The Classic Tales Podcast
Designed to make classic literature less intimidating, The Classic Tales Podcast has been showcasing the greatest literary authors for years. Narrating with gusto, BJ Harrison performs each word of the classic texts, elevating them with character voices, sharp accents and bridled emotion. Adventure, Mystery, Horror, Humor and more - The Classic Tales Podcast has something for everybody. It really is The Cure for the Common Commute. Winner - Outstanding Podcast Host: Arts and Entertainment , Society of Voice Arts and Sciences- 2022 Winner of w3 Silver Award by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts-2022 Winner of w3 Gold Award by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts-2021 Winner of Independent Audiobook Award for "Scaramouche", by Raphael Sabatini - 2021

The life of a scrivener is an existence resigned to the handwritten copying of law documents. One day something clicks in Bartleby, and his simple reply to everything is: “I prefer not to.” Herman Melville, today on The Classic Tales Podcast. 

Welcome to this Vintage Episode of The Classic Tales Podcast. Thank you for listening. 

A Vintage Episode is released every Tuesday. If the show has helped you find comfort, peace, or a quiet place to mentally rest, please help us to help more people like you by going to, and becoming a supporter. New stories are coming your way on Friday. 

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Today’s story was published anonymously in 1853. Melville was in a bit of financial straits at the time, since his last two novels, Moby Dick and Pierre, didn’t sell well at all. 

Melville's major source of inspiration for the story was an advertisement for a new book, The Lawyer's Story, by James A. Maitland. This advertisement included the complete first chapter, which started: "In the summer of 1843, having an extraordinary quantity of deeds to copy, I engaged, temporarily, an extra copying clerk, who interested me considerably, in consequence of his modest, quiet, gentlemanly demeanor, and his intense application to his duties." Melville biographer Hershel Parker said nothing else in the chapter besides this "remarkably evocative sentence" was notable.

It's never directly addressed why Bartleby acts the way he does, and the author has left it open to interpretation. Many critics posit that his behavior is due to depression. 

And now, Bartleby, the Scrivener, by Herman Melville

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Direct download: CT_932_BartlebytheScrivenerVE.mp3
Category:Literature -- posted at: 12:30am MDT