TYPE TYPE TALK
Translator Paul Eprile talks Jean Giono and Melville: A Novel > OCTOBER 4
To celebrate the New York Review of Books Classics re-release of Jean Giono's Melville: A Novel, translator Paul Eprile will be in Toronto to talk about Melville, his previous Giono translation, Hill, and what it's like to translate an acclaimed French author, who is, himself, imagining and interpreting a classic American novel. Penguin Random House Canada and Type Books are very proud to present this singular work.
In the fall of 1849, Herman Melville traveled to London to deliver his novel White-Jacket to his publisher. On his return to America, Melville would write Moby-Dick. Melville: A Novel imagines what happened in between: the adventurous writer fleeing London for the country, wrestling with an angel, falling in love with an Irish nationalist, and, finally, meeting the angel’s challenge—to express man’s fate by writing the novel that would become his masterpiece.
Eighty years after it appeared in English, Moby-Dick was translated into French for the first time by the Provençal novelist Jean Giono and his friend Lucien Jacques. The publisher persuaded Giono to write a preface, granting him unusual latitude. The result was this literary essay, 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.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jean Giono was born in 1895 in Manosque, Provence, and lived there most of his life. He supported his family working as a bank clerk for eighteen years before his first two novels were published, thanks to the generosity of André Gide, to critical acclaim. He went on to write thirty novels, including The Horseman on the Roof, and numerous essays and stories. In 1953, the year in which he wrote The Man who Planted Trees, he was awarded the Prix Monégasque for his collective work. Jean Giono died in October 1970.
ABOUT THE TRANSLATOR
Paul Eprile is a longtime publisher (Between the Lines, Toronto), as well as a poet and translator. He is currently at work on the translation of Jean Giono’s 1951 novel, The Open Road (forthcoming from NYRB), and lives on the Niagara Escarpment in Ontario, Canada.
Celebration of Jean Giono's Melville: A Novel
with a short talk by translator Paul Eprile
Type Books, 883 Queen Street West
Wednesday, October 4, 6-8 pm