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The Scrivener Essay

Assignment id 1008244
Discipline Self Improvement
Assignment type Essay
Words 2594
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I think the events prior to the composing of "Bartleby, The Scrivener" are equally as important to understanding the narrative as the events transpiring within the narrative itself. Melville, after he published the short storythat he was coming from two failures, Moby-Dick and Pierre, that he believed would cement his place in the literary cannon; "Bartleby" is his own manner of addressing this chaotic period in his lifetime. From the narrative, Melville has been brutally honest with himself and his own work: addressing the issues of his critics throughout the narrator, while using Bartleby to acknowledge his own flaws in failing to get the recognition he thought he deserved. After Moby-Dick was printed in late 1851, it was met with mixed reviews. "A reviewer for the London Britannia declared it 'a most extraordinary work'; and a reviewer from the New York Tribune proclaimed that it was 'the best production that has yet come from that seething brain, and it gives us a higher opinion of their author's creativity and power ''' ("Herman Melville" 2305-2306). Many critics, however, were "unhappy with the novel's length, philosophical abstractness, and mixing of genres, and also the novel quickly disappeared from the literary arena without attracting Melville the critical admiration he had expected" (2306). An especially damning review came in the esteemed London literary magazine, Athenaeum: "The style of his tale is in places disfigured by mad (rather than bad) English; and its catastrophe is hastily, weakly, and obscurely managed" (Parker 18). What's most fascinating about Moby-Dick is it seems to be exactly the sort of publication Melville always wanted to write, knowing full well that no achievement will come from it. At a letter to Hawthorne he wrote, ```What I feel most moved to wr...

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