Life in Paris in 1940 was anything but normal. The German army had just marched into the city and would proceed to occupy it for four years. And yet, one aspect of life did continue relatively unabated: The translation of the works of the deceased American author Herman Melville. Melville, who is best known for penning the classic tome Moby-Dick, had been a commercial flop during his life, but he experienced a posthumous comeback in France in the 1940s.

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