Maigret mini-mystery #1
1/1/2000 - Happy New Year to all Maigret fans!
"Dis donc, Emma..." in Le chien jaune, chapter 2.
Dis donc, Jacques... Naturally, someone from Simenon's hometown!
Maigret Handbooks - 1/6/00
L'Univers de Simenon (Presses de la Cité, 1983, 492 pp.) is out-of-print and hard to find. I've just received a copy by mail (from Chapitre.com, where I've located other out-of-print Simenon-related books in French). Produced under the direction of Maurice Piron, with the collaboration of Michel Lemoine, subtitled "A Guide to the Novels and Stories of Georges Simenon, 1931-1972." The format is uniform: The works are arranged chronologically by publication date; each novel is treated in a two-page spread, with the right hand page a summary, and the left a synopsis showing the time and location, Maigret's (or other main character's) situation, the principal characters, and significant aspects of the text. Short stories have a summary page only. Part 1 contains 117 "novels of destiny", Part 2, the 76 Maigret novels (including Maigret's Christmas, grouped with short stories in my lists - see Pages), Part 3, 23 non-Maigret short stories, Part 4, the 26 Maigret short stories, and appendices with lists of dates and locations. (The short story Menaces de mort was not included, nor the four "pre-Maigrets".)
Jean Forest's Les Archives Maigret (Les Presses de l'Université de Montréal, 1994, 288 pp.), "Analytic catalog of the 107 Investigations," which is in print, is an essentially similar work, but Maigret-specific. Forest's work includes the four pre-Maigrets, as well as a "place-holder" for Menaces de mort, since he didn't have access to the work itself, for a total of 107 numbered investigations. (Novels and short stories are not distinguished, and receive the same treatment, a summary page and analytic synopsis.) There are some additional categories on the synopsis page, and some different lists in the appendix - index to the characters, ages of Maigret - and a bibliography. Forest, of course, gives credit to Piron's work on his acknowledgements page, and to Claude Menguy and others for bibliographic material, etc.
The newest - and smallest - Maigret guide, is Bernard Alavoine's Les enquêtes de Maigret de Georges Simenon; Lecture des textes. (Encrage, 1999, 120 pp.) This is the second Encrage volume on Simenon by Alavoine; the first, Georges Simenon, parcours d'un uvre (1998), is a longer work. Alavoine is also the author of Simenon: l'homme, l'univers, la création (1993). I've just received this volume, so I haven't read it yet, but for the most part it's text, and, from the table of contents, looks very interesting. There are short plot summaries for the novels appearing in the last quarter of the book.
I've translated here the respective pages for "The Madman of Bergerac" from these three volumes for comparison (and appended my own summary). Caution: Don't read these if you don't want to know how the story ends! Without comparing in any more detail, it seems that if you read French and your interest is Maigret, Forest's work is the case-by-case Maigret handbook, Alavoine's looks like worthwhile, interesting reading, and you don't have to worry much about trying to locate a copy of L'Univers, which started everyone else off. (On the other hand, where else can you find plot summaries of those 140 other Simenon novels and stories?)
Maigret and the Vanished 52 Rupert Davies BBC Episodes
1/6/00 - People often ask about the existence of the Rupert Davies series. I remember watching them with barely suppressed excitement many years ago. That distinctive music and the scratch of Maigret's match on the wall before he lit his pipe prior to stepping forth to solve another mystery. I often wondered if copies existed; I suspect they do not. In Peter Haining's "The Complete Maigret" [p. 61] there is an awful quote from Simenon's Memoirs : "There was, however, one clause in the contract that I did not read carefully, and which I was to become aware of only a dozen years later. It provided that, at the expiration of the contract, all prints and negatives were to be destroyed in the presence of a bailiff, so that today there is no trace left of those fifty-two Maigrets." Quelle Horreur!
No trace? The question is, are there any recordings left in the English-speaking world?
Wellington, New Zealand
Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine
1/12/00 - A little over a year ago (actually 10/13/98, now that I check the archives), I wondered out loud about the appearance of Maigret short stories in EQMM. Since then, after identifying them with the help of Peter Foord's fine (though hard to find - out of print, limited edition of 300 copies) 1988 bibliography (Georges Simenon - A Bibliography of the British First Editions...) I've managed to locate the 20 issues, containing 19 of the 26 stories which appeared in English. These can be seen on the EQMM page, along with cover images and introductions. It's interesting that some of the translations are by translators other than those in the published collections, and that many of the titles (though not the stories, of course) are unique to the EQMM editions. Most of these are marked "first publication in the US" - and it seems like the first publications in English were in the UK Argosy magazine... anyone have any info on that?
A unique glimpse of Maigret
1/19/00 - Rereading my battered old paperback of "Madame Maigret's Own Case" the other day, I was delighted to find a very surprising scene I had totally forgotten: Commissaire Maigret singing in the bath tub to express his joy over a sunny, warm Sunday morning in March. Formidable!
Yes, it's true! I had to search my copy three times to find the reference, and I won't ruin it for you if you want to search yourself, but for those who need to know where, click here.
Maigret outside Paris
1/26/00 - Bonjour, everyone,
And thank you Steve for providing this wonderful ongoing conversation.
I'm an academic, so I have to ask an academic question. Does anyone recall reading a Maigret in which 1. our favorite cop is working on a case outside Paris and 2. the history of the region, whether French, Dutch, or whatever, is of some interest in the story itself? The only one I'm aware of is "Maigret Afraid," ("Maigret a Peur"), set in the Vendee region. If you can help, I'd be most grateful.
||2/3/00 - A new book on Simenon and his works by Lucille Becker, from Twayne Publishers. (Click the image to see Amazon's listing.) Becker wrote the original Twayne's Georges Simenon for their World Authors Series in 1977. The dustjacket blurb is here. Becker begins her preface: |
"The present volume, Georges Simenon Revisited, is a return after twenty years to my literary biography, Georges Simenon (Twayne Publishers), enriched with new material and new insights into the author's life and work. At that time, Simenon was known principally as the author of detective novels, a genre relegated to the status of paraliterature, without recognition of the fact that even in his detective novels, baptized the "Maigrets," Simenon recreated the genre and transformed it into a viable literary genre in which he expressed some of the most important themes of the twentieth-century novel..."
Maigret mini-mystery #2
"Maigret from behind, by the Swedish artist, Kjell Ivan Anderson. All that can be seen of the front of him is his faithful pipe. Maigret has a far more natural attitude towards his pipes than Holmes. He loves them as he loves his wife. Once after buying himself a pipe, he was smitten with remorse, and went into the next shop to send his wife a handkerchief embroidered with the arms of Lausanne. Typical Maigret."
The Murder Book
In which story did Maigret do that? (answer)
Tage la Cour & Harald Mogensen
Herder & Herder, 1971, p. 169
A Maigret thread in the rec.arts.mystery newsgroup, 1/30 - 2/3/00:
A: Has anyone seen the 1988 movie MAIGRET with Richard Harris as Maigret? I find that casting really odd. I know it got poor reviews but I wouldn't mind seeing it just for the novelty value.
B: It was the worst! Spare yourself the pain.
A: Thanks! That's more or less what I figured.
C: Worse than Charles Laughton as Maigret?
A: While admitting that Charles Laughton's Maigret was far removed from Simenon's character I thought it was kind of fun.
D: In spite of being a huge Maigret/Simenon fan, I had no idea that any movies were made. Have there been any others that were not yet mentioned? Thanks!
C: Allen J. Hubin's "Crime Fiction III" has a long list of movies made from Simenon's novels.
