a New York Times Editor’s Choice, foreign rights have been sold in fourteen countries. Sheridan has led the Center’s Moby Dick reading group many times, as well as leading a popular Henry James group which will meet again in the spring.