"Two of the smartest inquiries into the psychopathology of paperwork were published in the nineteenth century: Herman Melville’s Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street (1853) and Gustave Flaubert’s Bouvard and Pécuchet (1881). Critics have tended to interpret these texts as allegories of the creative process or capitalism or some other, loftier problem. This may well be the case. But if they were allegorical, they were also topical. Melville and Flaubert were both interested in the physical and psychical consequences of office work."
Ben Kafka, “Pushing Paper,” published in Lapham’s Quarterly
I agree with this wholeheartedly. Kafka makes many great points throughout.