A: There's a very good web site http://www.trussel.com/maig/maibib.htm which lists all the Maigret films (there's a lot of them). Jean Gabin made a whole series in French of which I've only managed to see one MAIGRET SETS A TRAP (excellent). Charles Laughton portrayed him in THE MAN ON THE EIFFEL TOWER but being Laughton he gave the character some eccentric twists. Strangely enough Simenon himself said the perfect Maigret was Welshman Rupert Davies who portrayed him in an early BBC series.
E: I thought that Michael Gambon was a pretty decent Maigret. Haven't seen any of the other performances, though.
F: Oh THAT brings back memories.... I can still hum the very atmospheric, and very French theme tune. The actual programmes are lost in the mists of time but the opening sequence showed a hand striking a match on a brick wall, then the camera followed the match as it lit up a pipe and then drew back to reveal Ripert Davies puffing away contentedly. The funny this is it's apprently ILLEGAL to strike matches on walls in Paris...
I didn't see the Richards Harris version, but it was universally panned in the UK press and I vividly remember Harris appearing on a radio programme a week or so later where he read through all the reviews and tore into the critics, more or less calling them useless tossers, and refused to accept that his performance just might have been bad.
G: I liked Michael Gambon in the few BBC episodes I saw. But Gambon does not try to imitate a French accent - he has beautiful English diction which he seldom alters (like James Mason).
G: I guess it wasn't BBC but apparently Granada Television (1992-93, 12 episodes).
Some say the BBC production of Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective, starring Michael Gambon, is the best made-for-television screenplay ever written - I wouldn't be surprized if they said the best made-for-*anything* screenplay ever written, and one of the best produced, casted & directed. Gambon was perfect in the role. It was the first time I was aware of JoAnne Whalley(-Kilmer) and Patrick Malahide. The old schoolmarm was absolutely perfect (can't remember her name) - and the school children were actually the residents of the mining village in the Forest of Dean (what does that say about the directing?!). Young Philip Marlow was also terrific.
H: They were made by Granada in Budapest. Cadfael is/was made in Hungary.
I: "Panic", a French film (50's?) was based on a Simenon. Great film!
J: Considering that Harris might have decided to sing his complaints this all sounds pretty mild.
K: I can see Ed Asner, Bob Hoskins, Walter Matthau, John Rhys-Davies, Ossie Davis (for the PC crowd), as Maigret. But not Richard Harris. Guiness always. Jackie Gleason would have been interesting casting. Charles Laughton, Orson Welles, were around during the time Simenon was writing.
2/24/2000 - A few weeks ago Jacques Dieu supplied the answer to the Maigret mini-mystery #1 the waitress in Le chien jaune, [Maigret and the Yellow Dog], chapter 2. But who were the others?
Here are the sources for all nine of the Maigret Emmas, a good example of what appears to be Simenon's tendency to use a name for a certain type of character in this case waitresses, maids, a dairy worker...
- Emma Chatereau of Lazicourt, old Gassin's sister: L'écluse n° 1 [The Lock at Charenton].
- Emma Aerts found hanging next to her husband aboard their barge: Les péniches aux deux pendus [Two Bodies on a Barge].
- The daughter of the proprieter at the Café de la Marine: Le charretier de la Providence [Maigret Meets a Milord].
- The plump 18-year-old who worked in a dairy: Signé Picpus [Maigret and the Fortuneteller].
- The maid at the Hôtel Beauséjour: L'amie de Mme Maigret [Madame Maigret's Friend].
- The cleaning woman at the boarding house on Rue Saint-Denis: Maigret chez le ministre [Maigret and the Calame Report].
- The 24-year-old waitress: Le chien jaune [Maigret and the Yellow Dog].
- Lucas' aunt, whom he'd asked his cousin Oscar Coutant about: Maigret se défend [Maigret on the Defensive].
- The waitress at Au Petit Chaudron on the Rue de Miromesnil: Maigret hésite [Maigret Hesitates].
Later Maigrets Best?
2/24/00 - Having read at least fifty Maigrets over the last several years, I find myself drawn more to the later titles in the series. Especially books like "Saturday Caller" and "On the Defensive." There doesn't seem to be a spare word, thought, or action in any of them. Some of the early Maigrets, such as "The Madman of Bergerac" and "The Sailors' Rendezvous," seem rather muddled. Has anyone else noticed this?
Crispin Jackson on Simenon's Maigret
||2/26/00 - Georges Simenon and 'Maigret', featured article by Crispin Jackson in the May, 1992 issue No. 98 of Book and Magazine Collector, including a collector's pricelist.
Book and Magazine Collector
43-45 St. Mary's Road
Ealing, London W5 5RQ, England
BILIPO - Bibliothèque des littératures policières
2/27/00 - When I mentioned BILIPO last October, I failed to give their website's URL: www.multimania.com/polar/polarweb/misc/bilipohp.htm.
"The Simenon of SciFi Writers"
3/2/00 - Spotted in an ad on eBay: Who doesn't miss the late, great, ubiquitous Isaac Asimov, the "Simenon of the SciFi Writers".
Cover Blurb from the first Penguin Maigret
3/2/00 - The first Penguin Maigret, published in New York in 1945, contained Liberty Bar and The Madman of Bergerac. It included on the back cover this introduction to Simenon, "whose real name is Georges Sim."
GEORGES SIMENON counts among his admirers not only fellow writers and literary critics, but people in all walks of life. His rooters include such well known people as Deems Taylor, William Saroyan, Jo Davidson, Roland Young, Claude Rains, T. S. Elliot and countless others
Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1903. His father was of Breton extraction and his mother Dutch. He wrote his first novel at the age of sixteen-and-a-half. Three years later he went to Paris, to take up his writing career in earnest.
Within the incredibly short time of two years, Simenon. whose real name is Georges Sim, wrote 19 stories, creating his "Inspector Maigret" series. His books have been translated in no less than seventeen countries.
Simenon's stories are distinguished by his talent for creating suspense and colorful atmosphere. They are a treat not only for habitual mystery readers but for others as well. For example, Esther Forbes writes: "I find the average detective story rather hard going but this is certainly far from average. There is an excitement to his work, or perhaps freshness is a better word. A lot of non-detective story readers are going to like Simenon."
Maigret on French TV
3/2/00 - Jérôme Devémy reports that a Bruno Cremer Maigret, based on the short story "Death of a Nobody" (On ne tue pas les pauvres types) will appear tomorrow on France Channel 2. The notice, which I've translated below, appeared on the France2 website, www.france2.fr.
Maigret Sees Double
Produced by François Luciani. Adapted by Pierre Granier.
Deferre: Dominique Roulet, after Georges Simenon
With: Bruno Cremer (Jules Maigret), Alexandre Brasseur (Paul), Laure Duthilleul (Evelyne Tremblet), Aladin Reibel (Magine), Julien Cafaro (inspecteur Olmetta), Eléonore Gosset (Francine), Consuelo de Haviland (Josette).
Summary: Maurice Tremblet, an accountant, father of four children, is found dead in his home, a bullet in his heart. According to his wife, Evelyne, he had led a calm, simple life, rather gloomy, his only passion a canary that she hated. Maigret discovers that Tremblet had rented a room in the hotel across from his home the night before, and that four years ago he had left the business in which he had worked, the plumbers Couvreur et Bouchard, where he was a model employee. Since his resignation no one, not even his oldest friend, Magine, had seen him. Evelyne Tremblet, to whom her husband gave his salary every month, is surprised by the news, but her daughter, Francine, a bank employee, confesses that her father had won 4 million in the lottery and that she knew that he no longer worked...
