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Maigret Forum Archives 2001

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Books mentioning Simenon/Maigret being read
1/3/01 - Jerome Devemy (11/22/00) asked if others have encountered other books mentioning reading Simenon or Maigret. I enjoyed learning from PBS newsman Jim Lerher's memoir A BUS OF MY OWN that after a heart attack about 10 years ago, as he tried to learn to relax (under medical orders) one of his best discoveries was Maigret. He says he never travels now without a Maigret for one more reading in the motel room. Lehrer writes excellent light fiction himself!

Jim Doherty

Heinz Rühmann / German Maigret Series?
1/5/01 - I found something strange in the Maigret film section. The entry regarding German actor Heinz Rühmann reads like this:

Ruhmann, Heinz
1. Maigret Und Sein Gosster (La Danseuse du Gai-Moulin).
ARD (German). 1964.
Produced and directed by Gunther Albrecht.
Script editor: Michael Stohl.
Maigret: Heinz Ruhmann
With: Manfred Niehaus, Walter Keil.
(series "Maigret" ran for three seasons, 1964-68).
2. Maigret Fait Mouche (La Danseuse du Gai-Moulin).
German/French consortium (German). 1968.
Directed by Alfred Weidmann.
Maigret: Heinz Ruhmann
(full-length screen version, finale of Ruhman's "Maigret" series).

Heinz Rühmann
Where is this information from? I only know of one single Maigret movie with Rühmann, and no TV series whatsoever.
German television showed a foreign (British I guess) Maigret series in the 60s, but I've never heard of Rühmann having done such a series (I can look it up, but I am sure I would have remembered it).
The only Rühmann Maigret I know of is Maigret und sein größter Fall (1966) (French title: Maigret Fait Mouche) You may find it for instance in the IMDb: us.imdb.com/Title?0060654.
Could it be that the two films in your bibliography are actually this one?
Hans Kiesl
Germany

The (mis?)information is from Peter Haining's "The Complete Maigret" (Boxtree Ltd., 1994), pp 80-82:

German television followed the lead of the British and Italians with a series starring Heinz Ruhmann which began in 1964 with Maigret Und Sein Gosster, based on one of the earliest Simenon novels, La Dansuese du Gai-Moulin (At the Gai-Moulin, 1931) . This is a notable case in which Maigret returns to his creator's birthplace, Liège, to try and solve the murder of a Greek millionaire whose death has implicated a vamp named Adele and her corrupt friend, Rene.
The story also shows Maigret in a rather unusual light as a kind of private detective who runs foul of the Belgian police and at one stage gets himself arrested by them. The inspector even has to resort to a fist fight before he finally solves the murder with 'the deduction of Sherlock Holmes', according to one review of the opening episode.
Ruhmann was at first glance an improbable choice as Maigret. Small of stature, with a rather inconspicuous appearance, he had nonetheless built a career on the deliberate use of these characteristics — in particular playing comedy roles which earned him comparison with Charlie Chaplin. Yet he took readily to the part of the inspector, investing the character with his own blend of quiet but pugnacious determination.
Born in Essen in 1902, Ruhmann was the son and grandson of hotel owners and was supposed to have followed in this profession. Instead, he quit high school and became a pupil of the producer Fritz Basil in Munich. It was here that he got his first roles playing everything from Shakespeare and Molière to comic parts. In 1930 he made his film debut with the UFA company and became a star in Die Dret von der Tankstelle. Another pre-war film also gave him his first taste of the detective story genre when he starred in Der Mann der Sherlock Holmes War in 1937.
According to German film historian Friedrich Luft, the Second World War almost destroyed Ruhmann's career. 'He got involved in the dubious business of film production,' Luft wrote, 'and he then had to spend seven years of his life clearing up and paying off his own firm's bankruptcy.'
But from the mid-fifties onwards he revived his career in the cinema with leading roles in the old comedy classic, Charley's Aunt (1956), The Captain from Koepnick (1956) and The Good Soldier Schweik (1960) . Luft says that it was 'only late in the day and with justifiable caution' that Ruhmann started to appear on television.
However, his role as Maigret wearing a wry smile beneath a tall felt hat to accentuate his height, proved what a lifetime of hardwon acting experience can enable a good actor to bring to such a clearly defined role. The German TV critics were particularly impressed by his performances. A columnist in Stern wrote: 'Ruhmann knows his métier and calculates his impact. He is small but makes sovereign use of his David-like position and Goliaths inevitably succumb to him. He makes deliberate use of his inconspicuous appearance in order to attract attention on that very account. He also always invites us, very politely, to identify with him.'
The German viewing public certainly identified with Ruhmann and the Maigret stories ran for three seasons, climaxing in 1968 when the star, then nearing seventy but still amazingly spry, appeared in a feature-length screen version of Maigret Fait Mouche. Jointly financed by a German and French consortium, the picture was based on the novel La Danseuse du Gai-Moulin (1931) and was directed by Alfred Weidmann. It proved an outstanding finale to Ruhmann's term as the Commissaire.
The IMDb listing makes it clear that Haining's listing of the movie was incorrect. It seems that there's only one film, with the title as Hans Kiesl suggests, so I've corrected the filmography.
How about the series? Anyone know any more about this?
ST

Value of FF?

1/15/01 - Can anyone tell what was the approximate US ($) value of French Francs (FF) used during Maigret's time? I believe some 'new' and 'old' FF are mentioned in various books. Thanks.

Vladimir Krasnogor

 

Michael Gambon, The Second Series 1992/1993
1/16/01 - I am obliged to you for all of your thoughtful work. As I have learned from your delightful web site, 2 videos can be purchased at www.fnac.com, while Michael Gambon, the First Series 1992, can be purchased in the US in NTSC, at www.lanceentertainment.com/maig.html. I would add that both Michael Gambon, the First Series and the Second Series 1992/1993, which includes:

  • Maigret and the Nightclub Dancer
  • Maigret and the Hotel Majestic
  • Maigret on the Defensive
  • Maigret's Boyhood Friend
  • Maigret and the Minister
  • Maigret and the Maid
can be purchased in PAL format at reasonable cost from www.Amazon.co.uk, which of course ships world wide. I particularly enjoyed the Second Series, but perhaps that is because I found it while doing my own research. It is perhaps what we mystery aficionados all look for - the thrill of solving the mystery.
Best regards,
Alan Grosbard
Malibu, California

Maigret tonight on France Channel 2
1/19/01 - 20h55 - MAIGRET - Série policière de Michel Favart (1998/1h30) avec Bruno Cremer, Pascale Roberts, Françoise Christophe. Un industriel australien est retrouvé mort et enterré dans son jardin ... Une personnalité extravagante que le commissaire va cerner avec brio, une fois de plus! (showview: 6719258)

More on German Maigret...
1/18/01 - On January 5 I wrote that I was surprised to hear about a "German Maigret TV series." Last weekend I went to the library and consulted several books and biographies about Heinz Rühmann (he was a very popular actor in Germany, thus there is a lot of information available). They all agree on the following:

  1. Rühmann played Maigret only once, in the movie "Maigret und sein groeßter Fall"; this is the one that is listed in the IMDb.
  2. Rühmann was never involved in any TV series. In fact it was not until 1968 that he did his first TV film. (In the end he even played the leading part in a non-Maigret Simenon TV film that can be found in the IMDb as well.)
  3. There was no German Maigret series starring Heinz Rühmann.

As for the source of the errors in Haining's book, quoted in this Forum, it's hard to imagine, but in one book I found the following information:

German television broadcast a Maigret series starring Rupert Davies in the 60s. It was a big success, and so they planned to do an original German film with Rupert Davies as Maigret. Davies first agreed, but then left the project since he didn't like the script (and due to an argument with the director). The producers then had to find another actor for the leading role and chose Rühmann (probably because of his popularity at the time).
I don't know if one can take that for sure, since I have only one source for it.
Best regards,
Hans

Thanks, Hans! I'm convinced. I've removed all reference to the series from the database listing.
It seems that Haining's "Complete Maigret" has to be taken with a large grain of salt. I've found errors in some of the other film listings as well. One web reviewer ("HOW I WROTE THE SAME BOOK FIVE TIMES!" ...and lived to tell the tale) has this to say: "Peter Haining is an expert-for-hire. Whether the subject be unexplained occurrences, ghosts, film stars, James Bond, Sherlock Holmes, or, it seems, anything else, Mr. Haining will write you the 'definitive' book on it..."

ST

Value of FF?
1/22/01 - About a week ago Vladimir Krasnogor wrote asking the "approximate US$ value of French Francs (FF) used during Maigret's time?". Of course "Maigret's time" covers a lot of years, and resists clear definition. I don't recall seeing references to "old francs" and "new francs", but in 1960, France revalued its currency, to 1/100 of the previous value. 100 Francs became 1 New Franc (NF). Initially, old notes were overprinted with the new denominations, then new bills were printed in "New Francs," and finally, the "New" designation was removed. So most Maigret stories were written "in old francs." Here's a list of 50-60 references to francs in the stories, arranged chronologically by when they were written. (The codes in the right-hand column are based on the French titles.) Perhaps some economist among the readers can clear up the matter of the exchange rate...

Simenon/Maigret in other books
1/22/01 - from (Chapter 4 of the French translation of) James Melville's "The Wages of Zen" (Superintendent Tetsuo Otani):
"Debout à côté du Britannique de haute taille et de l'interprète officiel du ministère des Affaires étrangères, la tête baissée et la mine sombre, Otani avait regardé la masse inerte de l'homme qu'il avait vu quelques jours auparavant dans la clarté vacillante des bougies de la salle du Bouddha du Chisho-ji, en se disant que les choses semblaient décidément plus facile pour l'inspecteur Van der Valk ou Maigret."

(un-translation: "Standing next to the tall Britisher and the official interpreter of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, his head bowed and face somber, Otani had regarded the inert mass of the man he had seen some days before in the shimmering candle-light of the Buddha hall at Chisho temple, telling himself that things seemed decidedly easier for Inspector Van der Valk or Maigret.")
Jérôme Devémy

Simenon/Maigret in other books
1/23/01 - The sea captain in The Comedians by Graham Greene is described as reading a Maigret novel, which the narrator of the book suggests shows that he has a human side.

Andrew Lee-Hart

Maigret in other books
1/28/01 - I have jusy been reading several up-to-date guide-books to Paris and at least two of them ( I think they were Time Out and Rough Guide) recommend reading Maigret novels to give an idea of the "true atmosphere" of the city. A bit strange, as the last novel was written nearly 30 years ago, but I think I can see their point for no one can paint a better picture of ordinary Paris like Simenon.

David Cronan

Francs
1/29/01 - Before World War I, when France was firmly on the gold standard, a franc was worth about 19 cents, or 5.18 to the dollar. It declined drastically in the '20s, to 25 to the dollar, i.e., 4 cents. That's one reason Americans of little means found France such a great place to live. After Britain, and then the U.S. abandoned the gold standard, the franc actually rose to about 15 to the dollar by 1935. Of course there was terrible inflation after World War II — in the end, the old franc literally wasn't worth a sou.
(A sou, BTW, was 5 centimes, or 1/20 of a franc, the equivalent of the American penny. But it was also a symbol of the inflation France suffered in the 18th and early 19th centuries: the sou was the equivalent of the English shilling at one time, and instead of francs, the French had "livres" (pounds) just like their neighbors across the Channel).

Oz Childs

French Francs
2/1/01 - Oz Childs tells us the value of FF from the start of 1900 till 1950. This time frame makes an interesting coincidence, because when I checked a local bank, I could only get the value of FF going back to the 1950's.
It looks like in the '50s the FF fluctuated between approximately 500 to 700 FF for US$1. After the change to new francs, in the '60s and '70s the FF fluctuated from approximately 5 to 7 FF to US$1, with the average about 5.50.
Later on, I'll recalculate the table to find (a) the approximate value in $ of FF amounts at the time when the action took place, assuming it happened in the year of writing, and (b) the approximate value of those amounts in today's dollars, assuming inflation of 5% per year.

