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Bartleby, el escribiente

Bartleby, el escribiente

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Bartleby, el escribiente

Bewertungen:
4/5 (21 Bewertungen)
Länge:
48 Seiten
1 Stunde
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jan 31, 2015
ISBN:
9786050353402
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

"Bartleby, el escribiente" ("Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street") es un cuento del escritor estadounidense Herman Melville. Ha sido considerado una de sus mejores obras.
Herausgeber:
Freigegeben:
Jan 31, 2015
ISBN:
9786050353402
Format:
Buch

Über den Autor

Herman Melville was an American novelist, essayist, short story writer and poet. His most notable work, Moby Dick, is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.


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Bartleby, el escribiente - Herman Melville

Soy un hombre de cierta edad. En los últimos treinta años, mis actividades me han puesto en íntimo contacto con un gremio interesante y hasta singular, del cual, entiendo, nada se ha escrito hasta ahora: el de los amanuenses o copistas judiciales. He conocido a muchos, profesional y particularmente, y podría referir diversas historias que harían sonreír a los señores benévolos y llorar a las almas sentimentales. Pero a las biografías de todos los amanuenses prefiero algunos episodios de la vida de Bartleby, que era uno de ellos, el más extraño que yo he visto o de quien tenga noticia. De otros copistas yo podría escribir biografías completas; nada semejante puede hacerse con Bartleby. No hay material suficiente para una plena y satisfactoria biografía de este hombre. Es una pérdida irreparable para la literatura. Bartleby era uno de esos seres de quienes nada es indagable, salvo en las fuentes originales: en este caso, exiguas. De Bartleby no sé otra cosa que la que vieron mis asombrados ojos, salvo un nebuloso rumor que figurará en el epílogo. Antes de presentar al amanuense, tal como lo vi por primera vez, conviene que registre algunos datos míos, de mis empleados, de mis asuntos, de mi oficina y de mi ambiente general. Esa descripción es indispensable para una inteligencia adecuada del protagonista de mi relato. Soy, en primer lugar, un hombre que desde la juventud ha sentido profundamente que la vida más fácil es la mejor. Por eso, aunque pertenezco a una profesión proverbialmente enérgica y a veces nerviosa hasta la turbulencia, jamás he tolerado que esas inquietudes conturben mi paz. Soy uno de esos abogados sin ambición que nunca se dirigen a un jurado o solicitan de algún modo el aplauso público. En la serena tranquilidad de un cómodo retiro realizo cómodos asuntos entre las hipotecas de personas adineradas, títulos de renta y acciones. Cuantos me conocen, considéranme un hombre eminentemente seguro. El finado Juan Jacobo Astor, personaje muy poco dado a poéticos entusiasmos, no titubeaba en declarar que mi primera virtud era la prudencia: la segunda, el método.

No lo digo por vanidad, pero registro el hecho de que mis servicios profesionales no eran desdeñados por el finado Juan Jacobo Astor; nombre que, reconozco, me gusta repetir porque tiene un sonido orbicular y tintinea como el oro acuñado. Espontáneamente agregaré que yo no era insensible a la buena opinión del finado Juan Jacobo Astor.

Poco antes de la historia que narraré, mis actividades habían aumentado en forma considerable. Había sido nombrado para el cargo, ahora suprimido en el Estado de Nueva York, de agregado a la Suprema Corte. No era un empleo difícil, pero sí muy agradablemente remunerativo. Raras veces me encojo; raras veces me permito una indignación peligrosa ante las injusticias y los abusos; pero ahora me permitiré ser temerario, y declarar que considero la súbita y violenta supresión del cargo de agregado, por la Nueva Constitución, como un acto prematuro, pues yo tenía por descontado hacer de sus gajes una renta vitalicia, y sólo percibí los de algunos años. Pero esto es al margen.

