Ah Bartleby! Ah humanity!

2 Jul

Friday afternoon, slacking off at work, so just re-read the epic Herman Melville short-story Bartleby, The Scrivener. A Story of Wall-Street. It’s such a great story; Bartleby is kind of the epitome of passive-aggressiveness, or maybe just passive-resistance. Either way, now I know I can out pas-ag my flatmates any day with his “I’d prefer not to” quip. Pretty sure it will even beat the (semi) ironic “There, I said it.” I won’t be silently starving myself to death though, that’s a bit too extreme, even for me.

Anyway, at the end of the story, the narrator discovers that Bartleby used to work at a Dead Letter Office, something I’d never heard of- thank you, wikipedia. It’s a place where undeliverable letters are stored, emptied of any valuables (which are auctioned off) and eventually burned, all for the sake of privacy. I know that realistically, most of the stuff in DLOs would be bills and junk mail, but the romantic in me just can’t stop thinking about the gems that could be there- declarations of undying love, long-lost sibling reconciliations, invitations to appear on Jerry Springer, Jilly Cooper’s original Riders manuscript, proof that R Patz and K Stew really are dating; the mind boggles. Lordy, what I would give for a day in one of those joints.

So I’ll be day-dreaming DLOs’ contents for the rest of the afternoon. That and listening to eminem’s newest album (comment TBC). Too good.


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