IN STEREO. Subtitling Teletext France 2. Time: 1h 28' 09"
"The Birth of Maigret"
3/5/00 - Last November I posted "The true beginnings of Commissioner Maigret," a translation of Claude Menguy and Pierre Deligny's paper which took issue with Simenon's "official version," as published as the foreword to his Complete Works (1966). I've now located and posted Simenon's article, La naissance de Maigret, along with my translation, The birth of Maigret, to make it easier to understand what Menguy and Deligny were discussing.
"La crime de Mr. Stil"?
3/5/00 - In 1999 there was a movie called 'La crime de Mr. Stil' (1995) on arte TV channel. It was said that it was an adaptation of a story from Simenon. So far, I have not found any hint in bibliographies about this story. The setting is in Gabon after the colonial period. A rich trader returns with a young woman from an orphanage in Europe to Gabon but marriage does not take place because of an affair of the woman with a black government official. Murder happens, of course.
I hope you might give a hint... Yours sincerely,
I haven't read these, but Assouline (p. 117) says "Three of Simenon's novels were inspired by his African tour: Le Coup de lune (Tropic Moon, 1933), 45° à l'ombre (Aboard the Aquitaine, 1936), and Le Blanc à lunettes (Talatala, 1937)."
Maigret a Milano
Simenon Biography by Bernard Alavoine online
|3/6/00 - Now online - Bernard Alavoine's biography of Simenon, with three dozen photos... (in French.)|
"Maigret Before Maigret"
3/6/00 - Along with Simenon's "The birth of Maigret," in the foreword to his Complete Works, was an article by the editor, Gilbert Sigaux, "Maigret avant Maigret," which I've translated here as "Maigret Before Maigret." Sigaux dismisses the possibility of constructing a true chronology of Maigret investigations, and seems to support Simenon's claim for Pietr-le-Letton being the "first" Maigret... contrary to later articles by Menguy and Deligny, and, to some extent, Lacassin.
"Just Like Inspector Maigret"
3/8/00 - Another Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine Maigret-related story, this one by Vincent McConnor, from the October, 1964 issue, Just Like Inspector Maigret, in which a Maigret fan solves a case in armchair-detective fashion. Not as good as the real thing, but a tribute nonetheless...|
Commissaire Marcel Guillaume and the Nozière Case
3/20/00 - Continuing my quest for information about Commissaire Guillaume, "the model for Maigret," I've run across an article in Police Detective magazine, the August, 1953 issue, which has a story on Guillaume and the notorious (1933) Nozière case, in which an 18-year-old girl attempted to kill her parents. It was the subject of a 1978 film by Claude Chabrol, Violette Nozière.
The article reveals Guillaume's first name, Marcel, and a new (for me) photo of him. It also mentions some Guillaume contemporaries, including the forensic physician who did the autopsy on Violette's father whereby the key discovery was made, that he died of Veronal (barbituate) poisoning, rather than gas from a suicide attempt who was none other than... Doctor Paul!! Is that a coincidence??
(Dr. Paul was the police pathologist in some 32 Maigret episodes, first appearing in 1936 in Les péniches aux deux pendus [Two bodies on a barge].)
3/21/00 - The New York Times online "Books" archive, starts with "The Maigret Machine" - a review of Pierre Assouline's "Simenon: A Biography" and includes a chapter from that book. There are five more articles, a set of early Maigret reviews, and numerous non-Maigret reviews.
|Simenon/Maigret in || Archives|
You have to register to use the archives, but it's free. If you have some problem with it, let me know, and I'll try to mirror the articles here...
Simenon Festival in Manosque: 3/25 - 3/31
3/21/00 - Simenon Festival in Manosque, France, March 25-31: Simenon m'était conté. Panel discussions, films, exhibits, book sales... Full notice is here.
(Manosque, in Provence, the south of France - pop. 19,104; dept: Alpes de Haute Provence. On A51 and N96 between Aix en Provence (47km.) and Digne (60km.).)
|Simenon Telephone Card
3/22/00 - Willy Innocenzi found this Belgian telephone card from the 1993 Liège Expo.
Maigret in Paris
3/26/00 - I heard the other day a rumor that there is now a guided tour in Paris of places connected with Maigret. I have not been able to find anything on the Internet. Since I am a life-long Maigret fan and am about to leave for ten days in Paris I would like to know more, if there is anything to this.
The French Connection
3/27/00 - David Logan of NYC has just sent copies of these articles, this one, Susan L. Dorff's from The Armchair Detective, Fall 1989: The French Connection: A short history of the roman policier from Vidocq (the real-life founder of the Sûreté) to Simenon's Maigret to France's current bestselling crime writer, Frédéric Dard. |
Simenon & Maigret
3/27/00 - The other article, Ira Ashcroft's Simenon & Maigret, from The Mystery Review, Summer 1998.|
Maigret en vacances
3/27/00 - A scene of Bruno Cremer in the television movie "Maigret en vacances." In the book, it took place in Les Sables d'Ologne, but here, as it was partly paid for by Belgian television, the action takes place in Belgium. There is also Maigret et l'Inspecteur Cadavre (1997).
The Man With Brown Shoes
3/31/00 - It is obviously a cultural, socio/economic or class "thing" even so I don't understand it. What I'm talking about are the brown shoes the man puts on after he leaves home and the fact that he also changes his tie before going home in Maigret And The Man On The Bench. My guess is that no respectable working man would wear brown shoes and a "loud" tie is this correct or does it go deeper? And was this a very pre-war/post-war thing? I realize I'm not framing this question very well, but perhaps someone will understand. Thank you.
Xavier Guichard - the Big Chief
|4/6/00 - Xavier Guichard, Maigret's first Chief, was a real person, born in Pesmes, Haute-Saône, in 1870. He was actually Director of the Police at Paris, an acquaintance of Simenon's.... and the boss of Commissaire Guillaume, one of the "models for Maigret."|
Prefectural Police Museum
4/9/00 - The Prefectural Police Museum in Paris had an exhibit a few months ago entitled "The 'CRIM': from Vidocq to Maigret, Myths and reality of the Criminal Brigade."
Though I missed that exhibit, I went to the museum last week. It is small, free, and has many official documents from before the French Revolution to the beginning of the 20th century. Official documents less than 100 years old cannot be shown to public, but they have material on well-known murderers like Dr. Petiot and Landru. All the documents are about real cases. There is nothing about Maigret. I asked the person in charge of the archives, and he said they used the name Maigret in their exhibit just because it was well known.
This is a scan of the cover of the booklet about the permanent exhibit
Le Musée de la Préfecture de Police
in the Police Station of the Ve arrondissement
1 bis, rue des Carmes, Paris Ve
The museum is open M-F 9:00-5:00,
Sat. 10:00-5:00, closed Sundays and holidays.
Czech Simenon fan club
4/14/00 - Hi, I would like to know if there is such a thing as a Czech Simenon fan club. Or does anyone know Czech people who know Simenon's bibliography extensively?
Regards from Prague,
Seeking Simenon in Mexico
4/14/00 - Hola! Siento informarle que no hablo mucho ingles, más bien mi vocabulario consta de un 50%. Quiero felicitarle por la página de Maigret, la verdad es que Georges Simenon me ha cautivado desde que tengo 13 años de edad, empece leyendo novelas de Ellery Queen, que me dejo fascinada y después mi primera novela policiaca propia fue una de Simenon, entonces me hice fanática del autor y me encantan sus historia, no hay día en el que no desee leer una nueva novela del autor. Pero por desgracia, se me es muy difícil encontrar sus títulos, desearía que usted me pudiera informar como puedo conseguirlos aquí en México o si hay forma de que alguien me los envíe y yo los pague con depósitos bancarios o algo así. Mis mas atentos saludos y felicitaciones. Espero una respuesta pronta, mi dirección es: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org. Gracias! Calurosamente: Alin Guaida Ochoa
[translation:] 4/14/00 - Hi! I don't speak much English, and my vocabulary is very small. Congratulations on your Maigret pages! Georges Simenon has been my favorite since I was thirteen, and not a day goes by when I don't seek a new novel of his. But, unfortunately, they are very hard for me to find here in Mexico. If there is someone who can help and supply them to me, perhaps there would be some way I could pay via a bank deposit or somehow. Please contact me at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you.
