Melville is most famous for his masterpiece Moby-Dick, but his 1853 short story Bartleby is a wonder, and his protagonist’s repeated “I prefer not to” is one of the most famous lines in American literature. Novelist Sophie Hannah called it “a flawless and ambiguous work of art.” She writes, “Bartleby, blank in character, tests the characters of others. … Bartleby is pure enigma.”
This panel discussion will include Stanford Professor Robert Pogue Harrison, author, director of Another Look, host of the radio talk show and podcast series Entitled Opinions, and a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books, and Stanford Professor Tobias Wolff, one of America’s leading writers and the founding director of Another Look, as well as a recipient of the National Medal of Arts. Two special guests will round out the high-powered panel out to four: Robert’s brother Thomas Harrison, professor of European Languages and Transcultural Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and Katie Peterson, an award-winning poet and Stanford alum.
An audience Q&A will follow the discussion.
This event is sponsored by the Stanford Division of Literatures, Cultures, and Languages, the Stanford Humanities Center, and the Continuing Studies Program at Stanford.
Stanford Humanities Center
424 Santa Teresa Street
Also online via Zoom