Written in seclusion following the intense negative public reaction to the publication of his novel Pierre, The Piazza Tales is Melville's accessible and entertaining collection of short stories concerning love, labor and loss. The collection includes the author's three most important achievements in the genre of short fiction, Bartleby, the Scrivener, Benito Cereno, and The Encantadas, his sketches of the Galapagos Islands. Melville had originally intended to entitle the volume Benito Cereno and Other Sketches, but settled on the definitive title after he had written the introductory story, which concerns the coincidental meeting of mutual long-distance admirers separated by a valley in the mountains.
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