Bartleby’s determined, heroic nihilism, his consistent answer to his work, his employer and to life, “I would prefer not to”, are too well known to require further exposition. The book is incontrovertibly a long short story. It is, though, almost too philosophical to count, the pushing of an obsessive idea beyond the bounds of credibility.
First published in Putnam’s Magazine, November-December 1853, and collected in The Piazza Tales, Dix & Edwards, 1856. Now widely available, including in Billy Budd, Bartleby, and Other Stories, Penguin Classics. Available online at Project Gutenberg