Vladimir
P.S. In the table, one amount is missing. In Maigret's Boyhood Friend, written in 1968, the amount stolen by his friend from the victim was 48,000 francs. I would never know that if this was not the very amount that started my curiosity of the value of FF.
VK

Thanks, I've updated the table. ST

Sample calculation of FF value
2/2/01 -

Years Sample
Amount
in FF
Assumed
Rate
FF per US$
Approx. Value
in contemporary
US$
Approx. Value
in today's (2001) US$
at 5% per year inflation
1929-1931 1000 25 40 1300
1931-1935 1000 25 40 1000
1936-1939 1000 15 67 1400
1950-1959 1000 600 2 15
1960-1971 1000 5.5 182 800

So, the mystery is probably solved. The 48,000 FF stolen by Maigret's boyhood friend in 1968 would be today in 2001 about 48 x 800 = US$ 38,400. Perhaps not large enough to provide him for the rest of his life, but quite a significant amount considering the circumstances of the case.
VK

Missing Maigret
2/8/01 - In reading the Maigret bulletin board over the past year or two it would be hard not to notice the on-going criticism that the unfortunate Peter Haining has received from knowledgeable contributors regarding his less than academic thoroughness, and ending recently with the link to the somewhat blunt remarks of Gareth Preston.
I am afraid that I am going to add to Mr. Haining's burden. His filmography of Rupert Davies is incomplete.
In his book, The Complete Maigret, Haining fails to mention an appearance of Rupert Davies as Maigret which ocurred in 1969, five years after the original BBC Maigret series had ended.
It was called 'Maigret at Bay', about a chain of daring jewel robberies at a time when Maigret is only five years off retirement and is worried about his weight, his insomnia and his suspected claustrophobia. (Maigret on the Defensive? Or, Maigret Bides His Time in which Palmari and Aline also appear? But was Maigret concerned about his health in this book?)
It was a Play of the Month production, a BBC series of plays which was shown on Sunday evenings. As such it was a 'one-off' production and was unfortunately not part of a new Maigret series. The air date was Sunday, February 9, 1969.
The Radio Times cover for that week shows a thoughtful Davies puffing away at the inevitable pipe.

Regards,
Roger Richardson

Simenon et Maigret à l'écran [Simenon and Maigret on screen]
2/10/01 - Pour tous ceux qui veulent en savoir un peu plus sur les adaptations de Simenon ( et de Maigret en particulier ) au cinéma et à la télévision, je vous fais part de la parution récente ( février 2001 ) de l'ouvrage de Claude GAUTEUR : D'après Simenon — Editions OMNIBUS, Paris. Claude Gauteur qui a déjà écrit un ouvrage sur Simenon et le cinéma est aussi l'auteur de plusieurs livres sur Renoir, Michel Simon et Jean Gabin. Ces 250 pages, bien documentées, sont passionnantes à lire.

Bernard ALAVOINE
[For all those who want to know a little more about adaptations of Simenon (and of Maigret in particular) to movies and television, I'd like to inform you of the recent release (February 2001) of Claude Gauteur's D'après Simenon [According to Simenon] — Editions Omnibus [Presses de la Cité], Paris. Claude Gauteur, who has written an earlier work on Simenon and the cinema, is also the author of several books on Renoir, Michel Simon and Jean Gabin. These 250 pages, well documented, are fascinating to read.]


Bernard Alavoine is the author of at least three books on Simenon, Les enquêtes de Maigret de Georges Simenon; Lecture des textes. (Encrage, 1999, 120 pp.) [noted in this forum last January], Georges Simenon, parcours d'un œuvre (Encrage, 1998, 184pp), and Simenon: l'homme, l'univers, la création (multiple authors, 1993).
Les enquêtes de Maigret includes a listing of Maigret on French television, the Jean Richard and Bruno Cremer series. He cites the following sources for more extensive information: Jean-Jacques Schleret's Enigmatika n° 32 (Special Simenon II), Nov. 1986; Georges Simenon et la télévision européenne (Rencontre européenne de Télévision de Reims, 1990); Meurtres en série (avec Jacques Baudou, Huitième Art, 1990).

Claude Gauteur's filmography of Simenon is on-line at Le Centre d'études Georges Simenon et le Fonds Simenon de l'Université de Liège.

An on-line search of bookstores shows FNAC offering Gauteur's 1991 Simenon au cinema (Hatier, ISBN: 2218030764) for 152,00 FF / €23,17 (appx. US $21.50), and D'après Simenon listed as "not yet available."
Amazon.fr also lists D'après Simenon as not yet available, with a price of 80,75 FF / €12,31 (appx. US $11.50). Chapitre.com also shows it as "not yet available," for the same price (though with the wrong title: Simenon au cinema).


Alapage lists another Simenon/cinema-related title by Gauteur [Jacqueline Risset, Georges Simenon, Claude Gauteur]: Carissimo Simenon — Mon cher Fellini, (twenty years of correspondence, reciprocal admiration and friendship between two major faces of literature and film), published by Cahiers du Cinema in 1998, 96pp, 84.55 FRF / €12.89 (appx. US $12).

ST

Simenon Biography in Dutch?
2/10/01 - I'm a student in Belgium (Liège, where Simenon was born!) and I would like to find a biography of Simenon in Dutch. Any suggestion or Internet link is welcome.

Thank you in advance,
Ben
Simenon in Dutch
2/10/01 - I know two books (but there are more I think) about Simenon/Maigret in Dutch:
  1. De psychologie van Maigret, by Dr. W.A. 't Hart (A. W. Bruna & Zoon, Utrecht 1962 - Zwarte Beertjes n°526
  2. Georges Simenon: Speurder naar de mens, by Dr. A.J. van Zuilen, A.W. Bruna & Zoon, Utrecht 1987
Both books are to be found at the library of the Simenon Foundation, in Liège.
Jacques Dieu
Liège

Maigret tonight on France Channel 2
16/02/2001 - 20h55 - MAIGRET ET LA CROQUEUSE DE DIAMANTS - Téléfilm français de André Chandelle (2000/1h30). avec Bruno Cremer, Alexandre Brasseur, Michael Lonsdale. Maigret recherche Mary la croqueuse de diamants... il ne trouve que son cadavre! Pour les amateurs, un Maigret sur mesure avec des comédiens sympas!. (showview: 8902516)

The value of the franc in today's terms
2/17/01 - The table provided by VK is quite lovely, but I'm afraid it is based on two false assumptions:
First, that inflation has been 5% since the 1920's. Actually, we had deflation during the Great Depression. The Bureau of Labor Statistics rates the inflation since 1925 as x10, so 1000 francs, worth $40 in 1929 should be around $400 in today's dollars. Inflation is actually higher since, say, 1935, thanks to the decline in prices in the Depression. $40 then would be worth more like $500 today. Here's the BLS site.
(2) It is a mistake, I think, to assume that any figures, places, or events Simenon wrote about in the 1950's and 1960's in the Maigret series are necessarily reflective of that time. Maigret lived in kind of a time warp, where it was always 1935 or so no matter when Simenon wrote about him — with the exception that it was always 1948 or 1950 or so when Maigret traveled to America, because of course Simenon could only write about the New York or Arizona or Connecticut that he knew after the War.

— Oz Childs

Paris Match, September 21, 1989: Simenon farewell

2/19/01 - Paris Match's 26-page photo-essay farewell to Simenon, who died September 4, 1989. Reproduced here are the photo pages and French text, along with my (not yet complete) English translation: L'Énigme Simenon [The Simenon Enigma].
Georges Simenon ne fume plus la pipe de Maigret. Il avait quatre-vingt-six ans. Son regard a décortiqué la vie pour y capter toutes les sensations qui alimentent une œuvre colossale de 300 titres.
L'Énigme Simenon - Une œuvre immense; 10 livres qui la racontent, des photos qui l'expliquent. Sa vie orageuse a travers trois femmes. La mort de sa fille: Sa grande déchirure.
Georges Simenon no longer smokes Maigret's pipe. He was eighty-six years old. He dissected life to capture all the sensations that nourish a colossal output of 300 titles.
The Simenon Enigma - An immense body of work; 10 books that tell about it, photos which explain it. His stormy life with three women. His daughter's death: His great heartbreak.

Simenon biography in Dutch
3/13/01 - There is another biography in Dutch called: "Simenon, een biografie." Written bij Pierre Assouline. Printed in 1992 by Uitgeverij De Prom, Baarn.

P. de Man

Meung-sur-Loire
3/19/01 - Jérôme Devémy has just returned from a visit to Meung-sur-Loire, the Maigrets' retirement home, and sent these pictures and some of the documentation from the Tourist Information office:


Loire at Meung-sur-Loire

Castle at Meung-sur-Loire

St. Liphard - Manasses tower

Between Sologne and Beauce, in the heart of the Loire Valley, lies Meung-sur-Loire - a lovely old town of exquisite poetic charm. Built on the foundations of the Gallo-Roman settlement of Magdunum, it was colonized in the early Middle Ages by the monastic followers of St Liphard, who tamed and used the clear, agile waters of the river Mauve by which the town is traversed and partly surrounded. No less than 37 mills were built along the river and their rhythm accompanied the life of the people of Meung. Those mills were used for flour, paper and powder, for the tanning of leather and fulling of cloth.
The collegiate church of St Liphard was built in the twelfth century. This harmonious building still possesses its extraordinary and unique stone belfry, against which stand the remains of the Manasses Tower.
An imposing castle with walls two metres thick, angle towers and ramparts, was built in the thirteenth century. One can still visit and admire the unusual subterranean chapel dating from the same period - as also the oubliettes and "cul-de-basse-fosse". It was here that François Villon was to languish until pardon was granted by Louis XI.
This castle, which was also a residence of the Bishops of Orleans, served as a refuge for Salisbury during the Hundred Years War. The town was freed by Joan of Arc in 1429.
A large part of the castle was renovated in the eighteenth century and became the center of a libertine and fashionable court.
The port of the 'Bout du Monde' was for centuries the haunt of sailors and river-men of the Loire. Great barges were a familiar sight on the surface of the immemorial river, unloading the produce of Auvergne as well as foreign wares coming up from the coast, and taking on board barrels of "Gris Meunier" the flavoured local wine.

Meung-sur-Loire, City of Artists and Poets:

Jehan Clopinel, also known as Jehan de Meung and author of the Roman de la Rose was born here in 1240
François Villon was imprisoned and tortured in the dungeons of Meung Castle, where in 1461 he composed a great part of the Grand Testament.
The painter Ingres stayed here on the Mall, between 1853 and 1866.
Gaston Couté, a poet of an independent and stinging turn of mind, described in characteristically withering terms the life style of the local burghers in 1900.
Meung-sur-Loire has also provided inspiration for more than one novelist. Alexandre Dumas situates the first adventure of d'Artagnan here, as recounted in the Three Musketeers. Also Georges Simenon's character Maigret was a regular visitor in Meung too.


Brasserie Dauphine?
3/23/01 - Does anybody know if the Brasserie Dauphine ever really existed, or was it merely a figment of Simenon's imagination? I don't believe such a place exists now -- just returned from Paris and could find no such brasserie near Maigret's headquarters on the quai.

Thanks... Suzanne
From the Archives:

8/11/98 - In the Place Dauphine, behind the Palais de Justice, there are three cafés, any one of which could have been the model for the Brasserie Dauphine - the most likely candidate, in my view, being the one nearest the Quai des Orfèvres, on the southern side of the Place. It is called the Bar du Caveau. It has a narrow terrace outside and is well worth a visit, if only for a beer or coffee, to enjoy the haven of peace which the Place Dauphine is, right in the middle of the Île de la Cité. Of course we have to remember that the Maigret novels are fiction, and some of the most frequently used places are bound to be disguised.

