For the first time, the authoritative editions of works by American novelists, poets, scholars, and essayists collected in the hardcover volumes of The Library of America are being published singly in a series of handsome paperback books. A distinguished writer has contributed an introduction for each volume, which also includes a chronology of the author's life an essay on the text, and notes.
A Wall Street lawyer specializing in bonds and mortgages hires a respectable young man to copy legal documents by hand. At first, the new scrivener approaches his duties with a calm efficiency. Then comes the day when his response to a new assignment is, “I would prefer not to.” The mysterious phrase soon becomes Bartleby’s reply to everything asked of him, and his surrender to inertia is both maddening and inexorable. Torn between frustration and pity, anger and sorrow, his employer desperately tries to save Bartleby, but the cause is as doomed to disappointment as life itself.
A strange and haunting fable that continues to resonate a century and a half after it was first published, Bartleby, the Scrivener is a masterpiece of American literature.
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Despite strange warnings, Ishmael, a young schoolteacher from Manhattan, signs up for a voyage aboard the Pequod, a whaling ship departing from New Bedford, Massachusetts. While on shore, he strikes up a friendship with Queequeg, a tattooed South Seas cannibal. The unlikely friends are hired for the journey—only to discover their commander will be Captain Ahab, a brooding, one-legged, tyrannical old man fixated on avenging Moby Dick, the great white whale who crippled him.
Along with the rest of the crew, including unforgettable characters like the intellectual first mate Starbuck who risks standing up to Ahab, cheerful second mate Stubb, and African harpooner Daggoo, Ishmael sets out for a hair-raising adventure laden with danger and nameless horrors. As they dare to challenge God’s most dreaded creation and nature’s indifference to human survival, their fate lies with their monomaniacal captain, whose obsession can only lead to tragedy.
Considered a masterpiece of American literature, Moby Dick—from its famous first line, “Call me Ishmael,” to its dramatic climax—has fascinated generations of readers.
Herman Melville’s Billy Budd was unfinished at the time of the writer’s death, but was discovered in 1919 by Raymond Weaver, Melville’s first biographer. Transcription errors and difficulty interpreting Melville’s notes on the text meant an authoritative edition was not published until 1962. Billy Budd has been produced for film, stage, and television, with the most famous adaptation being the Benjamin Britten opera, with libretto by E.M. Forster and Eric Crozier.
HarperPerennial Classics brings great works of literature to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperPerennial Classics collection to build your digital library.
* illustrated with many images relating to Melville’s life and works
* annotated with concise introductions to the novels and other works
* ALL the novels (except BILLY BUDD), with separate contents tables
* MOBY-DICK and other works are presented with their original illustrations
* images of how the novels first appeared, giving your eReader a taste of the original texts
* two short story collections
* the complete poetry collections
* the scarce poetry collection WEEDS AND WILDINGS, which Melville wrote for his wife - first time in digital print
* uncollected poetry section, with rare works
* separate CHRONOLOGICAL and ALPHABETICAL contents tables for the poetry – find that special poem easily!
* includes Melville's complete essays, available nowhere else
* bonus collection of letters by Melville - explore the writer's personal correspondence
* boasts a special criticism section, with essays by writers such as D.H. Lawrence and Virginia Woolf examining Melville’s contribution to literature
* features Raymond Weaver's seminal biography on Melville, which sparked the great revival in the author
* scholarly ordering of texts in chronological order and literary genres, allowing easy navigation around Melville’s immense oeuvre
PLEASE NOTE: Due to US copyright restrictions, BILLY BUDD, SAILOR and two short stories are not available in this collection. Once they enter the US public domain in 2020, they will be added to the eBook as a free update.
ISLE OF THE CROSS (lost novel - information only)
The Short Story Collections
THE PIAZZA TALES
THE APPLE-TREE TABLE AND OTHER SKETCHES
The Short Stories
LIST OF THE SHORT STORIES
The Poetry Collections
BATTLE PIECES AND ASPECTS OF THE WAR
CLAREL: A POEM AND PILGRIMAGE IN THE HOLY LAND
JOHN MARR AND OTHER SAILORS
TIMOLEON AND OTHER VENTURES
WEEDS AND WILDINGS, WITH A ROSE OR TWO
LIST OF POEMS IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER
LIST OF POEMS IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
FRAGMENTS FROM A WRITING DESK
ETCHINGS OF A WHALING CRUISE REVIEW
AUTHENTIC ANECDOTES OF ‘OLD ZACK’
MR PARKMAN'S TOUR
COOPER'S NEW NOVEL
A THOUGHT ON BOOK-BINDING
HAWTHORNE AND HIS MOSSES
SOME PERSONAL LETTERS OF HERMAN MELVILLE BY MEADE MINNIGERODE
THE BEST SEA-STORY EVER WRITTEN BY ARCHIBALD MACMECHAN
HERMAN MELVILLE'S MOBY DICK BY D. H. LAWRENCE
HERMAN MELVILLE'S TYPEE AND OMOO BY D. H. LAWRENCE
HERMAN MELVILLE BY VIRGINIA WOOLF
HERMAN MELVILLE: MAN, MARINER AND MYSTIC BY RAYMOND WEAVER
After six months of relentless battering by the turbulent South Pacific, the whaling ship known as the Dolly is beginning to resemble a swollen and cracking prison. For Tommo, it’s been six months of little to eat but stale biscuits, six months of steady abuse and derision from his shipmates, six months with nothing to distract him from the daily drudgery of life aboard the boat. All that time and not even a hint of land—it’s enough to drive anyone mad. Thousands of miles from home, the Dolly finally chances upon a remote island, and Tommo and fellow sailor Toby resolve to strike out on their own. Intrigue and excitement ensue when they discover their new haven to be inhabited by a tribe of cannibals!