Mis oficinas ocupaban un piso alto en el n.º X de Wall Street. Por un lado daban a la pared blanqueada de un espacioso tubo de aire, cubierto por una claraboya y que abarcaba todos los pisos.

Este espectáculo era más bien manso, pues le faltaba lo que los paisajistas llaman animación. Aunque así fuera, la vista del otro lado ofrecía, por lo menos, un contraste. En esa dirección, las ventanas dominaban sin el menor obstáculo una alta pared de ladrillo, ennegrecida por los años y por la sombra; las ocultas bellezas de esta

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4.1
21 Bewertungen / 26 Rezensionen
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  • (4/5)
    This (very short) book (really a short story) is so funny, until it's suddenly sad. It is about a man who begins to work for the narrator in a law office. He works well until he "prefers not to." And he uses this sentence over and over again until it becomes a real problem for his employer (the narrator). I had only read Moby Dick by Herman Melville, so I was glad to read this and find that I enjoyed his writing so much! He has a wonderful sense of humor, but also a good sense for humanity, and kind of pull your heartstrings from both sides! I was surprised and pleased, and plan to read more Melville in the future!
  • (5/5)
    The Unexplained Intrusion, as in Kafka, or more particularly Godot, Turkey and Nippers two halves of the same personality (one calm in the morning, the other in the afternoon, thus forming between them a single functional person), the young boy who occasionally appears, and Bartleby the anti-Godot who never leaves ("but surely tomorrow" says the narrator). Yes, Melville wasn't the first (Schubert wrote his B-flat sonata in 1828: that trill is Bartleby) and the parallels are all accidents; except there aren't really any accidents, we're all in the same universe, some of us just see things before others. The Unexplained Intrusion is always life itself, of course. It is also (which seldom goes noticed in Melville) very funny.
  • (3/5)
    This is such an odd story. I'm not really sure what to think of it, and the ending is anticlimactic, it was *interesting* and that's why I gave it an ok rating, but it's mostly perplexing.
  • (4/5)
    Starts out funny, but ends up quite moving and deep. There's something compelling about Bartleby, his extreme composure, his unflinching yet mild refusal. There's something unnervingly inhuman about him, precisely because behind that veneer you know there is something essentially human, vulnerable, and very much like ourselves. But we are not privy to the inner life that lies behind the blank expression, and Melville wisely does not let us in on it. It's hard not to feel sorry for both the narrator and for Bartleby as well, and the whole time I was reading it I was seeing myself assuming either role very easily, by a turn of fate or flip of coin.
  • (4/5)
    This one is a very intiguing book. Melville could have made a full length book with this one. It was too short and I would have love to know more about Bartleby.
  • (5/5)
    This short story by Herman Melville, arguably one of the greatest authors the United States has ever produced, follows the downward trajectory of Bartleby, a strange and pale young clerk in a nineteenth-century New York law firm. Narrated by Bartleby's erstwhile employer, it records his gradual withdrawal into himself, to the point of self-destruction. Simultaneously hilarious and tragic, it has that uniquely surreal quality which is the hallmark of Melville's great works.It is in relation to these other works that this story can best be understood, and some of Melville's great themes be appreciated. As another reviewer remarked, the story takes a very critical view of capitalism, and its effect on the soul of the wage worker. Bartleby's slide into the "blankness of extinction" (the title of a paper I wrote on this story), is precipitated in no small part by the spirit-quenching nature of his work. That Melville's critique was intentional, can be demonstrated by his similar treatment of another group of wage workers in his short story, The Tartarus of Maids. But I think it would be a mistake to think that Melville's criticism is aimed at capitalism, in and of itself. I had a professor who always argued that one of Melville's most pervasive themes was the destructive nature of the father-son bond - the ways in which fathers destroy their sons. This is strongly evident in another of Melville's shorter works, Billy Budd, which has many parallels to Bartleby. In this sense, I believe that although Melville is critical of capitalism, he sees the employer-employee relationship as a stand-in for pre-existing destructive patterns.Finally, Bartleby can also be understood as an oppositional companion-piece to that continuously avant-garde masterpiece, The Confidence-Man, in which Melville seeks to work out his feelings about the limitations of communication itself. To speak is to deceive in this novel, and the author contends that everyone is both a con-man and dupe, all at once. To seek to escape from this cycle of deception, made inevitable by the very nature of speech, is to reject one's humanity, and to self-abnegate. More to the point, it can't be done. In this schema, Bartleby's absolutist stance in refusing to "play the game" must lead to self-destruction.I love this story. I can think of no other work that has so moved me to laughter, even while I cried. It is a very potent distillation of Melville's genius, bitter but brilliant. Thank goodness it's a short story! I was very happy to find this edition, which presents the story by itself, in a very handsome cloth edition. It also includes black & white photographs from the lower Manhattan of Melville's day.Let me close my review of this brilliant work with a short personal vignette. Some years ago, while going to college and working in a bookstore, I mentioned to one of my co-workers that I was going to be taking a class on Herman Melville. He was a plumber by trade, but was holding down this job so his disabled son could have regular health insurance. When I told him about my class, he asked if we would be reading the story Bartleby the Scrivener, to which I responded that I believed we would be. "Well," he said with a twinkle in his eye, "I could tell you all about that story, but I'd prefer not to," and he would say nothing more on the topic. A very well-read man, he liked to take some of the English graduate students we had working there down a peg or two, and knowing him was a welcome reminder that formal education and true intelligence are not synonymous. So, Steve, wherever you are, here's to you!
  • (4/5)
    Bartleby The Scrivener are a ridiculously significant modern tale from late 19th century which question morality and humanity that goes beyond the world of productivity and capitalism. As much as Melville drawing the humanism inspiration from Hawthorne in science, he did it by human ethics. In a simpler way of generalizing this book, this is one weird crazy book. They call this book an absurdist and existentialist fiction but I find its a lot harder to round up the author easily. I genuinely prefer the discussion on this book than the book itself because the book is confusing while reading but became more clear when you've find that its filled with metaphors on some kind.

