Tuesday, October 17th
Translator Paul Eprile will be reading from his translation of winner Jean Giono’s Melville: A Novel. It has never been translated into English before.
Melville: A Novel is a work with a unique pedigree. Eighty years after it appeared in English, Moby Dick was translated into French for the first time by the Provençal novelist Jean Giono. The publisher persuaded Giono to write a preface, however Giono took unusual latitudes with this instruction, producing instead something that would transcend the original source material. The result was Melville: A Novel — part biography, part philosophical rumination, part romance, part unfettered fantasy. Paul Eprile’s expressive translation of this intimate homage brings the exchange full circle.
“Giono illustrates how an author’s artistic output enriches and illuminates his life, in ways that historical facts cannot provide…Giono expands Melville’s context, painting him as a transatlantic heir to Milton and Shakespeare. At the same time, he also expands Melville’s own influence, cementing his impact on French culture, which has been considerable.”
— Los Angeles Review of Books
Paul’s passion for the French language and French literature, and a fascination with Provence, led him to begin translating the works of Jean Giono. His first translation, Hill (Colline) was published by New York Review Books in 2016. The second, Melville: A Novel (Pour saluer Melville) will appear in September 2017. Paul is now working on a third Giono novel, The Open Road (Les grands chemins).
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