The Piazza Tales
The Piazza Tales

The Piazza Tales is a collection of six short stories by American writer Herman Melville; The Piazza, Bartleby, the Scrivener, Benito Cereno, The Lightning-Rod Man, The Encantadas, or Enchanted Isles, The Bell-Tower. In "The Piazza", specially written as an introductory story to the volume, the protagonist idealizes a radiant spot on the mountain he looks upon from his piazza. This spot is a house and one day he goes to the cottage, only to find the unhappy girl Marianna, who longs to see the lucky individual who lives in the white house she looks upon from her window. The narrator understands that he himself has been the object of a fantasy not unlike his own, and leaves thinking how all idealism is an illusion.

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