    The story is narrated by a lawyer who told a story of the most peculiar person he ever met; Bartleby. He had problems regarding his scriveners, Nipper and Turkey who have their own temperament which leads to the hiring of Bartleby. At first, he was a good and wonderful employee until one day when asked by the narrator to proofread a document, Bartleby would say "I would prefer not to". The narrator let it slide until Bartleby grew increasingly unproductive and eccentric with his repetitive that he would prefer not to do everything asked by everyone even for his own well-being that it alarmed the narrator that he tried to persuade Bartleby to give a reason why but Bartleby would say continuously, "I would prefer not to".

    A scrivener is a copyist. You could say it is a modern equivalent of a xerox machine. While in this story, Bartleby became the main focus due to his persistence and curious way of conduct that frightened everyone around him. He contrasted the world the narrator lived in. His depression became so infectious that the narrator who sympathize but fear him enough that he relocated his business after failing to nudge Bartleby to any form of work or life that Bartleby caused the tenants and new occupants trouble which lands him to even worst condition.

    Some would consider Bartleby as a language and by his action, he became a verbal succubus sucking emotions around him just by his verbal persistence. He can also be seen as a victim of the modernity and this degradation began from his previous employment which the narrator sadly mourn the lost of humanity in him. The novel even question about the right of the living if only the living could choose to not proliferate under productivity. It also shows how being different can be misinterpreted if not being understood and in search of knowing, the narrator found himself unwittingly empathized with Bartleby who continued to eluded him by being passive until the narrator became helpless as it destroyed Bartleby from the inside. Maybe Bartleby aren't meant to be understood nor to be saved but the situation around him are relevant in this time to ignore the underlying clues embedded inside the novella. Even still, it alludes me.
  • (5/5)
    Reason for Reading: I've decided to try Melville House's Novella book club for 6 months and plan to read the two selections, the month following their arrival. Hence this is my second January read.I was not actually looking forward to this. I once tried to read "Moby Dick" and failed miserably. I cannot recall if I've run across Melville in anthologies but if I have obviously it is not something that I've remembered. Melville's writing style is a touch difficult for me and I found this a bit difficult to get into with the first several pages long-winded. However, this changed quite rapidly and I became quite smitten with this story and must say it was not Bartleby I was most intrigued with but the narrator. Bartleby is a most curious fellow, one who starts work in his position as a copyist, but gentlemanly refuses to do any other work by politely saying "I prefer not to." to any such requests. Only speaking when spoken to, this solitary man seems to always be present at work and when not working diligently is seen standing staring into space or out the window at a view of a brick wall. His condition deteriorates until he eventually "prefers not to" work at all, leave the premises, or be let go from his position. He becomes a peculiar, perhaps mentally unbalanced, perhaps supernaturally guided (what does he live upon?) character.However, I found my interest laying mostly with the character of the narrator, a lawyer, the Master in Chancery for the state of New York. At first impressed with his new employee's fast and diligent output of quality work, he starts to notice the man's peculiarities. When Bartleby