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Interspersed with graphic sketches of life aboard a whaling vessel, and a wealth of information on whales and 19th-century whaling, Melville's greatest work presents an imaginative and thrilling picture of life at sea, as well as a portrait of heroic determination. The author's keen powers of observation and firsthand knowledge of shipboard life (he served aboard a whaler himself) were key ingredients in crafting a maritime story that dramatically examines the conflict between man and nature.
"A valuable addition to the literature of the day," said American journalist Horace Greeley on the publication of Moby-Dick in 1851 — a classic piece of understatement about a literary classic now considered by many as "the great American novel." Read and pondered by generations, the novel remains an unsurpassed account of the ultimate human struggle against the indifference of nature and the awful power of fate.
Much of Moby Dick was inspired by the 1821 work Narratives of the Wreck of the Whale-Ship Essex, which in turn inspired the 2015 movie In the Heart of the Sea, directed by Ron Howard and starring Chris Hemsworth.
"Bartleby" (also known as "Bartleby the Scrivener") is an intriguing moral allegory set in the business world of mid-19th-century New York. A strange, enigmatic man employed as a clerk in a legal office, Bartleby forces his employer to come to grips with the most basic questions of human responsibility, and haunts the latter's conscience, even after Bartleby's dismissal.
"Benito Cereno," considered one of Melville's best short stories, deals with a bloody slave revolt on a Spanish vessel. A splendid parable of man's struggle against the forces of evil, the carefully developed and mysteriously guarded plot builds to a dramatic climax while revealing the horror and depravity of which man is capable.
Reprinted here from standard texts in a finely made, yet inexpensive new edition, these stories offer the general reader and students of Melville and American literature sterling examples of a literary giant at his story-telling best.
Melville's critical fortunes temporarily rebounded in the early to mid-1850s, with the favorable reception of his contributions to Harper's and Putnam's—two of the era's leading monthly magazines. This collection features fourteen of his works of short fiction from that period—most prominently, "The Encantadas or Enchanted Isles." This series of descriptive sketches, a reminiscence from Melville's sailor days, reveals the ecologically pristine Galápagos Islands as both enchanting and horrifying. The other stories showcase the author's mastery of a diverse range of writing styles. "The Lightning-Rod Man" demonstrates his deftness at Dickensian comedy, and "The Piazza" anticipates his subsequent absorption with poetry. "The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids," with its incisive contrast of upper-class frivolity with the desperate lives of factory workers, offers a moving portrait of social inequality. These rediscovered tales by a writer who was ahead of his time provide a captivating blend of artistry and cultural commentary.
Along with excerpts from Moby-Dick, this anthology presents the complete text of Melville's classic of travel and adventure literature, Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life. Additional features include the short stories "Bartleby the Scrivener," "The Paradise of Bachelors and the Tartarus of Maids," and "The Encantadas or Enchanted Isles."
Here are ten stories that represent some of the best short work of American master Herman Melville, including "Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall-Street," "The Happy Failure," and "The Paradise of Bachelors and The Tartarus of Maids."
Alongside THE HAPPY FAILURE, Harper Perennial will publish the short fiction of Fyodor Dostoevsky, Leo Tolstoy, Willa Cather, Stephen Crane, and Oscar Wilde to be packaged in a beautifully designed, boldly colorful boxset in the aim to attract contemporary fans of short fiction to these revered masters of the form. Also, in each of these selections will appear a story from one of the new collections being published in the "Summer of the Short Story." A story from Alex Burrett's forthcoming collection, MY GOAT ATE ITS OWN LEGS, will be printed at the back of this volume.
“Bartleby, the Scrivener” is an amusing tale by Herman Melville, author of Moby-Dick, which has been studied and interpreted in countless ways over the years. Some scholars claim that the character of Bartleby is a response to American transcendentalism, while others suggest that he reflects Melville’s disillusionment with his writing career. Whatever the case, “Bartleby, the Scrivener” has become one of the most famous early American short stories, paving the way for other absurdist literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
HarperCollins brings great works of literature to life in digital format, upholding the highest standards in ebook production and celebrating reading in all its forms. Look for more titles in the HarperCollins short-stories collection to build your digital library.
The Scarlet Letter vividly records America’s moral and historical roots in Puritan New England and masterfully re-creates a society’s preoccupation with sin, guilt, and pride.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn carries readers along on Huck’s unforgettable journey down the Mississippi in America’s foremost comic epic—the first great novel in a truly American voice.
The Red Badge of Courage re-creates the brutal reality of war and its psychological impact on a young Civil War soldier in one of the most moving and widely read American novels.
Billy Budd, Sailor, and Other Stories joins the world’s great tragic literature as a doomed seaman becomes the innocent victim of a clash between social authority and individual freedom.
From the Paperback edition.