Bartleby the Scrivener; Benito Cereno; Billy Budd

Overview

These three short stories represent the last flowering of Herman Melville's genius. By the time "Barteby the Scrivener" (1853) and "Benito Cereno" (1855) were published, Melville's career as a successful author was effectively over, even though he was still in his mid-thirties. (Billy Budd, Foretopman, was not published until 1924, more than three decades after its author's death.) The exotic adventures that had launched Melville's fame had given way to what many readers of the day regarded as obscure ...
See more details below
This Paperback (Three Short Works) is Not Available through BN.com
Sending request ...

Overview

These three short stories represent the last flowering of Herman Melville's genius. By the time "Barteby the Scrivener" (1853) and "Benito Cereno" (1855) were published, Melville's career as a successful author was effectively over, even though he was still in his mid-thirties. (Billy Budd, Foretopman, was not published until 1924, more than three decades after its author's death.) The exotic adventures that had launched Melville's fame had given way to what many readers of the day regarded as obscure philosophizing. Today we can see in the somber image of the poor scrivener who "would prefer not to" existential figure foreshadowing the imagination of Kafka decades before that writer's birth. In the credulous Captain Delano's distorted vision of reality in "Benito Cereno," and the despair of Claggart as he looks upon the inarticulate purity of Billy Budd, today's readers confront the great philosophical and literary issues of our time--of all time--expressed with a profundity of feeling rarely equaled in the greatest works of the world's literature.
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781402819612
  • Publisher: Quality Paperback Book Club
  • Publication date: 3/15/2002
  • Edition description: Three Short Works
  • Pages: 274

Meet the Author

Herman Melville
Herman Melville's legend is as mammoth and elusive as the whale that established it. The author's Moby-Dick; Or, The Whale stands as one of literature's greatest epics, a story of mythological proportions that was grounded in real life and a new way of storytelling. Melville's work, underappreciated in its time, remains as much subject to debate and interpretation as it was when he first caught the public eye with his South Seas adventure, Typee, in 1846.

Biography

Herman Melville was born in August 1, 1819, in New York City, the son of a merchant. Only twelve when his father died bankrupt, young Herman tried work as a bank clerk, as a cabin-boy on a trip to Liverpool, and as an elementary schoolteacher, before shipping in January 1841 on the whaler Acushnet, bound for the Pacific. Deserting ship the following year in the Marquesas, he made his way to Tahiti and Honolulu, returning as ordinary seaman on the frigate United States to Boston, where he was discharged in October 1844. Books based on these adventures won him immediate success. By 1850 he was married, had acquired a farm near Pittsfield, Massachussetts (where he was the impetuous friend and neighbor of Nathaniel Hawthorne), and was hard at work on his masterpiece Moby-Dick.

Literary success soon faded; his complexity increasingly alienated readers. After a visit to the Holy Land in January 1857, he turned from writing prose fiction to poetry. In 1863, during the Civil War, he moved back to New York City, where from 1866-1885 he was a deputy inspector in the Custom House, and where, in 1891, he died. A draft of a final prose work, Billy Budd, Sailor, was left unfinished and uncollated, packed tidily away by his widow, where it remained until its rediscovery and publication in 1924.

Author biography courtesy of Penguin Group (USA).

Read More Show Less
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 1, 1819
    2. Place of Birth:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Death:
      September 28, 1891
    2. Place of Death:
      New York, New York
    1. Education:
      Attended the Albany Academy in Albany, New York, until age 15

Table of Contents

These three short works represent the last flowering of Herman Melville's genius. By the time Bartleby the Scrivener (1853) and Benito Cereno (1855) were published, Melville's career as a successful author was effectively over, even though he was still in his mid-thirties. (Billy Budd, Foretopman was not published until 1924, more than three decades after its author's death.)
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)