April 1st, 2002

Nippers & Kenge, Ltd.

Some time ago, gaal dropped a reference to Herman Melville's short story Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall St. in a conversation, and realized that I missed it. He called my attention to it, and urged me to read the story. Guilt-ridden at not having read Moby Dick yet (but hey, I practically memorized the illustrated children's book, and loved Gregory Peck's Ahab in the movie), I actually went ahead and read it.

After one page of Melville's delightful prose, I stopped to check the author's name again. Isn't it Charles Dickens? The language, the rhythm, it was all so Dickensian! I had no idea Melville wrote that way. The main difference, in my opinion, is Dickens' humor, which Melville doesn't share. But both are masters of description and of the construction of rich, beautiful prose.

The story is superb. If you don't have access to a printed version, it is available in the Bartleby Project. Read it.

I, on the other hand, must now read Moby Dick. Right after the two-dozen books I'm in the middle of already.
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