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Slap, J.W. (1976). American Imago. XXXI, 1974: Melville's Lost Self: Bartleby. Christopher Bollas. Pp. 401-411.. Psychoanal Q., 45:492-493.
    
Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing: American Imago. XXXI, 1974: Melville's Lost Self: Bartleby. Christopher Bollas. Pp. 401-411.

(1976). Psychoanalytic Quarterly, 45:492-493

American Imago. XXXI, 1974: Melville's Lost Self: Bartleby. Christopher Bollas. Pp. 401-411.

Joseph William Slap

Herman Melville's Bartleby is a tale about a pallid, forlorn young man who is hired as a scrivener by the elderly, blithely cheerful employer-narrator. Bartleby disrupts the routine of the office when he 'prefers not to' engage in certain assigned tasks and upsets his employer greatly. Eventually, Bartleby dies a pathetic death in prison. Bollas sees the employer-narrator and Bartleby as two aspects of one psyche. Bartleby is the repudiated true self behind the cheerful façade of the executant self represented by the employer-narrator. In

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the course of the story, Bartleby assaults the narrator's defenses, forces the narrator to feel the needs and pain of the true self, 'and to acknowledge its absence as a horrid personal loss'.

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Article Citation

Slap, J.W. (1976). American Imago. XXXI, 1974. Psychoanal. Q., 45:492-493

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