David McBrien

8/25/98 - Patrick Marnham wrote in a footnote (The Man Who Wasn't Maigret, 1992, p.139): "Maigret's usual haunt was the Brasserie Dauphine, in real life the Trois Marches on the corner of the rue de Harley, which has since disappeared. This has created a vacuum, usually filled, so far as tourists are concerned, by the Restaurant Paul in the place Dauphine."

Steve

Maigret DVDs in Japan
3/26/01 - Maigret fans in Japan can now enjoy a lot of Maigret stories starring Bruno Cremer as our commissioner at home. Six France 2 programs have already been published in DVD since December 2000 (by a Japanese company called IVC - International Visual Corporation). They are:

  • Maigret et les témoins récalcitrants
  • Maigret et les plaisirs de la nuit (Maigret au "Picratt's")
  • Maigret et la tête d'un homme (La tête d'un homme)
  • Maigret et le corps sans tête
  • Maigret tend un piège
  • Maigret et l'affaire Saint-Fiacre (L'affaire Saint-Fiacre)
It looks like another two titles have just been or will be released soon, including Maigret et l'homme du banc and Les caves du Majestic. Subtitles which can be hidden are in Japanese and the region code is 2. No English subtitles available. (IVC has announced on their website - Japanese only - that they plan to publish 42 Maigret titles on DVD). I was able to buy these DVDs via the Internet, at Tower Records, Seven-Eleven (Japan only), and Inter-Record. The price was ¥3,800 each, plus 5% consumption tax (about US $32.50 total today).
Katsunori Matsuura

Excerpt from a Georges Simenon Novel?
3/30/01 - I have searched the available websites for this passage, but I have not been able to locate the Maigret story from which this text apparently was excerpted. If it is from one of the Maigret stories, can you help identify same?

"A radiant late afternoon. An almost treacly sunshine oozing through the peaceful streets on the left bank of the Seine. An easygoing gaiety shining in every face and echoing in each familiar sound.
There are days like that. Days when existence is less commonplace than usual, days when trivial gestures seem somehow charged with vitality, and passersby on the pavement or passengers in trams are invested with some heightened personality.
It was the 27th of June. When Maigret reached the gate of the Santé he found the policeman on guard gazing foolishly at a little white cat which was playing with the dog from the dairy over the way."
Simon E. Dance

Those are the opening paragraphs of Geoffrey Sainsbury's (1940) translation of "La guinguette à deux sous" (1932) - variously as: Guinguette by the Seine, A Spot by the Seine, Maigret and the Tavern by the Seine.
ST

Une fin d'après-midi radieuse. Un soleil presque sirupeux dans les rues paisibles de la Rive Gauche. Et partout, sur les visages, dans les mille bruits familiers de la rue, de la joie de vivre.
Il y a des jours ainsi, où l'existence est moins quotidienne et où les passants, sur les trottoirs, les tramways et les autos semblent jouer leur rôle dans une féerie.
C'était le 27 juin. Quand Maigret arriva à la poterne de la Santé, le factionnaire attendri regardait un petit chat blanc qui jouait avec le chien de la crémière.

Life, May 9, 1969: Simenon

4/1/01 - In Maigret's Paris with the man who invented it: Michael Mok's article on Simenon, in Life, May 9, 1969, coinciding with the publication of Il y a encore des noisetiers, the 200th "simenon". (Originally appeared on this Bulletin Board 12/7/99 - now with all the photos)
ST

Maigret on French TV: April 6
4/1/01 - Next Friday, there is a Maigret on the Second French channel:
title : L'inspecteur cadavre.
chaîne: France 2
Date : 6/4/2001
Horaire : 20h50 - 22h20
Durée : 90mn
Réalisation: Pierre Joassin. Distribution: Bruno Crémer (Jules Maigret), Jacques Boudet (inspecteur Cavre), Nade Dieu (Geneviève Naud), Philippe Bas (Louis).
Origine: France. (1997) Stéréo.
Musique: Laurent Petitgirard.
Notre commissaire met le nez dans une sale affaire, mais devra se contenter de constater. Un excellent scénario et un Jacques Boudet sinistre à souhait. Le chef de cabinet du ministre français de la Justice est bien embarrassé. Sa soeur, qui vit en Belgique, est mariée à un riche éleveur de chevaux, Etienne Naud, que des rumeurs locales accusent d'avoir assassiné un jeune homme. Maigret est prié d'enquêter sur cette affaire, pour mettre fin à ces racontars. Dans le train qui l'emmène en Belgique, le commissaire voit un ancien de la PJ, M. Cavre, dit « l'inspecteur Cadavre », reconverti dans les investigations privées. Maigret n'est pas au bout de ses surprises. Partout où son enquête le conduit, Cavre est passé avant lui. Il découvre que la fille d'Etienne Naud a un amant et qu'elle était la maîtresse de la victime.

Regards... Jérôme

Simenon Fan Club?
4/16/01 - Is there a Simenon Fan Club? Is there a Bulletin Board similar to Maigret Forum which focuses on Simenon, the writer, and not just Maigret? Thanks.

Jo

Maigret TV (with M. Gambon) movies - original length?
4/17/01 - How long are the Maigret movies (with Michael Gambon) supposed to be? One hour? Two hours?
I have seen several 50 min. long episodes, and was somewhat disappointed because several parts of the movie didn't fit together. I was even ready to dismiss the whole series as poorly done.
Than I saw another episode in same series 1 h 15 minutes long, and liked it quite better.
I would guess that originally Maigret series with Michael Gambon had been made as 2h movies, and they were much more pleasure to watch than the super cut 50 min. versions, which are now shown here in Vancouver (see my note last November).

Vladimir Krasnogor

Maigret Timings
4/20/01 - All the Michael Gambon episodes (apart from one) were nominaly of 60 minutes, but if you take away the time allowed for commercal breaks they come down to 50 minutes. The only exception was the first episode of the first series which was 90 minutes (down to 75 minutes for the same reason). So you have been seeing the full length programmes and they should have not been disjointed unless the sections were screened in the wrong order.

David Cronan

Sainsbury translations
4/27/01 - "La guinguette a deux sous" is one of Simenon's best, and evokes an era that has vanished without a trace, an era of cheap and popular riverside retreats near Paris (by "popular" I mean, in the French sense, used by the working-class citizens).
And the paragraphs quoted go a long way to explain why I read Simenon in French rather than English. I could translate better than Sainsbury did, and I am positive that Steve could do far better. Part of the problem is the antiquated English -- in 1932 London, a "dairy" may have included places in the city where milk products are made or sold, but in America, when such places existed, they were "creameries". Dairies have cows. "Treacly" is not only English English, it is wrong in context -- even in 1932, "treacly" was not a complimentary word.
But also, so much of what Simenon wrote is not even translated: Where is the "joie de vivre"? What of the passersby who seemed to be playing a role in a fantasy, fairy tale, or however you want to translate "feerie"?
And what possible excuse is there for the "left bank of the Seine"? Doesn't Sainsbury understand that "rive gauche" in Paris does not refer to the actual riverside, but to the entire part of central Paris between the river and Montparnasse?
It really is worthwhile to dredge up what you remember of your high school or college French and force yourself to understand the original -- a task that becomes very easy with practice.
(And wouldn't it be nice if Simenon's publishers would simply commission some new translations?)

Oz Childs
All right, I'll risk a try:
It was the end of a radiant afternoon, an almost syrupy sun bathing the peaceful streets of the Left Bank. And resonating everywhere, on people's faces, in the thousand familiar sounds of the streets, the delight of being alive.
There are such days, when life transcends the commonplace, and passers-by, on sidewalks, in trams or autos, seem to play out their roles in a fairyland.
It was June 27. When Maigret arrived at the gates of Santé Prison, he found the guard engaged in watching the play of a small white cat teasing the dairy-shop dog.
Anyone else?
ST

Simenon in Vietnamese


5/10/01 - A friend of mine was in Vietnam on vacation and brought me back a Simenon book. I don't know the title. I think it's probably not a Maigret. There are Christian names in the book like Blanche, Dieppe, Clairefontainne, and Emile.
Another friend of mine told me that the title translates as something like "un pas qui se trompe" in French but I can't find any similar-sounding Simenon title. Anyone have any ideas? (Strangely, the cover picture is from the movie "Mission Imposssible 2".)
Regards,
Jérôme

1963 BBC "Peter the Lett"
5/12/01 - Does anyone know how to get hold of a copy of the 1963 BBC production Peter The Lett?

With Thanks,
Paul Wood

1963 BBC Maigret
5/13/01 - I think the BBC wiped most of their early Maigret tapes (see previous postings). So unless there is a copy in private hands, and this was before the invention of the VCR, I do not think you are going to be very lucky.

David Cronan

A Matter of Life and Death?
5/19/01 - I was browsing the Net and found this Simenon listing:

A Matter of Life and Death [*Insp. Jules Maigret], (na) EQMM Jan '52
EQMM mid-Dec '90; tr. by Geoffrey Sainsbury
Murder at Christmas, ed. Cynthia Manson, Signet, 1991; tr. by Geoffrey Sainsbury
Merry Murder, ed. Cynthia Manson, Seafarer, 1994; tr. by Geoffrey Sainsbury
Does anyone have any of these (EQMM Jan '52, EQMM mid-Dec '90, Murder at Christmas, Merry Murder)? I'd like to know if it's really a Maigret, and what the original title was...
Thanks, ST

Maigret's daughter?
5/19/01 - Did Maigret and Madame have any children? In the French TV version of MAIGRET ET L'HOMME DU BANC with Bruno Cremer, reference is made to them having a daughter who died young, but I couldn't find any reference to this in my copy of the book. Is this referrence taken from another novel, or did the scripters just make it up?

Michael Jeck

Not in Maigret et l'homme du banc [Maigret and the Man on the Bench], I think. The only reference I've found is in Chapter 4 of "The Lock at Charenton" [L'écluse no. 1] - in a conversation between Maigret and Ducrau:

'Have you any kids?' he asked, with the sidelong look that Maigret was beginning to know.
'Only one girl, and she died.'
'Well, I've got several.'
[Margaret Ludwig translation]

—Vous avez un gosse ? questionna-t-il avec ce regard en coin que Maigret commençait à connaître.
—Je n'ai eu qu'une petite fille, qui est morte.
—Moi, j'en ai !

In the few other mentions of the Maigrets' childlessness, there's no reference to the daughter. In "Maigret takes a room" [Maigret en meublé], when M. is interrogating Paulus in Chapter 4:
He did not understand why Maigret, who was childless, who had always so much wanted a son, was looking at him in some distress.
[Robert Brain translation]

Il ne comprenait pas pourquoi Maigret, qui n'avait pas d'enfant, qui aurait tant voulu un fils, le regardait avec des yeux troubles.

And in Chapter 5 of "Maigret and the Hotel Majestic" [Les caves du Majestic]:
"Have you got any children, sir?"
It was Maigret's turn to feel embarrassed; Madame Maigret's great sorrow was that they had no children. It was something he tried not to talk about.
[Caroline Hillier translation]

— Vous avez des enfants, monsieur le commissaire ?
Ce fut au tour de Maigret de détourner la tête, car de n'en pas avoir était le grand chagrin de Mme Maigret. Quant à lui, il évitait avec soin d'en parler.

