The Piazza Tales

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Copyright: This work is in the public domain in the USA only.

The Piazza -- Bartleby -- Benito Cereno -- The Lightning-Rod Man -- The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles -- The Bell-Tower.

Herman Melville's dark and brilliant late works contain some of his most powerful writing. After "Moby-Dick" he turned from the high seas to record his keen, bleak vision of life at home in America. "Pierre," "Israel Potter," and "The Confidence-Man," satirical dissections of moral breakdown and social hypocrisy, anticipate modernist fiction with their black humor and formal experimentation. With them here are "The Piazza Tales"--including "Bartelby the Scrivener," "The Encantadas," and "Benito Cereno"--and the haunting, posthumously published masterpiece, "Billy Budd, Sailor." Rounding out this third volume of Melville's complete prose in the Library of America are many pieces rarely collected, including magazine stories, comic sketches, and reviews of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Francis Parkman, and James Fenimore Cooper.