Melville: A Novel

Category: Book
Translated By: Eprile, Paul
By (author): Giono, Jean
Introduction By: White, Edmund
Subject:  FICTION / Biographical
  FICTION / In Translation / French
  FICTION / Literary
  FICTION / Psychological
Publisher: New York Review Books
Published: September 2017
Format: Book-paperback
Pages: 128
Size: 8.00in x 5.00in
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Additional Notes

From The Publisher*Moby-Dick looms large in the world's imagination. But until the mid-1930s-eighty years after it first appeared in English-it remained unavailable in French. The Provençal novelist Jean Giono fell in love with the book. He inspired his friend Lucien Jacques to join him in the project of rendering Melville's stirring prose. After they finished, their publisher persuaded Giono to write a preface. Giono was unwilling at first to accept-the translation had taken a few years to complete, and he was eager to move on. But he was brought around by the desire to introduce Melville to the French public.

The result, issued as a separate volume in French, is an unparalleled intercultural creation, part preface, part biography, part philosophical rumination, part romance, part unfettered fantasy. The French publisher continues to classify it as "un essai," a literary experiment. Melville: A Novel is an intimate homage from one great writer to another, across time and space, a true meeting of French and American minds. Paul Eprile's meticulous translation of this startling text brings the exchange full circle.
Review Quote*"Melville...is a powerful testament to the magic of words." -Edmund White, The New York Review of Books
 
"After reading Pour saluer Melville, which is a poet's interpretation of a poet-‘a pure invention,' as Giono said in a letter-I was literally beside myself. How often is it the foreigner who teaches us to appreciate our own authors!" -Henry Miller
Biographical NoteJean Giono (1895–1970), one of the foremost French authors of the 20th century, wrote thirty works of fiction. Many have been translated into English, including The Horseman on the Roof, Second Harvest, and a fictionalized memoir, Blue Boy. NYRB Classics also publishes Hill, translated by Paul Eprile.

Paul Eprile is a longtime publisher (Between the Lines, Toronto), as well as a poet and translator. He lives on the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, Canada.

Edmund White has written biographies of Jean Genet, Marcel Proust, and Arthur Rimbaud. He has also written several novels; the most recent is Our Young Man. He teaches creative writing at Princeton.