And of course "Maigret's Christmas" [Un Noël de Maigret], which involves a little girl who lives across the street from the Maigrets, contains many innuendos about their childlessness, but there are no direct references.
ST

A Matter of Life and Death?
5/21/01 - I've identified the story I was asking about above called "A Matter of Life and Death," thanks to an on-line bookseller's poetic description:

'Tis the night before Christmas and all through the streets of Paris a murderer is on the loose — and so is a ten-year-old witness in Georges Simenon's "A Matter of Life and Death."
Can you identify it too?
ST

Mon ami Maigret with B. Cremer on the 2nd French Channel next Friday
5/21/01 - Titre : Mon ami Maigret.
Date : 25/5/2001
Horaire : 20h45 - 22h15
Durée : 90mn
Réalisation: Bruno Gantillon.
Distribution: Bruno Crémer (Jules Maigret), Alexandre Brasseur
(Paul Lachenal), Michael Morris (inspecteur Pyke), Jean-Michel Portal (Yann Deferre).
Origine: France. 2000. Stéréo.
Scénario: Stéphane Palay. Musique: Laurent Petitgirard. L'inspecteur Jules Maigret reçoit un jour la visite de Mr. Pyke, un agent de Scotland Yard, désireux de connaître ses fameuses méthodes « à la française ». Cependant, aucun cas intéressant ne se présente à Paris. C'est alors qu'un coup de téléphone, en provenance de Porquerolles, informe Maigret du meurtre d'un certain Marcellin qui, peu de temps avant sa mort, a prétendu être un « ami » du commissaire en personne. Grâce au témoignage de plusieurs habitants de l'île, dont il fait successivement la connaissance comme à son habitude, Maigret rassemble les éléments qui lui permettront de faire la lumière sur le crime. Il avance dans son enquête, lentement mais sûrement, sous le regard attentif de son confrère.

Regards, Jerome

Maigret in Firsts
5/23/01 - The June, 1998 issue of Firsts - The Book Collector's Magazine, contains an article by Tom Rusch, "Worldwide Detectives," in which he examines the detective fiction of Arthur Upfield (Australian detective Napoleon "Boney" Bonaparte), Earl Derr Biggers (Charlie Chan), and Simenon (Inspector Maigret).
The back issue is available for sale from Firsts at their website, www.firsts.com, and you can read the Maigret section of the article here - mainly a brief discussion of three Maigrets: Maigret at the Crossroads, Maigret's Revolver, and None of Maigret's Business.

Missing Programmes
5/23/01 - The BBC is starting an "Archive Treasure Hunt" campaign to try to find missing programmes which might be in the hands of private collectors. Mayby, just mayby, this hunt could turn up some missing Rupert Davies Maigret episodes. Fingers crossed. Details on www.bbc.co.uk/treasurehunt.

David Cronan

1963 BBC Maigret
5/25/01 - The 1963 BBC Maigret production 'Peter the Lett' was screened at London's National Film Theatre in June 1995, along with 'The Winning Ticket' (Maigret et Son Mort) from 1961. It was part of an annual series by the NFT entitled 'British Television of the '50s and '60s'. Unfortunately no Maigrets are scheduled for this year's series. Ten years ago they showed 'The Golden Fleece' (L'écluse no.1). The NFT is part of the British Film Institute, telephone: 0870 240 40 50); web site: www.bfi.org.uk. Incidentally, in the not too distant past the BBC itself has repeated 'Death in Mind' (La tête d'un homme), 'Maigret's Little Joke' (Maigret s'amuse), 'The Fontenay Murders' (Maigret a peur) and 'Seven Little Crosses' (Sept petites croix dans un carnet), so presumably these episodes haven't been wiped like so many others.

Richard Thomas

Jean Gabin - Maigret DVDs


5/26/01 - Two Jean Gabin - Maigret DVDs are available on Amazon.fr: Maigret tend un piège and Maigret et l'affaire Saint-Fiacre. Both are zone 2 DVD for Europe, Middle-East and Japan. I don't know if there are any subtitles or languages other than French.
Regards, Jerome

The Green Hills of Paris?
5/29/01 - I was watching the Michael Gambon version of The Patience of Maigret on Hallmark last night. In the final scene Maigret and his wife are strolling along the banks of the Seine. In the background, on the opposite bank, you could clearly see some tree-covered hills which told you this was the Danube and not the Seine. In spite of its beauty this is one feature that Paris does not have in its central area. A pity really as the rest of the film, with its Budapest locations, did give the impression of 50's Paris. I have a feeling that actual Paris locations were used in some scenes. The external shots of the Palais de Justice did look authentic, unless they had found a very good Hungarian look-alike.

David Cronan

Maigret's children
6/3/01 - Ref earlier posting on Maigret's family. >From "The Three Daughters of the Lawyer" [short story from 'Maigret's Pipe']:

"I don't know if you have any children yourself...."
Maigret shook his head, reflecting that if his wife had heard from up in the bedroom she would be sad all day, for this was her great grief.
Brian T.
Lanark, Scotland

Death of Lucas
6/3/01 - In the "Maigret's Pipe" collection of short stories, Sergeant Lucas is mentioned in "At the Etoile du Nord" assisting Maigret just two or less days before his (Maigret's) retiral. In the following story "Mademoiselle Berthe and her Lover", the opening paragraphs establish that Lucas was killed at Maigret's side shortly before his retirement. Can anyone throw any light on whether a story was written covering this important event.

Thanks,
Brian T.
Lanark, Scotland
No, there is no Maigret story in which Lucas is killed.
In the five short stories which are set after M's retirement — Ceux du Grand-Café [The Group at the Grand-Café] (1938), Tempête sur la Manche [Storm in the Channel ] (1937/38), Le notaire de Châteauneuf [The Three Daughters of the Lawyer ] (1937/38), L'improbable M. Owen [The Improbable M. Owen] (1938), and Mademoiselle Berthe et son amant [Mademoiselle Berthe and her Lover ] (1937/38) — Lucas is only mentioned in Mlle. Berthe, which is also the only mention of his death in the Maigret archives.
Lucas does appear (or is mentioned as alive and well) in all four novels which are set after M's retirement — Maigret [Maigret Returns] (1934), Maigret se fâche [Maigret in Retirement] (1945), Maigret à New York [Maigret in New York] (1946) and Les mémoires de Maigret [Maigret's Memoires] (1950)
ST

Availability of books
6/5/01 - Like Oz Childs I have started re-reading Simenon in the original French. Luckily a friend has been paying regular visits to France and has managed to pick up a few Livres de Poche for me. It isn't easy to buy French books in the bookshops near here -- James Thin in Edinburgh had three titles, all costing about double what they do in France.
However, today I found several available through Blackwell's Online Bookshop, with free delivery within the UK. Check it out!
Another good site for British Buyers is Bookbrain, a price comparison search engine.
I'm sure there will be equivalents in other countries (I found one called half.com, an ebaY company, which had several Simenons, but they just seemed to be for the US market).

Roddy Campbell
Yetholm
Scottish Borders
More on-line sources for French editions:
BOL France
eBay France
FNAC bookstore
Amazon France
Galaxidion
Alapage.com
Chapitre.com

Brasserie Dauphine
6/12/01 - In his on-line New York Times article about the 1998 death of New York restauranteur Louis P. Daniel, Frank J. Prial writes:

"Back in Paris after the war, he worked at the brasserie that the author Georges Simenon used as the model for the Brasserie Dauphine, a favorite of his fictional Inspector Maigret."
I wonder if that's the same brasserie Patrick Marnham mentions in a footnote (The Man Who Wasn't Maigret, 1992, p.139) (above):
"Maigret's usual haunt was the Brasserie Dauphine, in real life the Trois Marches on the corner of the rue de Harley, which has since disappeared."
ST

e-mail wasn't working
6/13/01 - Sorry! If you sent mail to the Bulletin Board during the past week, 6/6 - 6/13 - please send it again - the mail seems to have gotten lost!

ST

Lucas's death
6/12/01 - As I recall, it was not Lucas, but Janvier that was killed in the line of duty in an early Maigret, and mysteriously was resurrected.

(A note to Roddy Campbell: if you ever find a single-paperback edition of "Les Caves du Majestic" or "La Maison du Juge", please let me know. I've paid those unconscionable prices for about 65 Maigrets, here in the U.S., and would like to complete my collection. Also, I'd be glad to meet anyone who lives in Yetholm and loves Maigret. Yetholm is on the other side of the Cheviot from Northumberland, which is about my favorite place on Earth).

Well, Janvier got shot pretty badly in "Maigret Takes a Room" (Maigret en mueblé), but it was Torrence who got killed in "Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett " (Pietr-le-Letton) and was later miraculously resurrected.

ST

Abel Tarride
6/14/01 - There's been some talk about Peter Haining's book on Maigret on the bulletin board (1/5/01, 1/18/01), and I'm afraid that I have noted another (embarrassing) mistake in it. The picture [left (p. 30)] purporting to be that of Abel Tarride in fact shows Lawrence Grant as the evil Dr. Lakington gloating over the unconscious Phyllis (Joan Bennett) in the 1929 version of Bulldog Drummond. By the way, the film "Le Chien Jaune" as well as "La Nuit du Carrefour" can be obtained at either Amazon.fr or Fnac.com.
I have also identified one of the early Rupert Davies episodes [7. "A Man of Quality"] as a version of "M. Gallet, décédé". A German website about television in Germany listed the German titles of all the episodes where I found the name of the late monsieur. The net is a valuable source of information on the various dramatisations of the Maigret stories, especially the Internet Movie Database which recently added information on a Yugoslav version of "L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre" and complete lists of the casts of the Cremer-films. A complete listing of the episodes and the cast of the Jean Richard-films can be found in the book "Meurtre en séries" which I believe has been mentioned on the bulletin board.

Mattias Siwemyr

Maigret on France Channel 2 Friday night
6/15/01 - 20:50 - »MAIGRET - Série française de Philippe Bérenger (1998/1h40). avec Bruno Crémer, Marianne Basler, Christian Morin. Maigret se met en Quatre ce soir pour une belle femme étrange qui voit des cadavres partout et s'enfuit avec ses enfants ... Un thriller rondement mené!!.

French TV channels
6/18/01 - I'm about to have Sky satellite TV installed. Can any British reader tell me if you can access French TV channels through this? Then I could watch Maigret on Channel Deux on Friday night!

Roddy Campbell
Yetholm

Maigret - Friday 22nd June on France 2
Title : La fenêtre ouverte. Horaire : 20h55 - 22h25. Durée : 90mn. Réalisation: Pierre Granier-Deferre.
Distribution: Bruno Crémer (Jules Maigret), Alexandre Brasseur (Paul Lachenal), Florence Darel (Sylvie Laget), Jacques Boudet (Descharneaux). Origine: France. 2000. Musique: Laurent Petitgirard. L'intrigue est lente à s'amorcer, mais les inconditionnels de Maigret ne s'en plaindront pas, d'autant plus que Florence Darel est un régal pour les yeux.
Maigret s'apprête à arrêter un financier véreux nommé Oscar Laget. Paul Lachenal, son jeune inspecteur, se rend à son bureau pour lui apporter, en mains propres, une convocation de la police judiciaire. Le vieux Léon Descharneaux, homme à tout faire de Laget, nullement impressionné, lui fait part de l'absence de son patron: «Pas avant trois heures. Jamais avant trois heures.» En franchissant à nouveau le seuil de la salle d'attente en début d'après-midi, six personnes attendent comme lui de pouvoir enfin rencontrer le fameux Oscar Laget: cela fait des semaines que le financier se dérobe... A 15 heures, un coup de feu retentit. Laget vient de se «suicider». Maigret se rend sur les lieux et affirme qu'il ne s'agit pas d'une mort volontaire...

No Go for French Channels
6/19/01 - There are no French channels that can be accessed via the SKY digibox. Your only hope is to purchase what is called a "Free to Air" box (around £200) and point the dish at another satellite, probably one the the Hotbird group. For more information get hold of a copy of 'What Satellite' magazine. In there will be dealers that sell these boxes and also lists of what channels are available on different satellites.

David Cronan

Richard Harris, Maigret's pipe tobacco
6/19/01 - I came across an item in the 'films' section that was of some interest to me. It was regarding the portrayal of Maigret by actor Richard Harris. Truly, this seems an unlikely bit of casting to say the least. Nevertheless, who am I to judge without any prior viewing of the piece in question? Are there any sources through which I would be able to acquire the film; if not, what were your impressions of it?
Further, a key feature of the Maigret stories that adds great enjoyment for me is the active role played by Maigret as a pipe smoker. A long time and incessant pipe smoker myself, I wondered if any information was provided in the course of the stories as to the tobacco favored by the good superintendent. The chance to light up a pipe of the good detective's favorite blend would surely be a great opportunity to come a little closer to that character that has given so much enjoyment.

