I Would Prefer Not To
In an unlikely pairing Occupy Wall Street has teamed up with Herman Melville to bolster its cause. Melville's famous short story Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street is set to become another poster boy for the Occupy movement.
On Thursday, November 10 in Zuccotti park there will be a lull in the drum circles and guitar playing around 3 p.m. Occupy Wall Street, in coordination with the Housingworks Bookstore Cafe, has organized a live group reading of Melville's short story, Bartleby the Scrivener.
Little did Mellville know that his short stories would provide fodder for a movement that occured a century and a half after the original story was published. However, the story could not be better suited to the cause. The narrator, a Wall Street lawyer is confronted with an impertinent employee who's mantra becomes "I would prefer not to." The lawyer quickly finds that "nothing so aggravates an earnest person as a passive resistance."
The Occupiers will take turns reading from the short story and have invited the general public to join in. They have also intentionally placed the event in the middle of the work day.
Occupy has permeated far and wide. It was only a matter of time before they came for you, Melville.
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