virtually refuses to engage in any other work than copying the lawyer is flummoxed, leaving him be and making up reasons for the man's behaviour. This is in character with the lawyer though as he has done the same with his two other employees, one who is disagreeable in the mornings, the other in the afternoons. The lawyer has learned to work around this and sympathize with the men by inventing character flaws and health reasons for their behaviour. Bartleby, however, becomes unfathomable and yet the lawyer continues to show him kindness and think the best of him. Things become intense though once the lawyer finds Bartleby in dishabille in his chambers early one morning, doors locked from the inside and the lawyer finds that he is allowing himself to walk around the block several times upon Bartleby's orders. From this point on Bartelby becomes the one with the power and the lawyer eventually must leave his own chambers and move elsewhere to be rid of the man; this then starts a downward spiral of events for Bartleby which he can no longer control nor the lawyer's aid be accepted.I found this story entirely intriguing and a curious look into the human condition. I honestly don't know what to make of it; what is the point or moral being made here. Even though I don't share this viewpoint, I do feel that many readers may find themselves siding with Bartelby and perhaps finding this a story of the downward drudgery of the clerical worker's monotonous plight. But I felt Bartelby went into this position with a chip on his shoulder and I see it more of a psychological tale of how the lawyer tries to help someone who obviously is in need of help both socially and mentally and yet there is only so much one can do to help another when they are unwilling to help themselves. Thought-provoking.
  • (4/5)
    Entertaining and funny little story about a mysterious young clerk. It reminds me of Kafka's Metamorphosis in that an alien element is suddenly introduced in a closed completely ordered world, causing problems and distress.
  • (4/5)
    Wow. I thought I must have read this in my youth, but now I'm sure I would have remembered Bartleby had I encountered him before! Bartleby, employed as a lawyer's clerk, takes his passive resistance to exerting any effort to the ultimate extreme. If Bartleby were merely disinclined to work, his employer, literature's most accommodating employer, and we, the story's readers, would know what to make of him. Bartleby, however, is not inclined to humor us in that or in any regard. To our requests that he explain or justify his behavior, accept our sympathy, or act according to convention, reason, or self-preservation, Bartleby will respond, with quiet determination, "I would prefer not to." Somehow, in his refusal to be controlled, pressured, or in any way manipulated, I found him perversely inspiring.
  • (4/5)
    Delightfully high concept.
  • (5/5)
    This story was so much fun! I feel like there are a hundred valid readings of this economical little tale... I never thought I would feel sympathy for a "boss" character, until the narrator of this story. But Bartleby too, seems a kind of hero, as frustrating as he is -- a classic American slacker. Despite the occasionally satirical overtones, ultimately a very subtle rendering of the relations between working people, between men, between humans. Oh Bartleby, oh humanity!(I see below that there is a Deleuze article on this story, which I am now eager to read.)
  • (4/5)
    Read this in a Lit class, loved it... still struggling with Moby Dick,of course, I'll finish it one of these days.
  • (3/5)
    Given my obsession with Melville House Books, it was inevitable that I would eventually get around to ordering this little novella, as it appears to be a mascot or talisman of sorts for them. So, indeed, it was a part of my last order.

