Maupassant's early story "Boule de Suif," ("Ball-of-Tallow") from 1880, remains a hallmark and a natural starting point. It's about a prostitute whose refrain, like Bartleby's, is that she would prefer not to—in this case, a Prussian officer asks repeatedly for the pleasure of her intimate company, and she invariably denies him. Unlike Bartleby, though, Boule de Suif must eventually give in, not by any defect of will but because of peer pressure.
© 2018 OreganPpublishing (audiobook)
© 2018 Guy de Maupassant (audiobook)