|The purpose of these pages is to progressively review a number of Simenon's Maigret stories or novels set in France outside of
In some cases determination of the locality will not bring on many problems because the leads and indications in the work are clear and self-evident. In these cases the issue will be to take a closer look at the setting, meaning to clarify its situation.
Sometimes statements of the author himself, in other works or in interviews or discussions, guide us to the actual setting. In the works where Simenon, for some reason, omits to report the locality or chooses to rename it, these clues are to be valued. In these cases some detective work will be necessary and occasionally even careful analysis will only produce a theory.
The extensive biographical data about the writer, his life and his whereabouts will be of much help in this task. Simenon always wrote about places he knew and that made an impression, good or poor. Given this fact delving into this subject will be much facilitated by the certainty: the locality is real and Simenon has been there. There is no danger of rummaging around to find a fabrication. It is just not Simenon's approach. He wrote about people he met and knew, they've been given the names of real persons and they lived in existent places.
|A view of Meung-sur-Loire, the village where Maigret lived after his retirement|
|Please click on the button next to the French titles on the left to go to the comprehensive analysis of the novels and stories.|
has been some discussion about the importance of thorough searching
into the subject of locality in Simenon's work. Nobody has
to be convinced of the relativity of significance of this research for
understanding, appreciating and enjoying the oeuvre.
In the Bulletin-section of Steve Trussel's Simenon's Maigret Website a participant (Dave Drake) states that there are two perspectives from which one can approach the work of an author like Simenon and his Maigret-novels: micro- or macro-oriented.
|La nuit du
à deux sous
|Source de la Grande Grille in Vichy where Maigret had to - drink the waters -|
|Vente à la
first orientation moves toward an approach in which each story is
important and each detail is significant in understanding and
appreciating the work.
With the second orientation the reader attaches more importance on the work as a whole. The reader tilts toward an interest in Maigret's live and career rather than deepening out each and every aspect of a separate book.
It is obvious that one orientation doesn't rule out the other. Interest in the broader context doesn't exclude curiosity for the precise elements that compose the intrigue and surroundings of a specific story, or the other way around.
is true that the writer himself reacted often irritatedly when
attention was directed to ingredients of similarity between his own
experiences and the circumstances in his work. It is likely that he had
his reasons for taking this position. Analyzing his mind set in this
issue would lead too far.
It seems logical and reasonable for the readers who devoured the Maigret-novels and the thousands of Maigret-devotees to take a genuine interest in all aspects and characteristics of the novels.
France is a beautiful and exciting country. Simenon's bright and dramatic description of the surroundings in which his stories develop generate curiosity for these settings and make the inquisitive reader wonder: what they would really have looked like.
Guido de Croock
Hulst - The Netherlands
|Postcards on this WebPage depict general sites and situations mentioned in Maigret-novels and therefore will be
familiar to devoted readers.
All Postcard from Mediasys - France.
|Le notaire de
|Le charretier de
|For more information on localities go to the Travel Log|
|A view of the small town of Luçon where Maigret had to stay - in exile - for a while.|
|Writing the text on this website in English, so that a larger number of Maigret-devotees could be reached, was not
self-evident. My own language is Dutch.
I could not have done this without the much appreciated help of my friends Nicole Van Wayenbergh and Peter Cremers.
All remaining mistakes and errors are only the result of my own limited knowledge of the English language and my headiness.
|Go to a novel or story analysis - Click on the title|
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