Alin Guaida Ochoa
Maigret is back on British television
5/1/00 - First the good news:- The Michael Gambon Maigret series is back on British television.
The bad news is that it is only on digital satellite ("Hallmark" on Sky package channel 190) and it is being shown at 12 noon on weekdays. But at least it is back on air.
5/2/00 - Good news for Maigret enthusiasts seeking Michael Gambon videos! The web site of UK video and audio book specialist Choices Direct (www.choicesdirect.co.uk) is offering Maigret- Complete First Series, a twinpack priced at 14.99 pounds sterling containing the six episodes from the 1992 series. Release date was 1 May 2000. Let's hope the second series will soon follow. Also available are two BBC Radio Collection double audio cassette packs, including a new one containing adaptations of Maigret Hesitates, Maigret Goes to School, Maigret and the Old Lady, and The Patience of Maigret. First broadcast on BBC Radio some 20 years ago, these are highly recommended.
Thanks for the all the good work on the excellent web site,
More Michael Gambon videos
5/3/00 - Lance Entertainment has acquired the rights to 6 episodes of "Maigret" starring Michael Gambon and will be releasing them on home video in July of this year. This 6 video collector's set will feature the 90 minute pilot episode, "The Patience of Maigret," as well as the additional 5 episodes from Series 1. The set will retail for $89.99 and be available through a select number of catalogs and directly through us at Lance Entertainment. I'll send more information as it becomes available.
Director of Operations
Reissued in Japanese
5/3/00 - Kawade Bunko has just reissued two Maigrets, Maigret et son mort (as "Maigret to satsu-jin-sha-tachi" [Maigret and the Killers]) and Les Scruples de Maigret (as "Maigret to ka-yobi no asa no homon-sha" [Maigret and the Tuesday Morning Visitor], ending a short drought during which no Maigrets were in print in Japanese. The advertising strip (usually wrapped around Japanese books) announces that Maigret will appear on the Mystery channel of SkyPerfect (satellite) TV this month.
click to enlarge
Maigret on French TV
5/22/00 - Next Friday, on France 2 (second France Channel), there will be a Maigret with Bruno Cremer:
Titre : Maigret chez les riches
D'après la nouvelle de Georges Simenon "Maigret hésite". Réalisé par Denys Granier-Deferre. Adaptation et dialogues de Pierre Granier Deferre et Dominique Roulet. Musique de Laurent Petitgirard. Une coproduction FRANCE 2. DUNE. T.S.R. .R.T.B.F. .CESKA TELEVIZE avec la participation du CNC.
Avec : Bruno Cremer (Jules Maigret), Alexandre Brasseur (Paul Lachenal), Caroline Sihol (Mme Parendon), Michel Duchaussoy (Maître Parendon), Cécile Bois (Mademoiselle Vague), Célia Granier-Deferre (Bambi), Jocelyn Quirvin (Gus), Wilfred Benaïche (Ferdinand), Pascal Decolland (Tortu), Stéphane Cottin (Baud), Blandine Lenoir (Lise), Colette Maire (Cuisinière), Roland Farrugia (Directeur de la P.J.), Jacques Brunet (Procureur Raynouard).
Résumé: Les noms y sont prestigieux : Faubourg Saint Honoré, Champs Elysées, Castiglione, rue de la Paix. Les fortunes et la naissance aussi. Quand le Commissaire Maigret pénètre dans l'hôtel Particulier des Parendon, il sait que sa mission doit être aussi discrète que les pas des propriétaires foulant leurs profonds tapis. Maître Parendon, richissime avocat d'affaires, a reçu une lettre anonyme annonçant un drame prochain, sanglant qui frappera la famille. En somme, pour Maigret, une enquête un peu mondaine à l'envers, sans suspect car sans mobile, sans coupable puisque sans meurtre...
EN STEREO, Sous-titrage Télétexte France 2, Minutage: 1h32'21"
Michael Gambon videos available
5/23/00 - The series will be available beginning August 1st through an exclusive agreement with Rivertown Trading Company in catalogs such as Signals, Britannia and The Video Catalog. As a special offer to fans of "Maigret" and Michael Gambon, we are taking pre-orders for this collector's set which includes the titles: "Patience of Maigret" (90-minute feature film), "Maigret and the Burglar's Wife," "Maigret Goes to School," "Maigret and the Mad Woman," "Maigret on Home Ground," and "Maigret Sets a Trap." The price is $89.99 plus tax and as a pre-order incentive, we will cover the cost of shipping and handling for those who order and mail payment prior to July 1st, 2000. (Please note that these videos are in NTSC (VHS) format, and available for purchase in the USA only.)
Orders can be placed by mail, phone, fax or e-mail and payment may be made by check or money order and mailed to:
Radio City Station
PO Box 931
New York, NY 10101-0931
phone: (800) 690-8161
fax: (212) 247-2679
Maigret in Greek, Arabic or Chinese?
5/24/00 - I have a question about translations of Maigret. Do you know if any have been translated into Greek, Arabic or (Mandarin) Chinese?
Is there somewhere online to find them? An online Greek or Arabic bookshop? I know there's a Greek bookshop in Paris but I must find the time to get over there...
Maigret in Greek
5/26/00 - In 1978 a friend sent me a Greek translation of L'ami d'enfance de Maigret (Ho paidikos filos tou Maigret) purchased in Rhodes. This is a trade paperback published by Ekdotike Typografike A. E. of Athens; no date. According to an advertising page at the back, this publisher also issued Greek translations of M. et la jeune morte, M. et le corps sans tête, M. s'amuse, M. et les vieillards, M. et le client du samedi, M. et le clochard, and Le voleur de M.
John H. Dirckx
6/13/00 - Further to earlier bulletin items British TV viewers may like to know that the Sky/Hallmark Entertainment Channel (Channel 190), which has already screened ten of the Michael Gambon Maigret 60 min episodes, will be screening the only other 60 min episode, Maigret and the Hotel Majestic on 19th June (repeated 20th June). The original Episode 1, which was a 90 min pilot 'The Patience of Maigret', cannot be screened at present because it has adult content (violence) which breaches the British TV guidelines for transmission at times when children might be watching. However, Hallmark have the transmission rights and may broadcast it at a later date. Hallmark can be phoned on 0207-368-9100 from the UK if you want to enquire.
Best Maigret to start with?
6/14/00 - I'm an avid mystery reader, and have long been interested the the Maigret novels, but I'm a little overwhelmed by the numbers and would like to know which one to start with.
6/16/00 - As a long-time Maigret fan and a short-time internet surfer, how pleased I was to suddenly find a bulletin board with all true Maigret believers!
Some questions have puzzled me for a long time:
Looking forward to your answers, with kind regards,
- Where can you find Saint Fiacre, the "birthplace" of J. Maigret, on the map? Not near Moulins (sur Allier) nor near Nantes near the côte...
- Does the castle of the Hilaire's, where Maigret lived with his parents in Saint Fiacre, really exist?