    I have to say, I would have enjoyed it more with less hype. (But would I have bought it if not for the hype? Probably not.) I kept wanting it to knock me over with its greatness, but that would be entirely antithetical to everything about this book. Rather, this book has grown on me slowly, and I find I think only more fondly of it now that it has long been closed on my shelf. I will definitely have to read this again after more time has passed.

    But what is this novella? It is a story related by a powerful lawyer, telling the story of Bartleby, who he hires as a copyist. Bartleby seems to be everything he would want in an employee, quiet, efficient, until one day he responds to a request with a gentle, but firm, "I would prefer not to." Bartleby's motivations and life story are almost entirely speculation on the part of the nameless narrator, who is thoroughly incapable of understanding his softly recalcitrant employee.

    Recommended if you read expecting quietly wonderful.
  • (5/5)
    Well, this is an interesting piece. So much has been said about it and I have nothing further to offer. Worth reading by all those who like deep thought and contemplation.

    A wonderful piece of Humanity!

  • (3/5)
    A dark tale about a man who lives in a corner of an office and the story that ensues, definitely one of those stories that portray eccentrics and is therefore what I would regard as a parasitic story where the sad, lonely etc become fodder for the more prosperous novelist. That does not mean we should have a free for all in real life or novelistic life.
  • (4/5)
    I tried to write a review, but I'd prefer not to.
  • (2/5)
    Obviously quite well written, but it didn't make me feel much of anything except sorry for Bartleby and especially the narrator. It was just sad.
  • (4/5)
    Great story, but this edition is more of a magazine than a book.
  • (4/5)
    Reminds me a lot of Beckett... I would also recommend an essay on the semiology in Bartleby by Gilles Deleuze, even though there's lot of psychoanalytical thoughts involved, it opened the book to me in a new way: Bartleby doesn't simply say no (or yes) and why he thinks it's obvious he has to stop copying (or doing anything) as well, because it's his only way of surviving.
  • (4/5)
    It's shocking, but I don't remember reading any other Herman Melville (no, not even Moby Dick - although it is on my shelf waiting to be read). I've heard while Moby Dick was a worthy read, during his life Melville's other works weren't well received. That's unfortunate, because I did enjoy Bartleby. It's a short story, but it reminded me a bit of [The Hunger Artist] by Kafka.
  • (5/5)
    Interested in Melville? Hmmmm. Interested in investing 100 million hours into _Moby Dick_? Surely you've considered the story about whales and ship ringings -- if only momentarily. Well to be inspired by Bartleby himself you might say, "I would prefer not. But I am not particular." Trust me, you want your Mellville in novella format. And you won't regret it. (4.5 stars)
  • (4/5)
    thought i wouldn't like it. read it because it was short. liked it. strange story.
  • (4/5)
    A scrivener, Bartleby, is trapped in the soul-killing monotony of his job, a job that leads a co-worker to get soused every day at lunch. After a while, Bartleby starts refusing his assigned work, but in turning away from his tasks he doesn’t turn to doing anything else. His rebellion is passive – staring at the brick walls that enclose him and the others on Wall Street, he becomes a standing rebuke of superficial ‘busy-ness’, a rebuke from which his employer eventually flees.I appreciated this story more after reading Mordecai Marcus’ interpretation of it (‘Melville’s Bartleby as a Psychological Double’, College English 23 [1962]: 365-8). Marcus sees Bartleby as his employer’s ‘double’. That is, this recalcitrant worker is a part of the lawyer’s own psyche, one that suffers neglect in the urban office. Something essential to its sustenance is missing. Obdurate in the face of all monetary enticements, this increasingly spectral other can't fit its assigned place in the urban business hub. It belongs to nature, the lawyer’s own nature, and is marooned in 'unnature' (Wall Street). Naturally, it withers in this world of material plenty.The story reminds me of Theodore Roethke's poem 'Dolor', with its lines about 'the inexorable sadness of pencils' and 'desolation in immaculate public places'.
  • (5/5)

