Yesterday, out drinking booze at Manchester's Cornerhouse, a young woman walked passed me with a Bartleby shoulder bag. OMG! How jealous am I? I want a Bartleby shoulder bag! Where on earth did she get it!?

The bag simply said, as you'd expect, in pretty large font, "I would prefer not to" and, beneath the quote, had the word Bartleby. Very simple. Very cool.

Readers Comments

  1. How cool. I'm moving back to Manchester!

    lee x

  2. In one of their occasional attempts to cultivate a more modern guise, the Law Lords recently commissioned a consultancy firm with literary pretensions to undertake a re-branding exercise for the Old Bailey. Their proposal of a new logo bearing the opening words from Gaddis' A Frolic of His Own did not meet with universal approval... "Justice? - You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law."

  3. Could it possibly be a customised bag off those create your own text/logo sites?

  4. Could this be it:

  5. Nice spot Rowan - very cool.

  6. I'm going to have to read Bartleby The Scrivener, now, to find out what the context is, aren't I?

  7. Nice quote, Robin, thanks for it.

    Thanks for finding the bag Rowan -- yay!

    Yes Stewart you are! But, you know, it is only tiny (Melville House have a lovely version).

  8. Yes, the Melville House one is lovely. Or Hesperus do one which also includes Benito Cereno, and has an introduction by Patrick McGrath. Which is the edition I have, and which also needs me to read it soon.

    Rather daftly, I read Enrique Vila-Matas's novel Bartleby & Co, which extrapolates the idea of "preferring not to", without having read Bartleby itself. Enjoyed it anyway, but suspect I would have got a lot more out of it. Didn't stop me buying Vila-Matas's Montano('s Malady), which I really AM going to read ANY DAY NOW.

  9. Much as I like the look of the Art of the Novella series, I much prefer the Contemporary Art of the Novella series, and only wish they'd put out more of them, since I've got the seven they put out and want more, more, more. Damn scarcity and unlimited wants.

  10. My boss jokingly called me Bartleby for a couple years before I read the book -- it's possible I even told him at the time "I would prefer not to" read it.

    I'm buying that bag!

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