After reading the bulletin board some other questions arose:
- "Les Archives Maigret", is this also available in English or even in Dutch....?
- All these facts on the bulletin board, are they bundled in a book(let)?
- Is there a Maigret society, like Agatha Christie's in England? And if so, where can I find them...?
6/18/00 - I have just started to read "Maigret and the Millionares" in an edition of the Detective Book Club of New York which I found second-hand here in England. While reading it I started to wonder about the differences in translations to meet the differnt needs of the British and American readership. When the books were translated was one translation done and then words changed to suit either market - check/cheque, elevator/lift, bum/tramp, sidewalk/pavement etc.- or were differnt translators used for each country. If the latter case are there marked differences between both editions because of the translators' different ideas?
No, it's not separate translators for the two markets (though some titles have been translated more than once - see below), but I've found many differences in the texts, even when it's the same translator - see my article Maigret in translation. I think it must be the result of the work of the editors.
Anthony Abbot translations
The first Maigrets to appear in English were six 1931-32 Fayard novels, published in five volumes by Covici-Friede, New York in 1933-34, and in three volumes by Hurst & Blackett, London, 1933-34, translated by Anthony Abbot:
Abbot's name does not appear in the two Covici-Friede volumes I've seen; no translator is credited. Peter Foord lists Abbot as the translator for the Hurst & Brackett editions, which I haven't seen.
Anthony Abbot is a pseudonym for Charles Fulton Oursler, better known as Fulton Oursler [1893-1952], editor, journalist, novelist... (editor, Liberty magazine, 1931-42; The Greatest Story Ever Told, (life of Christ), 1949; Thatcher Colt mysteries (as Anthony Abbot) 1930s-40s... He also used the pseudonym Samri Frikell.)
The six novels were all retranslated and reissued under new titles by Penguin in 1963-64, (C2023-C2028). Only four other Maigret novels were reissued in new translations.
1931. M. Gallet décédé. Fayard, Paris.
I can't locate any references to Oursler as a translator, but presumably he's the Anthony Abbot credited with these Maigret translations. Can anyone with access to the Hurst & Blackett editions confirm that Abbot is listed as the translator? Or shed any more light on this Mystery of the Maigret translations?
1932. The Death of Monsieur Gallet. 262 pp. Covici-Friede, NY
1963. Maigret Stonewalled. (tr. Margaret Marshall) 144 pp. (C2026) Penguin Books.
1931. Le pendu de Saint-Pholien. Fayard, Paris.
1932. The Crime of Inspector Maigret. 244 pp. Covici-Friede, NY
1963. Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets. (tr. Tony White) 122 pp. (C2025) Penguin Books.
1933. The Crime of Inspector Maigret. in: Introducing Inspector Maigret. 288 pp. [with: The Death of M. Gallet]. Hurst & Blackett. London.
1931. Pietr-le-Leton. Fayard, Paris.
1933. The Strange Case of Peter the Lett. vi, 267 pp. Covici-Friede, NY
1963. Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett. (tr. Daphne Woodward) 144 pp. (C2023) Penguin Books.
1931. La nuit du carrefour. Fayard, Paris.
1933. The Crossroad Murders. 240 pp. 19.6 cm. Covici-Friede, NY
1963. Maigret at the Crossroads. (tr. Robert Baldick) 144 pp. (C2028) Penguin Books.
1933. The Case of Peter the Lett. in: Inspector Maigret Investigates. 288 pp. [with: The Crossroad Murders]. Hurst & Blackett.
1931. Le charretier de la Providence. Fayard, Paris.
1934. The Crime at Lock 14. 317 pp. 19.7 cm. [with: The Shadow on the Courtyard]. Covici-Friede, NY
1963. Maigret Meets a Milord. (tr. Robert Baldick) 128 pp. (C2027) Penguin Books.
1932. L'ombre chinoise. Fayard, Paris.
1934. The Shadow in the Courtyard. 317 pp. [with: The Crime at Lock 14]. Covici-Friede, NY
1964. Maigret Mystified. (tr. Jean Stewart) 144 pp. (C2024) Penguin Books.
1934. The Crime at Lock 14. in: The Triumph of Inspector Maigret. 288 pp. [with: The Shadow on the Courtyard]. Hurst & Blackett.
Best Maigret to start with?
6/20/00 - Laura Tucker asks, what Maigrets to start with. My answer is based on the untranslated French novels, so I wouldn't know how good the translations are. But I think the following stories are for one reason or the other especially attractive:
- Maigret's pickpocket (Le voleur de Maigret) which just has wonderful scenes of Paris life.
- Maigret and the Tavern by the Seine (La guinguette à deux sous), which paints a great picture of a long-gone way of life, and is a heck of a story, to boot.
- Madame Maigret's Own Case (or words to that effect) (L'amie de Madame Maigret). She deserves the exposure, there's lots of food, and it shows Maigret's methods in an unorthodox case.
- Maigret and the Man on the Bench, which for me synthesizes Maigret's methods and character better than almost any other novel.
Some answers to Sjoerd Heeringa's questions
6/26/00 - In the book "Commissaire Maigret, Qui êtes-vous" by Gilles Henry, Ed. Plon 1977 (English title would be "Commissaire Maigret, who are you?"), the following indication is given about Maigret's birthplace: "In the Berry, at Saint-Fiacre près Matignon, at 25 km from Moulins..." There are 2 places named Saint-Fiacre in the departement of Allier but they are not correct in terms of locale. Simenon indicated once: "I took a place in Allier but I changed the name" (interview 1975), so it must be somewhere he lived.
Looking at Simenon's life, in 1922 he was assistant to the Marquis de Tracy. For this activity, Simenon went to Paray-Le-Frésil, near Moulins, where his boss had a large house. Simenon used to see Pierre Tardivon, the man in charge (in French the régisseur) of the Castle of the Marquis de Tracy, everyday. It seems that in the Simenon book "Un homme comme un autre," he confirmed that P. Tardivon was the model for Maigret's father. Also, on a map, Moulins and Paray-Le-Frésil are separated by 25 km.
In "Maigret s'amuse", there is the following sentence: "Tout gamin, à Paray-le-fresil, il avait pitié des lapins." This is a mistake by Simenon who used the name of the real town he used as a model for Saint-Fiacre. Therefore, it seems that Maigret's birthplace is Paray-Le-Frésil and also that the castle really exists.
At www.lpcommunication.com/tourisme/clients/352.htm you can see a picture of the castle (above) which still belongs to the Tracy family. This is now like a hotel and you can have a room there. Part of my answer could perhaps be checked in "Simenon: A Biography" by Pierre Assouline, 1997.
I hope this answer helps you,
Maigret in Esperanto!
6/28/00 - Jérôme Devémy has spotted a page with a review of Maigret Hezitas Maigret hésite translated into Esperanto! It's at www.esperanto.be//fel/mon/rec/mhez.html. [Georges Simenon: Maigret hezitas. Elfrancigis Daniel Luez. Eld. Sezonoj, Jekaterinburg, 1999. 128 paĝoj.]
Manosque Simenon Festival Papers
6/28/00 - Jérôme also found this Manosque site with what appears to be the texts of all the presentations at their Simenon m'était conté (March 25-31, 2000) festival (in French).
New Maigret Website - in Dutch
6/30/00 - We have started in Holland a discussion group about Georges Simenon/Maigret.
It has just begun. Visit our website only Dutch so far go.to/simenon.
Help with a Maigret video?
