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Written in seclusion following the intense negative public reaction to the publication of his novel Pierre, The Piazza Tales is Herman Melville's accessible and entertaining collection of short stories and novellas concerning love, labor, and loss. The collection includes his three most important achievements in the genre of short fiction: the short story "Bartleby, the Scrivener" and the novellas Benito Cereno and The Encantadas. 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, a tale concerning the coincidental meeting of mutual long-distance admirers separated by a valley in the mountains.
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