T.M. Jaques

Richard Harris Maigret... From the Archives:

10-29-98 - Maigret (Richard Harris) with Mme
Maigret (Barbara Shelley) in the 1988
HTV production, which moved the
original to a contemporary Paris setting.

Richard Harris as Maigret?
11/5/98 - Has anyone seen and have an opinion on the 1988 British movie 'Maigret' with Richard Harris? (I find that casting really odd). I would like to see it for it's curiosity value if nothing else.

Dave, Toronto Canada
Peter Haining has a section on the film in his "The Complete Maigret," in which he says, "The reception for the production, though, was universally bad. Peter Waymark in The Times speaking for the newspapers in general said: 'For those of us who admired Rupert Davies as Simenon's ruminative, pipe-smoking detective in the BBC Maigret series in the sixties, anyone else attempting the role must seem like an impostor. Even so, Richard Harris seems to have gone out of his way to make his portrayal as least like Davies' as possible. The trouble is that he is not much like Simenon's Maigret either. As played by Harris, he is a big, shambling figure, with a battered hat, glasses, scruffy blonde hair and a croaky Irish accent. Harris even gives him an Irish name, McGrey. He also calls his Peugeot a Pewjo."
To read the entire section, click here.
Steve
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.

Maigret's Pipe Tobacco... From the Archives:


1/27/99 - A question has arisen on the alt.smokers.pipes newsgroup as to what sort of tobacco Maigret might have been puffing as he wore out his hobnailed shoes on the streets of Paris. It seemed to make sense to ask the experts.
Here are the suggestions that have been posted to date:

Why, of course, Bergerac, (the town, not Cyrano de) made from the same weed that produces Gitanes and Gauloises. Buy it anywhere in France, still. My guess is you would not enjoy it much, though; it is rather a coarse and one-dimensional weed. Doesn't quite match the allure of the cigs, same maker, Seita, whatever charm they may hold.
MWR

I seem to recall he smoked "le petit gris" better known as caporal tobacco.
Chase
Thanks!
David Chute

The only more or less direct reference I can find to a kind of tobacco M. smoked is from Chapter 3 of "Maigret Meets a Milord" ("The Crime at Lock 14") [Le charretier de la Providence]:

"Maigret held his hand out in a mechanical gesture. In a gesture no less mechanical, Lucas took a packet of grey tobacco [tabac gris] out of his pocket and handed it to his companion."
But there's another reference which suggests he was fairly eclectic, and which was in the answer to the Mini-Mystery #2:
M travelled to Lausanne to interview the Countess Paverini at the Lausanne-Palace. After he left the hotel, "he merely gazed into shop-windows, hands in pockets, and then entered a tobacconist's to buy a pipe, having left so hastily that he had only one with him, which was unusual. He let himself be tempted by tins of various kinds of tobacco unknown in France, and bought three of different brands, then, as though seized with remorse, went into the next shop and bought for Madame Maigret a handkerchief embroidered with the arms of Lausanne." [Maigret and the Millionaires (Maigret Voyage), in: Maigret Among the Rich, Wallaby, 1978, Chapter 6, p. 77.]

Davies' Maigret
6/19/01 - I noticed reference to some of the Davies' episodes having been re-broadcast by the BBC. I managed to pick up Maigret's Little Joke onto video. Does anyone out there have the others they could copy for me?
I also recently saw a copy of some of the Gambon episodes on a Granada video, so presumably it is still available, try yr. local Virgin store I guess.
A couple of years ago I was holidaying in North Wales. My daughter and I went to Pistyll where Rupert Davies is buried (and where his widow still lives) we took a photo of the grave. We then went on to a car boot sale and I picked up two Maigret books in mint condition - BookClubs only sadly but spooky or what?

Paul

Thanks
6/20/01 - Thanks to David Cronan for the advice. I think I'd rather spend £200 on Simneon books!

Roddy Campbell
Yetholm

Where was the BBC Maigret filmed?
6/20/01 - I've been trying to remember the name of the French town which was used for location shots in the BBC Rupert Davies series.
Was it Hesdin? We had a couple of holidays near there when our children were young, but never visited the town.
I imagine it's changed since the 1960s.

Roddy Campbell

From Poland
6/22/01 - Hello, I'm a Maigret fan from Poland. Your site is very good! I've found much information about Maigret which I can't find in any other way, like how many Maigrets Simenon wrote. As you know, unfortunately, Poland was governed by the Communists for over 40 years, and therefore (because of the lack of normal business) only 21 novels and 3 short stories with Maigret were published. I'm always hoping that somebody will start to publish them again. This year a small printing house is publishing two Maigrets. I wrote to them, asking what plans they have, and I got the answer that they plan to print "all" the Maigrets if the series sells well, but they started by reissuing old ones, and therefore I have little hope. :-(
So... I've spent two days reading your site. I found all the statistics which you gave very interesting. I got the idea that it would be extremely interesting to compile statistics on how many countries Maigret was published in, and how many titles. I think that your site is read by people from many countries and they could send information about their own country. Of course you already have information about English, French (and I found information about Swedish too), and maybe others. If you are interested, I can send you all the information about Polish - Titles in French, English and Polish, years of publishing, scans of covers, etc. Only if you want... :-)

Best regards,
Przemyslaw Charzynski
Poland
Hello Przemyslaw! It's great to get feedback from Poland - I think you're the first on the Bulletin Board. I've been interested in compiling an international list of Maigret titles all along, and I've posted the ones I've gathered so far on the Bibliography Page. I'd love to receive your additions for Poland! Here's the list with the countries and number of titles I have so far (click on the language to see that list):

103 French titles
Czech50
Danish81
Dutch98
English103
Finnish74
German86
Hungarian24
Italian82
Latvian34
Lithuanian3
Norwegian74
Polish6
Russian10
Serbo-Croatian2
Slovak5
Spanish69
Swedish71
Turkish9

I certainly welcome and encourage anyone to send me corrections and additions, so that we can work towards a truly international list!

ST

Helen MacLeod on Simenon's Maigret Books

6/23/01 - Georges Simenon's Maigret Books, featured article by Helen MacLeod in the October, 1984 issue No. 8 of Book and Magazine Collector, including a collector's pricelist.

In February, 2000, I posted Crispin Jackson's May 1992 article from Book and Magazine Collector. Now here's Helen MacLeod's earlier Simenon/Maigret article from the same magazine.

Book and Magazine Collector
43-45 St. Mary's Road
Ealing, London W5 5RQ, England

Maigret: Polish book covers

6/28/01 - Przemyslaw Charzynski has sent along two dozen samples of Polish Maigret cover images, and a list of Maigret titles in Polish. To see the cover images, click on the one at left or here:

Maigret: Polish book covers

Maigret: UK paperbacks

6/29/01 - Mark Vernon-Roberts (UK) has supplied scans of the non-Penguin UK Maigret cover images. To see them, click on the one at left or here:

Maigret: UK paperbacks

Maigret in Hebrew
7/4/01 - Gidon Berman writes from Ramat Gan, Israel, with the titles of four Maigrets in Hebrew, but except for the first of them, it's not clear what the originals are. Anyone want to venture a guess based on the translated titles? #4 is apparently "Maigret at the Crossroads" [La nuit du carrefour], but which Maigret do you think contained "a perfect crime" - maybe "A Battle of Nerves" [La tête d'un homme]? And though I can think of a few "strangled beauties," I can't think of any "beautiful strangler," can you?:

  1. Yedidi Maigret [Mon Ami Maigret]
  2. Maigret Wehapesha Hamushlam (Maigret and the Perfect Crime)
  3. Maigret Wehachonek Hayefefe (Maigret and the Beautiful Strangler)
  4. Maigret al Parashat Drachim [La nuit du carrefour]
ST

From Pierre Tardivon's daughter
7/6/01 - About a year ago, Jérôme Devémy wrote about Maigret's birthplace:

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.
Today, I received e-mail from Pierre Tardivon's daughter, who also confirms:
Je suis la petite fille de Pierre Tardivon régisseur au chateau de Tracy (03) (L'affaire Saint-Fiacre) et "père" de Maigret.
Françoise La Malfa

[I am the daughter of Pierre Tardivon, régisseur of the Château de Tracy (03) (L'affaire Saint-Fiacre), and "father" of Maigret".]

ST

Simenon in French
7/7/01 - Roddy Campbell (Yetholm) listed a number of online sites for Simenon in the original French. I quite often pick up UK editions second hand at Barter Books in Alnwick, just across the border and they have a foreign language section which may contain some Simenon. Don't know whether they have an online facility but if he is ever down that way, it may be worth a look, or even a phone call.

Brian T.
Lanark, Scotland

Simenon in French
7/8/01 - Thanks, Brian, for reminding me about Barter Books. I haven't been down to Alnwick for quite a while, but I'll make a point of it now.

Roddy Campbell
Yetholm

Simenon in People - January 1980
7/11/01 -

After 500 novels and 10,000 women,
Georges Simenon has earned his retirement

by RUDI CHELMINSKI

Photographs by Hubert LeCampion

People magazine
January 28, 1980, pp. 80 - 84


Maigret on the Hallmark Channel
7/12/01 - Just found out that the Hallmark Channel (on BSkyB in Britain, don't know about elsewhere) is showing Maigret episodes from 001hrs-002hrs tonight and tomorrow, and presumably next week too.

Roddy Campbell

Maigret in Catalan
7/12/01 - Enrique Gaete has been checking and supplying titles for Maigret in Spanish, Portuguese, and most recently Catalan — but there's still a lot unreported, so input from anyone in that area is welcome. I now have representative translations listed for 24 languages — Albanian, Catalan, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Esperanto, Finnish, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Lithuanian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish, but that's still less than half the number of languages Maiget has reportedly been translated into - the People article above claims 53 - in 1980 - so it's probably higher! My list is on the Bibliography Page. Contributions and corrections are solicited ;-)

ST

Maigret on Vacation?
7/13/01 - I have searched in vain for a Maigret mystery in which Maigret chooses to stay in Paris rather than to travel during his vacation. He and Mme Maigret tour the city at their leisure, but he takes time to discover and pass on information related to a crime. If anyone has a title to suggest, I would be grateful.

Eugenia
USA
That's Maigret s'amuse - in English as "None of Maigret's Business" and "Maigret's Little Joke". It's in the collection "Maigret Cinq" and the "Second Maigret Omnibus" (Hamish Hamilton).

Second Series on VHS
7/17/01 - A catalogue from a firm called "Signals", which arrived yesterday, has the Second Season of the Michael Gambon/BBC Maigret for sale on VHS -- all six shows for $89.95. You can buy it online here. They claim it to be an "Exclusive" with them -- but I suspect you will be able to find it all over the place in the next few weeks.

Ed

Bruno Cremer as Maigret
7/18/01 - The cable TV channel WNVC in Washington DC has been broadcasting some of the Maigret episodes with Bruno Cremer in the lead. There's one I missed recently ("The Reluctant Witnesses"), and I wondered if it is possible to obtrain a copy of this show, either by purchase or exchange. Is anyone — other than the Japanese company IVC, which apparently only has DVDs with (I assume) Japanese subtitles — distributing the Cremer Maigret series?

Eliot Marshall

Gambon series on video
7/18/01 - Further to the earlier posting re above, I obtained the complete second series of the Gambon Maigret at an HMV store around Christmas time at a price of £16.49. It consists of two videos carrying the 2nd set of 6 episodes shown on the ITV channels (not BBC as stated above) and is issued by Granada Media (VHS GV0229).

