This time on The Black Laser Reads we visit Herman Melville’s classic tale of capitalist woe “Bartleby the Scrivener”. You didn’t think we were the first generation to feel ground to death under the heel of our economic system, did you?
You might have read this story in high school English, as I did, and not realized how funny it was. A quick scan of the Goodreads reviews reveals a bunch of readers taking this story very seriously. But I think it’s actually quite humorous, especially in the contrast between the narrator’s uppity opinions of himself and his staff and the reality betrayed by their actions.
I tried to inject a little personality into the performance of this one. It’s easy to lose that in the old fashioned writing style, but there’s plenty of it in the text if you can coax it out a little (and deal with all the commas and semi-colons). It was certainly lost on me the first time I read the story as a 16 year old or whatever back in the 1900s. It was a pleasant discovery as I looked through texts for my next read.
Listen and enjoy.
I apologize to my British readers for Turkey’s accent. I did my best. I will work on it for the future.
I’ve got a nice spooky one lined up for next time. If you’d like to be notified when it comes out, subscribe to e-mail notifications and you don’t even need to remember to check. It just shows up! Easy!