Herman Melville

Herman Melville was an essential American novelist, best known today for the novel Moby-Dick, the novella Billy Budd, and the short story "Bartleby the Scrivener" (all little-noticed in their time, unlike his early bestsellers).
 

"There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke, though the wit thereof he but dimly discerns, and more than suspects that the joke is at nobody's expense but his own."

— Herman Melville, Moby-Dick