Brian T.
Lanark, Scotland

Favorite Maigret books
7/22/01 - Hello: Perhaps Maigret fans would be interested to share what are their favorite Maigret books. It would not be surprising if some of us like every Maigret story. Personally, however, I really like "Maigret and the Saturday Caller". Also, some of the stories I like less than others - usually those set outside of Paris.
Regards,
Vladimir

Published short stories
7/24/01 - Consulting "L'univers de Simenon", I have noticed that Gallimard originally published a collection of short stories in book form in 1944, under the title "Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret", including 17 short stories. Then, in 1967, Editions Rencontre published the same collection of short stories, under the same name, "Les nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret", but adding two additional ones: "L'improbable Monsieur Owen" and "Ceux du Grand-Café".
This is an interesting example of the same French title with different contents, depending on the publisher. Have you found any other instances ?

Enrique Gaete

Favorite Maigret books
7/25/01 - Good idea, Vladimir. It would be good to hear about people's favorite Maigrets.
Mine (at the moment) is Maigret in Montmartre (original title, Maigret au Picratts; American title, Maigret and the Strangled Stripper). Lots of reasons for liking it. Great atmosphere, highly realized setting and characters, Lapointe falling in love with the strangled stripper, a heavy charge of eroticism. I read this recently in French and I don't remember the English version being so heavily erotic; I must go and do some research on this!
Roddy Campbell

Simenon in Films in Review - 1965
7/28/01 -

SIMENON ON THE SCREEN

Has Not Been So Successful As
He Has Been In Print

By JACK EDMUND NOLAN

Films in Review
August-September 1965
pp 419-437


There have been email problems this week.
If you sent mail August 1-7, please send it again.
Sorry.


Is this a Simenon?
8/8/01 - I'm trying to find out the name of a novel set in France (Paris?) in which a man takes a reverse mortgage on an old woman's house, then moves in across the street from her watching and waiting for her to die. It may or may not be a Simenon novel. Does anyone know the name of the novel? Thank you for your help.

Sherry Zivley

Rupert Davies episodes
8/26/01 - I would give my right ear for a video of even one of the Rupert Davies series. There seem to be references to recent screenings of one or more episodes - even if the BBC's Treasurehunt doesn't turn any more up, surely they would make the few they have avaiable? Or will I just have to keep listening to my original LP of the fantastic Ron Grainger score?

Margaret
Melbourne

BBC series with Davies
8/31/01 - Does anybody know from whom the music is in the French edition?

Johann Peter Eickhorst
Germany


Who's that next to Maigret?
 1.  2.  3.  4.  5.  6.  7.  8.
9/3/01 - This appeared on the Bulletin Board last November, but only this week I received a reply to my inquiry, from the Storm-P museum. in Copenhagen. The curator, Jens Bing, reports that Storm-P's cartoon first appeared on the cover of a Danish pulp crime magazine, Stjernehæftet, in 1946. (They don't have the original at the museum.) He sent a copy to the Danish branch of the Sherlock Holmes Society, and here are the results they've come up with:
  1. Dostoevski's Porfiry, from Crime and Punishment
  2. Maigret
  3. G.K. Chesterton's Father Brown
  4. Sherlock Holmes
  5. Agatha Christie's Poirot
  6. David Hume's Inspector Cardby
  7. Edgar Allan Poe's Dupin
  8. H.C. Bailey's Reggie Fortune (?)

Of course, Storm-P isn't around to confirm these identities, and it's equally clear that he partook freely of artistic license in his depictions...

I'd never heard of David Hume, nor his Inspector Cardby, but an online search reveals David Hume to be a pseudonym of John Victor Turner, and that he wrote at least 35 mysteries under that name in the '30s and '40s, including The Return Of Mick Cardby [1941] and Mick Cardby Works Overtime [1944]. I've found bookcover samples on a Finnish site about Cardby, which make the identification look pretty convincing. A description of the 1941 movie, The Patient Vanishes, states "The story concerns the friendly rivalry between private detective Mick Cardby (James Mason) and his father, Scotland Yard Inspector Cardby (Gordon McLeod). Anyone know any more about Cardby?

I'm still more inclined toward Dorothy L. Sayers' Lord Peter Wimsey for #7, even with the absence of the monocle — he seems over-dressed for Poe's Dupin, and where are the trademark green-tinted glasses?

H.C. Bailey's Reggie Fortune was another new one for me. An online survey shows he flourished in the '20s and '30s: "Mr. Reginald Fortune, medical adviser to Scotland Yard, is, superficially, one of the Wimseyish "silly ass" brigade - g-droppin', epicurean, upper-class, with a monocle-spouting Scotland Yard chief, the Hon. Stanley Lomas, as Watson. However, there's much more to Reggie than this..." Bailey's other detective was apparently Joshua Clunk.

The existence of a Finnish site on Cardby, and a Swedish one on Bailey, suggests their popularity in Scandinavia, and the likelihood of Dane Storm-P's choosing them for his models. In the case of Reggie Fortune, however, Curator Bing reports that "the Society is in doubt here."

ST

Maigret's wife's name
9/4/01 - I have read of two names for Maigret's wife, Louise and Henriette. Does anyone know her real name?

Thanks,
HSJ
How about this, from "The Confessions of Madame Maigret " (excerpts from a novel in progress) by Marie-Claire DESMETTE:)
Truth number four: I'm called Louise.
I don't particularly like my first name, but I don't hate it the way Jules detests his. To make him happy, Sim once attempted to replace Jules with Joseph. That was worse, he said. Since then, Sim keeps it 'Maigret.' In life and books.
In life, he always calls me politely "Madame Maigret," and it is this name that he puts in his books. Except once, he gave me his mother's name, "Henriette," in the investigation (I definitely must mention it) where I arrive at the truth before my husband the commissioner. If I had the courage to read some of Jules' psychological books and magazines, and if I understood anything there, I could probably extricate some interesting findings about this slip.
I'm Louise for my sister, I'm Louise for Jules, and Aunt Louise for Colette.
We sometimes call each other 'Maigret' and 'Mme Maigret.' Especially in moments of teasing. Here's the reason for it.
Fresh newlyweds and terribly shy, we were spending an evening at Commissioner Guichard's. Before an old gentleman with goatee and decorations, Jules bowed and presented himself: Maigret. At the moment to present me, I read panic in his look. He ended up saying: "Madame Maigret." While walking home I laughed at what he had done.
He confessed that he'd been reluctant to say: "My wife." It appeared to him too intimate for strangers and impolite towards me. Since then, when I want to tease him, I call him Maigret and he answers me: Madame Maigret. I sometimes say "Monsieur Maigret" or "Commissioner" when he acts a little too much the chief superintendant with me.
Otherwise, it's Jules and Louise. Not often. We don't often need to call out to each other, and we don't feel the necessity, as some do, of mingling our names in our conversation. Even on the phone, I hear: "Hello, is that you?" Which is perfectly stupid. I must confess that I do exactly the same.
I won't write down our intimate names for each other.
ST

Maigret's Memoirs film version?
9/5/01 - Has a film version of "Maigret's Memoirs" ever been made? Early in the book, Simenon mentions the Austrian criminologist Hans Gross. I'm preparing an exhibition in Graz about Gross and others, and would be very interested in locating the film.

Ralf Rother
Vienna

Simenon in Look - 1953 - a short article
9/7/01 -

THE SIMENON PHENOMENON

He writes a book in 33 hours

By Margery Darrell

Look
December 15, 1953
pp 62, 64

Maigret Rights Sold
9/8/01 - In the "Independent" for Friday 7 September, Simenon's film rights are described as being sold to a firm Chorion for five million pounds. The article mentions a possible film to coincide with Simenon's centenery in 2003.

Neville Grenyer
UK

Read more about it here: Inspector Maigret to join Poirot on world stage, from Yahoo,
and here, from Yahoo.
And mentioned here, from the Guardian
Here's how it was reported at "online Sun":

Sleuth deal for Chorion

CHORION has added French sleuth Inspector Maigret to
Agatha Christie and Enid Blyton in its publishing stable.

It bought the rights to Georges Simenon's 400 books,
which have sold 1.4 billion copies worldwide, for
£5.6 million.

Chorion shares rose 1.25p to 29.75p.

and in French, here, from respublica.fr.

Press Release from Chorion
9/11/01 -
6 September 2001

MAIGRET JOINS POIROT IN CHORION PORTFOLIO

Chorion Buys Rights To Works Of Maigret Author Georges Simenon

Chorion PLC ("Chorion"), the Intellectual Property and Bar Nightclub group, today announced that it has agreed to acquire a controlling interest over the rights to the literary works of Georges Simenon, best known as the author of the international best selling Inspector Maigret series. Completion of the transaction is expected to occur on 30 September 2001.

The rights, which include the worldwide copyrights to Simenon's literary works, will be acquired through a new UK company, Georges Simenon Limited, in which the Chorion group will have an 85% shareholding and board control. The remaining 15% will be held by members of the Simenon family, and John Simenon, son of the author, will be appointed to the board of the new company. The net consideration payable by Chorion for its 85% interest is £5.6m, of which £1.4m is not payable until September 2003. The acquisition will be financed from Chorion's existing cash resources and is expected to be earnings enhancing immediately

Georges Simenon, writing in French, was one of the best-selling European authors of the 20th century. He was the author of over 400 books including 75 featuring the fictional detective Inspector Maigret. His works have been sold worldwide in 50 languages and have been successfully adapted for TV and cinema mainly in France, England, Italy and the USA. Book sales are currently limited principally to France, Italy, Germany and Spain. The worldwide copyrights being acquired have a further 58 years to run. Georges Simenon died in 1989.

Commenting on the acquisition Chorion chairman, John Conlan said:

"We are delighted to be able to add Georges Simenon to our portfolio of famous authors, which already includes Agatha Christie, Enid Blyton, Margery Allingham, Edmund Crispin and Robert Bolt. We believe that this large literary estate still has significant untapped potential. The Maigret series of books is well known but currently largely unexploited in the UK, the USA and throughout the English-speaking world where we are confident we can develop substantial publishing, TV and video opportunities."

"This acquisition is a further step in our strategy of building a portfolio of famous authors. The Chorion management team that has so successfully transformed the performance of Agatha Christie since its acquisition in June 1998 will be responsible for the development of new publishing and other media opportunities based on Simenon's works in close co-operation with the Simenon family. The principal copyright asset being acquired, Maigret, is a great fit with Agatha Christie's crime brands, principally Poirot, and the synergistic benefits resulting from common ownership and exploitation will add substantial value in the medium and long term. Additionally, we are looking forward to the prospect of reinvigorating international publishing, TV and feature film interest in the large body of non-Maigret works. We are also very excited about the opportunities surrounding the centenary of Simenon's birth in 2003."

"We warmly welcome John Simenon to the board of our new operating company and we look forward to working closely with him to unlock the substantial intrinsic value of his late father's literary works."

John Simenon said: "My family has decided to conclude this transaction with Chorion because of the impressive management skills and entrepreneurial flair they have demonstrated in reinvigorating the Agatha Christie brand, and above all because of the respect they have show for the literary works which they control. Chorion offers us a dynamic yet stable environment to help achieve the amazing potential that still resides in the rights to my father's books."


Chorion Intellectual Properties:

Chorion owns and controls the rights to a portfolio of classic literary brands which includes the works of two of the most popular and widely read writers ever, children's author Enid Blyton and "Queen of Crime" Agatha Christie. Chorion is actively involved in managing, developing and promoting the works and associated characters of its authors across all new and traditional media, including, publishing, film, television, merchandising and the Internet.

The intellectual property division of Chorion was formed in 1996 following the acquisition of the Enid Blyton literary estate from the author's family. The division was significantly enlarged with the purchase in 1998 of a 64% interest in Agatha Christie Ltd. Chorion recently acquired the rights to the works of classic British mystery-crime writers Marjory Allingham and Edmund Crispin. It also controls the rights to many plays written by the award-winning playwright and screenwriter Robert Bolt ("Man For All Seasons").

As part of its drive to build ongoing value into its portfolio of classic literary brands, Chorion Intellectual Properties is taking an active lead in developing new film and TV productions as a way of underpinning book sales and encouraging the licensing potential of its brands around the world. Exemplifying this strategy is a $15-million investment in a 100 x 10-minute CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) animated series, Make Way For NODDY, based on Enid Blyton's successful pre-school character.