    There’s absolutely nothing under the sun that compels me to review Herman Melville’s Bartleby the Scrivener except the sheer brilliance of both (the star, that is, as well as the novella). The ghost of one of America’s greatest writers may be grateful for the attention—especially since Melville lived the last decades of his life in near obscurity—but I don’t believe in ghosts except as they appear in certain plays.

    I picked this novella out of the stacks one afternoon at the main branch of the Brooklyn Public Library while awaiting my turn at one of the computers. Ten minutes later, I’d forgotten all about computers and my desire to use one of them. Yes, it was that good!

    It’s been years since I last read any of Melville’s work. And the truth is that even now, at the age of sixty-two, I have yet to read Moby Dick. Why this novella isn’t at the top of the list of required reading for high school sophomores is a mystery to me. The language is simple, the plot compelling. And who doesn’t love a mystery—especially when it’s as well written as this one?

    I can only encourage you to run right out to your local library and pick it up. If you’re lucky enough to find a copy of the novella on its lonesome, it won’t cost you much more than a buck—which, if you live in the great State of New York, is about 1/13 the price of a pack of cigarettes. Today. (The price of cigarettes will certainly have increased by this time next month to something approaching obscenity.)

    But back to Melville. The man is a marvel. And although I’m no real fan of his poetry (in which he more than dabbled the last thirty years of his life), his prose turns cartwheels.

    Bartleby the Scrivener,apart from being downright funny in parts, ends on a note that would rival Poe’s imaginative machinations. No teasers here, but trust me: if you ever again come across the expression “dead letter” (no, not dead French letter!), don’t be surprised if your mind and memory turn immediately to Melville and Bartleby the Scrivener.

    N. B.: I gave this novella five stars only because I can’t give it a perfect ten.

    RRB
    1/21/13
    Brooklyn, NY
  • (4/5)
    In deciding simply not to perform tasks he doesn’t want to do anymore at work, to the point of scorn and later absurdity, it seems to me that Bartleby (1853) is one of the first existential heroes in literature, and Melville was well ahead of his time. Spoiler alert... After eventually being let go in the most humane way possible, Bartleby doesn’t leave the office, and when he’s put into prison, he sits on his own, refusing food, sitting quietly and doing nothing. One wonders throughout the short novel, what has led Bartleby to this state? On the last page it’s revealed that he had worked in the Dead Letters Office in Washington. Seeing all of those correspondences burned, which had possibly meant so much when they were penned, seems not only dehumanizing and severely depressing, but such an outright expression of man’s transience and the ultimate meaninglessness of our lives that it leads to Bartleby’s debilitating angst. “Ah, Bartleby! Ah, humanity!” indeed. Just this quote, on pity: “My first emotions had been those of pure melancholy and sincerest pity; but just in proportion as the forlornness of Bartleby grew and grew to my imagination, did that same melancholy merge into fear, that pity into repulsion. So true it is, and so terrible too, that up to a certain point the thought or sight of misery enlists our best affections; but, in certain special cases, beyond that point it does not. They err who would assert that invariably this is owing to the inherent selfishness of the human heart. It rather proceeds from a certain hopefulness of remedying excessive and organic ill. To a sensitive being, pity is not seldom pain. And when at last it is perceived that such pity cannot lead to effectual succor, common sense bids the soul be rid of it.”