7/10/00 - Could someone please help me to find a copy of the 1988 Maigret movie with Barbara Shelley? I can handle any format of videotape, or of film. If a commercially-available video can't be found, a dub will be fine. If you can point me to a store that has a used commercially-available VHS (I think it's out of print now) I'd be grateful. A 16mm or 35mm print is fine, too. Please e-mail me with price, condition, particulars. Thanks in advance for all of your help!
Vids and info about my grandfather!!??
8/1/00 - I'm currently on a big search for any existing videos or films of the BBC version of Maigret from the series that my grandfather (Rupert Davies) was in during the sixties. If you can help me in any way at all I would be very grateful.
(yes, I got the name too!)
Rupert Davies BBC episodes
8/4/00 - Just about when Rupert Davies's mail came in with his quest for info on his illustrious namesake grandfather, I received from Ian Slater (UK) the scans of Ron Grainer's 1963 Decca recording of some of his theme music which accompanied the series, (on the gallery page).
Grainer's notes reminded me that the film versions are often greatly modified, and I also found that I could hardly identify a single case from the film titles. I looked up the series at the film page and identified them, but I'd sure rather see them! Here's what was on the album notes, with the episodes identified:
I haven't got the original titles for two of the 51 episodes: 2. "Unscheduled Departure" and 7. "A Man of Quality." Anyone know? Got a good guess?
Arlette was the theme for La Pointe's girl friend, who was so brutally slaughtered in "Murder in Montmartre".
This was the first Rupert Davies episode, and the title and girl's name make it easy to identify this as "Maigret and the Strangled Stripper" / "Maigret in Montmartre" [Maigret au Picratt's]. A bit of an exaggeration to call her Lapointe's girlfriend...
Getaway is taken from the episode "The Dirty House" and was the music accompanying a young girl's run along the river before committing suicide in a weir.
I would never have guessed from the title that this was "Maigret in Retirement" [Maigret se fâche], and since the details of the girl's suicide don't appear in the original story, the description was mysterious.
Petit Louis was the theme accompanying one of the principal characters in "Murder on Monday". Louis was a very bright little character and led a double life which eventually led to his losing his own life.
This is "Maigret and the Man on the Bench [/Boulevard]", [Maigret et l'homme du banc]. The dead man's name was Louis Thouret, so it's interesting to realize that in the film version he apparently appeared in flashbacks.
Golden Fleece was the theme from the episode of the same name.
The Golden Fleece was the name of Gassin's barge in "The Lock at Charenton" [L'écluse no. 1]
A Lost Memory was the main theme from "The Lost Sailor".
A pretty good fit for "Death of a Harbormaster" [Port des brumes]
Ginette was the theme for the happy, smiling Madame who so nearly came to grief in "My Friend the Inspector".
Marcellin's old girlfriend in "My Friend Maigret" [Mon ami Maigret], who remembered Maigret so fondly. I don't recall her "nearly coming to grief" in the story.
Thieve's Den was the theme used in the bistro which was the meeting place for the gang of thieves Maigret brought to book in "The Crooked Castle".
"Maigret at the Crossroads" [La nuit du carrefour] - the thieves in the bistro wasn't a major scene in the book. I guess the "crooked castle" was a reference to Else's tale of having been raised in a castle.
Simenon Newsgroup & Maigret Omnibuses (Omnibi?)
8/4/00 - I have very recently subscribed to the Simenon newsgroup (fido.belg.literature.simenon) and it seems empty. Does anyone know whether there is usually any traffic in it?
Also, does anyone know how many of the Maigrets were published in the Maigret omnibuses (as opposed to the Simenon ones) done by Hamish Hamilton and/or Penguin, and if they're still in print? If anybody would like to part with theirs, let me know.
David E. Cote
And thanks for all the hard work Steve- this site is exemplary!
8/5/00 - Thanks, David. The Maigret Omnibuses by Hamish Hamilton are listed on the Omnibus Page. (I don't have copies of those, but would like to post cover scans if anyone can send them to me...)
New Maigret Audio Tape
8/7/00 - BBC has just released an audio tape, "Maigret Hesitates", of four plays broadcast (I think) in the 1970s. The series stars Michael Gough as "The Creator" (Georges Simenon) and Maurice Denham as Maigret. I do not know the titles of the plays on this tape but I can remember when this series was broadcast and they were very good.
Madame Maigret's Name?
8/7/00 - Maigret's name is Jules Maigret. What is the name of Madame Maigret?
Mme Maigret is mentioned in 69 of the 75 novels, and 18 of the 28 short stories altogether in 87 of the 103 episodes which comprise the Maigret Chronicles. In only two of them is her first name used, and it's not the same name!
The detailed explanation in "Maigret's Memoirs" seems to make a stronger case for "Louise" than the "slip of the tongue" in the short story...
- Louise: In Maigret's Memoirs (Les mémoires de Maigret 1950), the circumstances of the Maigrets' marriage are explained, how Maigret met the girl Louise Léonard, the niece of Geraldine and Anselme Léonard, over petit-fours. She became Mme Maigret.
- Henriette: In the short story Madame Maigret's Admirer (L'amoureux de Madame Maigret 1937-38): "Maigret called out, 'Henriette, come and look' for the stranger was in the square." [Henriette was Simenon's mother's name!]
(In this story the Maigrets were living in the Place des Vosges, explained in the last chapter of Maigret's Memoirs as a temporary stay of a few months in Simenon's flat [N° 21] while he was in Africa and their Boulevard Richard-Lenoir apartment was being renovated.)
Simenon and Henry Miller?
8/8/00 - Trying to trace all connections between Simenon and the following: Queneau, Henry Miller, Keyserling, Pelorsen, for researching a book on Henry Miller.
Bruno Cremer Maigret series
8/10/00 - WNVC World View TV [Channel 56] in Falls Church, VA [Washington, DC area] is pleased to announce that, starting this Sunday, August 13, we will be broadcasting the most recent Maigret series from French TV [the one starring Bruno Cremer, mentioned often on this page by Jérôme Devémy]. The series begins with Maigret in Montmartre [Maigret et les plaisirs de la nuit, based on Maigret au Picratt's], and will continue on the second Sunday of each month presumably indefinitely, since this series recently broadcast its 34th episode and is continuing.
The episodes scheduled through the end of this year are:
This series is only one part of our International Mystery series, which also includes:
- September 10 Maigret and the Burglar's Wife [Maigret et la Grande Perche]
- October 8 Maigret and the Flemish Shop [Maigret chez les Flamands]
- November 12 Maigret and the Judge [Maigret et la maison du juge]
- December 10 Maigret and the Headless Corpse [Maigret et le corps sans tête]
For more information, WNVC's web site is:
WNVC broadcasts locally in the Washington, DC area, and is seen via local cable as far afield as Frederick, MD, and Fredericksburg, VA.
- From Sweden, Martin Beck, starring Gösta Ekman.
- From Germany, Tatort [Scene of the Crime].
- From Italy, La Piovra [The Octopus].
>>> If you can interest your local station in these series, please direct them to Bill Elmquist, program director of WNVC [email@example.com]. We will be happy to put them in touch with the producers.
Georges Simenon: Why should I read him?
8/16/00 - From a discussion on the newsgroup rec.arts.mystery (and mostly duplicated at alt.books.mysteries), July 25 - August 6, 2000.
I have been urged for some time to read him, and would be interested in the opinions of people here who have already done so.
- All I can say is, start reading him as soon as possible. I don't think you'll regret it.
- Read him because he writes perfect gems of detective novels: the framing is just right, he never covers too much time or ground. The pacing is perfect. The writing is intelligent. He does not overburden the stories with too much subtext. He nonetheless makes his characters remarkably human and sympathetic, yet never takes the easy way out, will often surprise you and is never, ever sentimental.