Jeremy Coopman, PR Manager, Chorion IP

Maigret at war
9/15/01 - A thought ocurred to me that given the period that Maigret was active, he probably was around (in a literary sense of course) at the time of both world wars. Are there any references in the books as to his involvement in either?

Brian T.
Lanark Scotland

Maigret at War (reply to Brian T.)
9/18/01 - An interesting point. I don't recall any mention of either world war in any Maigret novel, though I'm pretty sure that I've read one of Simenon's "straight" novels in which a man finds himself cut off from his life by the war. I'm looking through bibliographies to identify it.
In historical terms, Maigret as a police inspector would have been in a difficult position under the Nazi occupation of Paris. In one account I've read, French policeman were accompanied on their enquiries by German soldiers, and there seems to have been a degree of collaboration between the French police and the occupying forces.
According to Pierre Assouline's biography, there has been some suspicion in France about Simenon's own war record. Simenon said he helped Belgians and others to obtain permits and visas, but some people think he may have been a Nazi sympathizer. The biography is well worth reading.
My own feeling is that Simenon was a rather apolitical person, and that the Maigret novels in particular exist in an almost timeless, self-enclosed Paris of the imagination.
But Maigret and the Nazis would have been a terrific book!


The novel I referred to above was, I think, Le Train, which I was surprised to find was published in 1961. If memory serves, the hero is on a train in wartime, cut off from his family, and his old life. He is in fact escaping from his life. He is alone in the world, a favourite theme of Simenon's.
A point to add is that two of Simenon's books, La Maison du Juge and Les Caves du Majestic, both first published during the war, in 1942, are very hard to find. Oz Childs asked me to look out for them, but I haven't been able to find them, not even in French catalogues.
Does anyone have any idea why these books are hard to come by?
Roddy Campbell
Yetholm

Maigret at War
9/19/01 - Thanks for the info Roddy. What prompted me on this subject was watching a rerun of a film (non-Simenon fiction) The Night of the Generals about some non-military crimes committed during the war. The principal narator was a French Sûreté inspector who looked remarkably like you would imagine Maigret to be. I also knew that Simenon had written Le Train on a war theme although I haven't yet read it. I also have a copy of a film poster for Albert Prejean's representation of Maigret which was filmed and released during the occupation. This made me wonder about Maigret at war. I agree that in reality it would have been difficult and also that it doesn't appear to be part of Maigret's nature to judge situations from a purely black and white point of view. It just seems strange that such a momentous time in history should pass with no references to it, good or bad. I have read part of the biography and it would be quite understandable for Simenon to decide to stay clear of any potential controversy. Still it would have been nice to know that our hero had continued unsullied and solving crimes under those exceptionally difficult circumstances.

Brian T.
Lanark Scotland

Maigret's Wartime Service
9/19/01 - In answer to the question about Maigret's activities during the war, the only wartime reference to which I am aware is the short story "Storm in the Channel," published in the Maigret's Pipe collection. As Jules and Louise await to board a ship to Britain, it is mentioned that the trip will be an "opportunity to look up some of my colleagues at Scotland Yard with whom I worked during the war." As a consequence, I have always assumed that Inspector Maigret spent the war in England as part of De Gaulle's Free French, probably as director of security. Maigret never could have survived the Nazis occupation of France in Paris!

Dave Drake

Maigret at War
9/19/01 - As I understand, G. Simenon had made a conscious effort to avoid in his books mentioning of any actual event because he did not want to attach the events in his books in a specific time period. Instead he wanted his works to appear 'contemporary' to any generation of readers, and therefore help to extend the popularity and sales of his books. Obviously, Simenon was successful in becoming among the widely read authors, and probably not mentioning historical events has indeed contributed to Simenon's appeal.
I should add, however, that even without having 'direct' evidence when the Maigret's investigation takes place, it is possible to get a feel it is sometimes in the past.
For once, some of the language (I am talking about English translations) might not be considered 'politically correct' today. While on duty, before or after talking to suspects and witnesses, Maigret often used to stop for beer or a glass of wine - I am curious is such practice is still common among French detectives; it certainly would be unusual today for police in North America. And of course, Maigret books do not include the current investigative methods (notably DNA analysis) that would be included in modern detective stories.

Vladimir Krasnogor

Maigret at War / Gavin Lambert

read Chapter 5
9/22/01 - Vladimir's view that Simenon avoided 'dating' his works is clearly shared by Gavin Lambert, here in Chapter 5, the Simenon chapter of his 1976 "The Dangerous Edge":

"... Since he sees the world outside his novels as an artificial creation of politics, Simenon never 'dates' his fiction. Only a few scattered internal clues locate the action in the 1930s or later. Only a light handful of his 214 books acknowledges the Second World War. ... As Simenon has admitted, Maigret could never have functioned in contemporary Paris. Born thirty years later, he would certainly have resigned in protest against corruption and the new methods. Towards the end of his career he already feels the climate changing, and doesn't like it."

ST

Maigret at War
9/23/01 - Further to your recent correspondence regarding Maigret's wartime activities and the lack of reference to them in the books. Simenon continued to write during World War II, in one (written in 1941) Maigret has been exiled to the Vendee following unspecified disagreement with his superiors.
The war is not specifically mentioned, and I suspect that Simenon's (and Maigret's) philosophy of understanding but not judging would have been almost uniquely tested at this time. Nevertheless, it is possible to interpret this period of exile as a result of disagreement about the level of collaboration necessary to remain at work in Paris.

Mike Williams
Redmarley, Gloucestershire

The Paris police in wartime
9/23/01 - It is true that there was a certain amount of collaboration between the French police and the Germans. Equally, especially during the liberation of Paris in August 1944, the French police took a very active part in fighting the Germans. There is a memorial to the members of the police force who lost their lives in this fighting. This is located in the Hotel Dieu Hospital which lies between the Prefecture de Police and Notre-Dame cathedral on the Ile de La Cité. If in Paris, especially when looking for the "Brasserie Dauphine", it is well worth seeking out.

David Cronan

Advice by David Cronan
9/26/01 - Thanks to David Cronan for the advice about what to do on a visit to Paris. I was looking for such information. On our last visit to Paris, I was quite disappointed with many of the 'standard' Paris tourist attractions, like the ones included in every travel book.

Vladimir Krasnogor

More About Paris
9/29/01 - Another suggestion for a visit while on the Ile de la Cité is the Palais de Justice. Members of the public are allowed free entry and it is well worth a visit to this huge Gothic building. You can almost imagine Maigret striding down one of the vast corridors , a bundle of documents under his arm, pipe in mouth, on his way to visit one of the dreaded examining magistrates. Not his favourite way of passing the time.
The Hotel Dieu (see above) has a wonderful garden at it's centre. Although a working hospital you can still visit this quiet oasis. It is a good place to sit down, relax, possibly read a Maigret story and get away from the vast crowds milling round outside the nearby Notre-Dame and souvenir shops.

David Cronan

Simenon: the Paris Review interview - 1955
10/2/01 -


(click to enlarge)

The Art of Fiction IX

Georges Simenon:

An Interview

Paris Review
Summer, 1955
pp 70-90

Jean Richard [1921- ] - still alive?
10/5/01 - Jean Richard (Maigret) est-il toujours vivant ? Is Jean Richard (Maigret of French television from 1965-1980s) still alive?
Merci et salutations,
Stéphane Le Blond du Plouy

Simenon in Le Figaro - July 26-29, 2001
10/12/01 -

Thanks to Jérôme Devémy, who sent me a copy, we can enjoy this 3-part series on Simenon and his 1929-30 journey to the "top of the world", North Cape, in Norway, which appeared in Le Figaro newspaper this summer, July 26-29, 2001. Here's the first part of "Sur les traces de Simenon au cap Nord" [In the tracks of Simenon to North Cape]:

Maigret au pays des moulins

and my translation:

Maigret in the land of windmills

Simenon in Le Figaro - July 26-29, 2001
10/13/01 -

Part 2 of the 3-part Figaro series "Sur les traces de Simenon au cap Nord" [In the tracks of Simenon to North Cape]:

La Diligence de la mer de Norvège

and my translation:

The Stagecoach of the Norwegian Sea

Simenon in Le Figaro - July 26-29, 2001
10/14/01 -

The final part of Baudouin Bollaert's 3-part Figaro article "Sur les traces de Simenon au cap Nord" [In the tracks of Simenon to North Cape]:

Hönningsväg ou le Paradis perdu

and my translation:

Honningsvåg, or Paradise lost

Thanks Jérôme!

Simenon in HA'ARETZ
10/21/01 - Jérôme has spotted another interesting article, this one on-line from Ha'aretz of Tel Aviv, which begins like this:

Oct. 19, 2001
Soul food
Simenon-inspired delicacies
By Daniel Rogov

Do a bit of research in Georges Simenon's novels and you will realize that tomorrow marks the 100th birthday of Chief Inspector Jules Maigret. Follow the career of this illustrious policeman and you will conclude that, over the years, no one in all of France has eaten better than Maigret.
A generally laconic person, Inspector Maigret of Paris' Police Judiciare is not one of those dedicated gourmets who spends his time searching for the tastiest morsels available. As a detective, he has devoted much of his life in tracking down murderers. As fortune would have it, however, over the years, he found himself in a host of situations in which the most logical thing to do was to accept what was offered to eat or drink...

The full article is available here, including recipes for Sausage with Wine and Shrimp Mousse...
Now can someone supply the "bit of research" to support the claim that Maigret was born on October 20, 1901?

Maigret's Birth Year
10/22/01 - I can't comment on the birthday, but I know that the year was 1887 from Maigret's First Case when he was 26 years old. Since the case occurred in 1913, Jules must have been born in 1887 — I've always thought his birthday was February 12, just like Simenon's.

Dave Drake

Maigret's Birth Year
10/29/01 - In Gilles Henry's [1977] Commissaire Maigret, Qui êtes-vous ? he writes that Jules François Amédée must have been born in 1884:

Lors de sa première intervention, "Il avait quarante-cinq ans". Dans le réel, cette phrase étant écrite en 1929, cela ferait naître le héros en 1884. [p.37]
[At the time of his first appearance, "he was 45." That having actually been written in 1929 <in Pietr le Letton>, it would make our hero born in 1884. <ST>]

Do other fictional detectives, like Sherlock Holmes, have known birthdays?

Jérôme

Aymé's preface to Le chien jaune
 
10/29/01 - I found among my papers this old introduction to Maigret et le chien jaune by Marcel Aymé, a French writer (best known for his novel Le passe-muraille), which may be of interest...

Marcel Aymé: Preface to Simenon's Le Chien Jaune

and translated into English

Jérôme

Maigret's Birth Year
10/30/01 - In reply to Jerome, I calculate that Maigret was actually born in 1887. I am currently reading "La première enquête de Maigret" ("Maigret's First Case") — as good a way as any I can think of to pass the time when commuting between London and Chelmsford! The following snippets appear in the first chapter (with my rough translations in brackets):

On était le 15 avril 1913 ... il [Maigret] avait vingt-six ans et il était juste marié de cinq mois. Depuis qu'il était entré dans la police, quatre ans plus tôt, il avait passé par les services les plus humbles ...

(It was the 15th April 1913 ... he [Maigret] was 26 years old and had been married only five months. Since joining the police, four years earlier, he had experienced the most humble duties ...)

So according to this book (written in 1948) he had joined the police at the age of 22 and was 26 when conducting his "own" case for the first time.
Regards,
Michael Newman

Maigret's Birth Year - Penzler

11/10/01 - Somehow Otto Penzler, contrary to the calculations of Dave Drake and Michael Newman — that Maigret was born in 1887 — came up with a date ten years earlier in his biography of Maigret in The Private Lives of Private Eyes:
"Jules Amedée François Maigret was born in 1877 in central France, not far from Moulins..."
My vote is with Dave and Michael!

