Essays and Appreciations in Honor of Michael J. Colacurcio’s 50 Years of Teaching
Edited By Carol M. Bensick
Bartleby and the Prophet of Reality
I first attempted to write about “Bartleby, The Scrivener” in my first semester of graduate school, in Prof. Colacurcio’s seminar on “The American Renaissance” (and as framed by the emergence of a scholarly American Renaissance Renaissance). Returning my paper with generous words of encouragement delivered in what he has called his “own astringent manner,” he concluded with a challenge: “Can you imagine a lucid form of this argument?”1 I have been attempting to do so ever since.
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