- Because Jules and Madame Maigret are two of the nicest people you will ever meet. Because Maigret's squad are what cops should be. Because everyone, including the criminals, are human. Because of everything said above.
- The same could be said of [Janwillem] van de Wetering's books and characters. I think they are comparable.
- I have read all the van de Wetering books. The last few started to bore me. I have read 4 or 5 times as many Simenon's and I am looking for more. I am talking almost only of the Maigrets. I find them the most visual books anyone has every written. I can tell how far away a chair is from the wall. I know how recently the walls have been painted, what color they are, where everything in every apartment is in relation to every one else in the building. And the people are so interesting. And of course he is so rich psychologically. There are no paper cut-outs in the books. For my money the closest thing to Maigret which is not Maigret is Martin Beck. But I don't think van de Wetering is bad. I loved a good many of the earlier ones but Wahlöö and Sjöwall are better. Isn't it weird to realize that some of Simenon's most disgusting men were based on himself?
- Simenon is my idol among mystery writers. His stories are humanistic, the Paris of little people and small cafes is very real, and his knack for dialogue is unmatched. My personal favorite is "Maigret Meets a Milord," which includes a rich evocation of a trip through the French barge canal system. I don't condone Simenon's attitude toward women, however.
- I read him, and love to do so, because it is a trip into a very real place I am not sure whether I really ever get into Maigret's mind, but I sure feel as if I am in his world. With very sketchy descriptives, Simenon gets me there, somehow. It is magic, I guess.
Maigret Audio Tape: Titles
8/16/00 - To clarify my Aug. 7 notice, the titles of the four plays on BBC's "Maigret Hesitates" are: M. Goes to School, M. and the Old Lady, M. Hesitates and The Patience of M.
Birthplace of Maigret
8/19/00 - The Maigret Forum seems to worry about the birthplace of Maigret. In the Dutch issue of "Maigret in Holland" I found a preface by the mayor of Delfzijl, Mr. P. Scholten, in which he tells us that Simenon was staying in Delfzijl some time in 1929. Delfzijl was the place where Simenon created the character of Maigret. Therefore Delfzijl should be considered as the place of birth (so to speak) of Maigret. Scholten even went as far as to sign a fake birth certificate (dated September 3rd, 1966), as a correction of the mistake of failing to register the newly-born Maigret on February 23rd, 1929. Simenon is mentioned as the father, the mother is 'unknown'. Here is a copy of the certificate from the book (click to enlarge). What more proof does one need ;-)?
See Claude Menguy and Pierre Deligny's
The true beginnings of Commissioner Maigret
for an analyis of the "Maigret born in Delfzijl" theory...
New Maigret Page: Swedish Book Covers
8/31/00 - As a big fan of Maigret I have created a Maigret section (still in progress) of my homepage (which is otherwise in Swedish). On my bookshelves I have a complete collection of all the Maigret books translated into Swedish about a hundred and I want to show off these great Swedish book covers!
Le Commissaire Maigret, Police Judiciaire,
36 Quai des Orfèvres, Paris...
My best regards,
Maigret's Pipe Tobacco?
9/3/00 - What kind of tobacco did Maigret smoke?
Olivier Assayas Maigret?
9/6/00 - I am trying to find out some information on the series "Maigret". Was it was ever produced in French? I am in search of a few episodes that were written by the French director, Olivier Assayas, but I am unsure if this is the same series. Anyone familiar with him or his writing for "Maigret"?
Video of the Michael Gambon series - Belgian Detective?
9/6/00 - Having just received my copy of the two-video set of the first Michael Gambon series from 'ChoicesDirect', I see that the the rear cover explains that Michael Gambon plays the 'extraordinary Belgian detective'. Have I missed something was Maigret really Belgian? I am confused.
I also see that the series was filmed 'on location in France'. Was it not filmed in one of the former Soviet satellites, Hungary or the Czech Republic?
Errors on Maigret Video Cover?
9/20/00 - Yes I have also seen this mistake about the nationality of Maigret on several web sites selling this video (they must of just copied it of the cover blurb).Of course Maigret was born in France, Simenon was born in Belgium.
The Michael Gambon series was filmed in Hungary. Budapest doubled for Paris and the country-side scenes were filmed out-of-town in various parts of that country.
New Maigret VHS
9/22/00 - I noticed for the first time that the Maigret Series is being released on VHS with Michael Gambon. I found it in a catalogue of Signals - www.signals.com or 1-800-669-9696. Six tapes with 6½ hours of six shows. This is Series 1 and I suppose there will be Series 2? They are asking $89.99 plus shipping. Does anyone know where I can find this at a discount? I suppose all the PBS stores of knowledge will be selling it. It was a Mystery Series.
Julian Symons on My Friend Maigret
9/23/00 - I've added Symons's short chapter on Simenon and Maigret from his 1972 (Penguin 1974) Bloody Murder to the online Maigret texts. (Jim Doherty discussed the later edition of this, Mortal Consequences, on the Bulletin Board in July, 1998.) Here is an excerpt:
If a single story had to be chosen to represent the finest qualities of the Maigret novels without any of their defects, it might be Mon Ami Maigret (published 1949 in France, 1956 in Britain as My Friend Maigret). Here he takes the chance to get away from rainy Paris to the heat-soaked island of Porquerolles in the Midi. An old crook has been murdered, it is thought because he boasted that Maigret was his friend. Accompanied by a Scotland Yard detective who has come to study Maigret's methods (but as Maigret says, he has no methods) he goes to Porquerolles and there shows his gift for absorbing like a sponge the nature of the people who live on the island, and concealing behind his apparently sluggish enjoyment of the local food and drink the capacity for interpreting behaviour which is his greatest detectival asset. The crime proves to be a product of that total nihilistic rejection by some of the young of any standard of behaviour which Simenon was contemplating long before the days of student revolt, and there is some fine characterization. The crook's former girl friend, who was once helped by Maigret and is now the madame of a brothel, is particularly good. The Scotland Yard man is merely sketched, but Maigret's uneasiness in his presence provides some passages of unstrained comedy. There are no coincidences, no improbabilities. This is certainly one of the half-dozen best Maigret stories.
Versus Inspector Maigret?
9/29/00 - A couple of weeks ago I saw this up for auction on eBay:
"Ziel, George. Versus Inspector Maigret. c. 1970s. Oil on masonite board. 320 x 450 mm. Titled on verso. This painting was produced for Harcourt Brace Jovanovich's paperback series of Simenon titles (possibly a collection of short stories) published in the 1970s."
But I've never seen the book with that cover. I wonder if it was produced. Has anyone ever seen it?
Maigret Or Not ?
9/29/00 - I have just finished reading "Seven Little Crosses In A Notebook" (Sept Petites Croix dans a Carnet) and I wonder if this a Maigret story or not. Janvier is here and so is a superintendant from the Murder Squad , but he is called Saillard and not Maigret. I think the reason for this is that the central character (and "hero") is not the police detective but Andre Lecoeur the switchboard operator. He is the one who solves the crimes and Maigret would have only been a secondary character in the story. Incidentally my copy of the book (Maigret's Christmas Nine Stories) in the American Harvest Book edition calls this a Maigret story.
10/8/00 - Can anyone supply references in the press or other info regarding Simenon's big pendulum clock that he took with him on all his changes of residence and travels?
Joseph B. Ullman
Michael Gambon videos
10/29/00 - I've just gotten notice that the Lance Entertainment Inc. Michael Gambon / Maigret videos (VHS), announced here in May, are now available from their website: Lance Entertainment.
Maigret in French
11/06/00 - Some sites for purchasing copies of Maigret detective novels in French:
French sites: www.alapage.com, www.chapitre.com.
American site: www.schoenhofs.com (Schoenhof's Books, Cambridge, MA).
| Who's that next to Maigret?|
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.
|11/11/00 - I've had this cartoon by the Danish artist Storm-P [Robert Storm Petersen 1882-1949] up on my
Detective Fiction on Stamps page for a few years, with the question, "Who are these sleuths?". But a few are still unidentified. Do you think #1 might be Porfiry Petrovic (of Crime and Punishment)? #2 is certainly Maigret, #3 Father Brown, #4 Sherlock Holmes and #5 Hercule Poirot, but how about #6, #7, #8? My guess is that #7 is Lord Peter Wimsey... (click the image to enlarge).
11/11/00 - David Cronan (9/29/00) posed the question of whether "Seven Little Crosses" is a Maigret or not. It's always included with the Maigret stories in editions of Maigret's Christmas. I'm inclined to think that if Maigret doesn't appear, it's not a Maigret, no matter which "supporting characters" are present (nor what appears in publisher's blurbs).
But it seems like we could consider it a "semi-Maigret," and that raises an interesting topic. In which Simenon novels and stories do "Maigret characters" appear, but without the Commissaire himself?
John H. Dirckx responded (3/12/99) to a question by Scott L. (2/11/99) about Lognon's origins, with an interesting description of Simenon's 1938 Monsieur La Souris, in which Lognon, Lucas and Janvier appear.
Around the same time, (3/18/99), Jim Doherty pointed out Simenon's 1938 The Man who Watched the Trains Go By [L'Homme qui regardait passer les trains], in which the Commissaire was Lucas.
Les dossiers de l'agence O (1943) is a collection of (14) short stories featuring Torrence in cases of the detective agency he formed after leaving the Quai, in which Lucas, for one, appears, having succeeded M. after his retirement, and Maigret himself is mentioned. (This doesn't seem to have been translated into English, and is equivalent in size to about four Maigrets - 668 pages in the 1955 Gallimard edition!)
So with "Seven Little Crosses" that makes 15 short stories and two novels in the semi-Maigret category. Any others?
11/19/00 - How about Nero Wolfe for No. 8? (above)
He's certainly a possibility, especially since he was already famous in Storm-P's time. It's troublesome that he was supposed to weigh "1/7 of a ton" -- nearly 300 pounds, and that "he almost never left the house" -- with the cartoon character seemingly too small and dressed for going out -- though admittedly chubby -- and not a sign of an orchid! Still I guess I should "pencil in" Wolfe -- it's hard to think of who else he might be... Did Nero Wolfe carry a cane?
Semi-Maigrets? "Inquest on Bouvet"
11/19/00 - Further to your recent correspondence about Simenon books without Maigret (above) but including some of his supporting characters, an addition to your list could be "Inquest on Bouvet" ("L'Enterrement de Monsieur Bouvet") first published in 1952. This features Lucas as the principal investigator (to quote the back cover of the 1962 Penguin edition: "No doubt Maigret was on holiday when Monsieur Bouvet disconcerted everyone by falling dead as he was examining old prints at a bookseller's stall beside the Seine.......At length Lucas, one of Maigret's inspectors, was deputed to find out exactly who Bouvet was, and an uncommon tale it proved to be.")
Simenon's books in other books?
11/22/00 - I am reading "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Truman Capote edited by Penguin
Books. In the first part of the book is written: "I'd been to a movie, come home, and gone to bed with a bourbon nightcap and the newest Simenon: so much my idea of comfort that I....."
Do you know other books mentionning Simenon/Maigret books being read?
Maigret on TV
11/23/00 - Just a note that Maigret movies (with Michael Gambon) are being presently (Nov. 2000) televised in Vancouver BC Canada on Knowledge network on Fridays at 10 PM.
Who's that next to... is that really Maigret?
The Storm-P cartoon
11/24/00 - Storm-P, who drew the cartoon, was the Danish cartoonist Robert Storm Petersen 1882-1949. I don't know when he drew it -- I found it in la Cour & Mogensen's "The Murder Book", p.87, but no credit is given beyond his name.
I just assumed it was Maigret because... who else could it be?!
Noticed on eBay 11/23/00
|Ex Libris (bookplate) |
by V.Valeev (Tashkent, Russia)
Russian text on books says
Video Catalog Company?
11/29/00 - I need some help. I purchased the Maigret films from a company with the name Britannia, or something close to that. It is a catalog company, and I carelessly neglected to keep any information. I need to return the films but can't find the company. These are the films that aired on PBS and are produced by Granada (from England). Do you know the name and
location of the catalog company? Any help you can provide is appreciated.
Number of Maigret titles?
I am always puzzled by the difference in the number of Maigret stories that disparate sources come up with. For instance, in the biography, The Man Who Wasn't Maigret, they list 76 titles. Your site lists 75 novels and 28 stories. In "Mystery! A Celebration," a book devoted to the PBS mystery series, they (on page 113) they claim 84 novels and 18 short stories, which is one short of your total. I have read most, but can't be sure because of the different titles.
Marnham's The Man Who Wasn't Maigret lists 76 novels because he includes "Maigret's Christmas" ("Un Noël de Maigret", 1951) as one, while I list it as a short story. If you check out my statistics section, you'll see that in page length, "Maigret's Christmas" falls between the clear short stories and novels: In the "Tout Simenon" edition, novels range from 78-121 pages, and stories from 8-30. But "Maigret's Christmas" is at 47. I think it's too short to call it a novel, so I've grouped it with the stories.
I don't have a copy of "Mystery! A Celebration," but it's possible they're missing the short story "Menaces de mort" which was unlisted in earlier bibliographies, and which I've translated as "Death Threats". (My guess is that they came up with the count of 84 novels by not carefully checking out the titles -- a glimpse at the length graph makes 84 an unlikely number. Furthermore, the short stories were mainly published in collections...)
My bibliography page lists the 103 under their French titles, and so you can see the various English titles under them, also listed in the various indexes.
Britannia Address for Jason
11/30/00 - Britannia Music, 60-70 Roden Street, Ilford, Essex, IG1 2XX UK
or: Brittania Music, Romford, Essex, RM50 1JP UK
Maigret in the Channel Islands?
12/1/00 - Does anyone recall a Maigret film - maybe made for television - set or filmed in the Channel Islands - Guernsey or Jersey??
No way Maigret
Maigret on TV in Britain
12/26/00 - Readers in the UK might be interested to know that the digital channel BBC Knowledge will be showing a couple of Maigret/Simenon related programmes as
part of the TV detectives season this week (Thursday 28th and Sunday 31st December).
Maigret on TV: France Channel 2, Tonight at 20h50
12/29/00 - « MAIGRET ET L'IMPROBABLE Mr OWEN » - Série policière de Pierre Koralnik (1997/1h35). avec Bruno Cremer, Arielle Dombasle, Bernard Haller, Camille Japy. Maigret en vacances dans le midi enquête sur le meurtre d'un jeune homme ... Un Maigret assez inhabituel tant par l'extravagance que par l'atmosphère ensoleillée.. (showview: 870233)
Life, November 3, 1958: Simenon
|12/30/00 - No, that's not Simenon on the cover of this 42-year-old Life magazine it's "Senior at Harvard: The Aga Khan". Which may be one of the reasons this issue seems to be so popular with collectors. Another must be because of the nice, large Simenon article (posted here): World's Most Prolific Novelist, by Henry Anatole Grunwald, with Yves Debraine's accompanying photographs. Simenon was 55, and had just published his 400th book...