Maigrets are not detective stories: Narcejac

11/14/01 - Thomas Narcejac, in his Le cas Simenon [1950, Presses de la cité; reprinted, 2000, Le Castor Astral; translated by Cynthia Rowland, 1952, as "The Art of Simenon," Routledge & Kegan Paul, London], maintained that the Maigrets are not detective stories, but rather novels. He argued that they do not follow the 'basic rules' of detective stories. Below is one small section [p. 9-11] where he presents evidence that Maigret at the Crossroads, from a 'police' point of view, is almost impossible:
... Is Inspector Maigret really a detective, in the true sense of the word? It has been asserted that Simenon was so familiar with the Police judiciaire that he knew the ins and outs of every section. It has even been said that his stories were based on authentic cases. Rash spirits have insisted that there really was a Maigret, whom Simenon used to accompany on his investigations. It is always a pity to destroy a legend, particularly a charming one. Still, anyone can buy a Simenon in the Fayard edition, and read it attentively. Let us take, say, La Nuit du Carrefour [M at the Crossroads]. The story is, briefly, as follows: the corpse of an unknown man is discovered in the garage of the Villa des Trois veuves, three miles from Arpajon, and therefore in Seine-et-Oise. The two tenants of the villa, a foreigner, Andersen, and his wife, Elsa, are arrested at the Gare d'Orsay. Inspector Maigret undertakes to unravel the mystery. Now Maigret does not seem to be aware for a single minute that in so doing:
(a) his whole procedure is illegal;
(b) his arrests are arbitrary;
(c) he is guilty of exceeding his powers, an offence which is punishable by imprisonment
And all this because the principle of territorial competence as laid down in the criminal code, provides that an Inspector who is competent to act in the department of the Seine, is not competent to act in Seine-et-Oise. But does Maigret at any rate understand his job as a policeman? Even this seems arguable. We find him questioning the detained man for seventeen hours, but completely neglecting his wife, who later turns out to be the leader of the Carrefour gang. He fails to examine the corpse in the car on the spot. He witnesses the assassination of Mme Goldberg, and forgets to question the chauffeur who drove her to the spot. The Parquet appears, and Maigret wanders off to commune with nature! When he returns, the magistrates have left, but Maigret does not mind. It does not seem to occur to him that it is his duty to direct the investigation, take statements, proceed with the confrontation and interrogation of suspects. He has at his disposal a squad of thirty or so detectives, who would normally undertake all routine duties. But it is he, the Divisional Inspector, who has to keep watch night and day at the famous crossroads. He has no hesitation in firing at the tyres of a car, or in entering a house with a skeleton key, activities which would have led to his immediate dismissal.
To refer briefly to some minor details which Simenon would inevitably have noticed if he had frequented the Police judiciaire in search of local colour: p.7, 'the tea-shops of the Place Saint-Michel were taken by storm.' But, in the first place, there are no tea-shops in the Place Saint-Michel, and secondly, the buildings of the P.J., except for the Commissioner's office, overlook the Place Dauphine.
P. 8: 'And the stove, which seemed to be snoring.' There is not a single stove in the P.J. It has central heating throughout.
P. 11: 'Naked in the Identification department.' This is quite impossible. An accused person is never photographed and measured whilst he is on the premises of the P.J. These formalities only take place when he has been placed at the disposal of the magistrates, that is to say, sent to the depôt.
P. 17: The conversation between Maigret and the examining magistrate. Judge Coméliau is as much out of order as Maigret. It should have been a magistrate from Versailles or Étampes. Furthermore, the accused remain twenty-four hours in the hands of the police and it is only after this interval that the Parquet appoints a magistrate to take charge of the case.
It would be easy to compile an inordinate list of such minor errors. They abound, but, it must be added, only in the early Maigrets. It may be argued that such microscopic analysis is purely pedantic. But I am concerned to demonstrate that Simenon does not bother with trivial accuracy. He is not trying to reproduce an investigation. Exactness of detail is unimportant. Maigret is not a real life Detective Inspector, but a character in a novel, which is another matter...

What do you think?

Maigret's Birth Year - What's weak about Henry's analysis
11/18/01 - In Commissaire Maigret, Qui êtes–vous ?, (above) when Gilles Henry wrote "Lors de sa première intervention," he was evidently referring to M's first appearance, in Pietr le Letton, which Simenon claimed to have written in 1929. It is at the beginning of Chapter 3 (middle of Chapter 2 in the English translation) that we read, "Le commissaire avait quarante-cinq ans." [The Superintendent was forty-five years old.] 1929-45 = 1884, Q.E.D.
That analysis assumes that the year Pietr le Letton was (purportedly) written, 1929, was the year in which the action took place. But the analysis based on Maigret's First Case is totally internal – both the year it takes place (1913) and M's age at the time (26) are given in the story, not deduced from external events.
1884 was the year Pierre Tardivon, who Simenon says was the model for M's father, was born, and Henry felt that that was a reason Simenon used it for M's birthyear as well.
But in fact, it looks like 1887 is the better answer.

ST

Maigret's Birth Year - Simenon disagrees!
11/18/01 - Jérôme has forwarded a copy of Simenon's [1979] "50th anniversary letter to Maigret," reprinted in Francis Lacassin's La vraie naissance de Maigret [1992] from L'Illustré de Lausanne.
Simenon opens the letter with the comment that when they first met, (fifty years earlier) in Delfzijl in 1929, "Maigret was around 45," supporting Gilles Henry's statement of Maigret's being born in 1884.
Here's the original French version of Simenon's Lettre à Maigret, and my translation, Letter to Maigret.
But considering the report of Claude Menguy and Pierre Deligny in The true beginnings of Commissioner Maigret, also described above in the Figaro article, can we really rely on Simenon's opinions on such matters?

 
Responding to Narcejac... 11/18/01 - It seems to me that M. Narcejac forgot that times might have changed between 1931, when Simenon wrote La Nuit du Carrefour, and 1950. Is he sure that there was central heating in the P.J. of 1930? We all know that Maigret insisted on keeping his pot stove when central heating was installed, some time after he became Commissaire Divisionnaire. Is he sure that none of the chiefs of services had windows facing the Quai des Orfèvres, from which the Place St-Michel would be visible across the river? The building is, after all, on the Quai, and there are many windows that look out on it. Is he sure there were no "crémeries" in the Place in 1931? (And isn't a "crémerie" a place where dairy products are sold, not a "tea room"? — but Narcejac is hardly responsible for Cynthia Rowland's unfortunate translation which is slapdash at best). Is he sure that the jurisdiction of the P.J. did not extend to the suburban departements in murder cases? Or that the P.J. couldn't be called in, where a suspect in a suburban crime is arrested in Paris?
Mr. Narcejac is right, I believe, to say that the police could hold a suspect for 24 hours before taking him before a juge d'instruction — but unless Simenon was wrong not only in 1931 but for 30+ years afterwards, it cannot be the case that a juge d'instruction is not appointed until 24 hours after someone is arrested. The judge and his clerk/bailiff (greffier) accompany the procureur or (usually) his substitute to the scene of major crimes, and the legal investigation is often opened long before an arrest. A judge would be well within his rights in advising or even ordering the PJ to take certain actions from that point on, because the Police Judicaire, unlike the ordinary police, is in fact the investigative arm of the court — hence the name. Maigret, of course, resents such interference, but never claims it is illegal.
In many of his novels, Simenon notes that suspects are sent to the Depôt and photographed, etc., often after being questioned at the PJ. Normally this would not have happened before the interrogation — and once there is a formal arrest, future questioning happens before the juge d'instruction. So Simenon was wrong in this instance, to have the questions come after the anthromorphic photos.
As for Maigret not being a normal commissaire, and doing stake-outs on his own, or accompanying his men there, this is of course conceded. Maigret often notes that he is subject to criticism for this, but it's what makes him so successful.

Oz Childs

Gambon Maigret on DVD?
11/21/01 - I am searching for the complete Michael Gambon Maigret on DVD format. Does anyone know where I can purchase these?

Thanks,
Bradley Hodge

BBC To Show Jean Gabin Maigret
11/23/01 - Next week British viewers will have the chance of watching the 1957 French film "Maigret Sets a Trap" [Maigret tend un piège], starring Jean Gabin as the inspector and directed by Jean Delannoy. It is being shown on BBC Knowledge on Saturday 1st. of December at 22:10. It is being shown in the original French with English subtitles. My film guide rates this with 3 stars (out of 5).
David Cronan

A little more on Narcejac
11/23/01 - Simenon's "Mémoires de Maigret," published in 1950, appears to be a response to Narcejac. He explains some of the extra-territorial activities of Maigret as being due to an assignment with the Sûreté Nationale (rue des Saussaies). But I still think the PJ could become involved in suburban murders, though not in cases in La Vendée.

Oz Childs

Simenon on the Detective Novel
11/25/01 - Also from Francis Lacassin's La vraie naissance de Maigret is this introduction to the [1934] serialized appearance of "Maigret" [Maigret Returns] which Simenon wrote for Le Jour, in which he seems to be saying that unlike "regular" novels, the Detective Novel can't be "realistic". Here in the original French, Maigret reprend du service, and in my translation, Maigret Returns.

Maigret in Liège

11/25/01 - Where can I find a list of the novels set in Liège? Thanks.
Godfrey

If it's just the Maigrets, it's a very short list: "La danseuse du Gai-Moulin" [(Maigret) At the "Gai Moulin"]. If it's all the Simenons... Anyone?

Rupert Davies' Maigret Episodes

11/25/01 - I recently contacted the BBC Treasure Hunt website about the Davies' Maigret series. They informed me that they do have ALL the episodes on video and are 'considering releasing them'. I emailed back asking them to accept it as a request to release the Davies' episodes. Perhaps if others here emailed the BBC they might do something about it.

Paul Fowler

Maigret on Radio
11/25/01 - I can recommend the excellent BBC Radio Collection tapes called 'Maigret Hesitates'. It stars Maurice Denham as Maigret and Michael Gough as Simenon, great for listening to in the car as you drive along. Only problem is that they are edited quite heavily to fit into half hour programs.
Paul Fowler

A Second Maigret set in Liège
11/26/01 - Am I mistaken in thinking that the climax of Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien [M. and the Hundred Gibbets] is set in Liège?

Roddy Campbell

If I remember well, "Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien" takes place in Liège or is very closely related to Liège.
Jérôme

Oops! Roddy and Jérôme did better than I did — there are two with action in Liège!

Bruno Cremer videotapes - Maigret in Liège

11/28/01 - Six videotapes, each containing two episodes of the Bruno Cremer films, have been released in France (of course in SECAM format).

Also, the book "Le pendu du Saint Pholien" is called "The Hanged Man in Liège" [Den hängde i Liège] in Swedish.

Mattias Siwemyr

Saint-Pholien (Liège) links

11/27/01 - In order to document a little a place where a Maigret took place... this link gives information on the Saint-Pholien church in Liège. (in French)
There's a drawing of the church here.
And here they talk about a "Simenon way" in Liège, which might interest Simenon fans planning a trip to Liège. (in French)
I couldn't find a photo of the church.
Jérôme

Maigret and M. L'Abbé?
11/30/01 - Please pardon my ignorance, but can anyone tell me why the 1941 collection containing Death of a Harbour Master (tr. Stuart Gilbert) is entitled: Maigret and M. L'Abbé? This means something like: "Maigret and the Father (Priest)" doesn't it? I'm confused.

Graeme Sutherland
England

Maigret and M. Labbé
11/30/01 - The correct title of the volume is Maigret and M. Labbé. It contains translations of two novels by Simenon: Death of a Harbormaster (Le port des brumes), a Maigret, and The Man from Everywhere (Le relais d'Alsace), featuring Superintendent Labbé. (Labbé is a surname.)

John H. Dirckx
[Le relais d'Alsace [1931] was the first non-Maigret published under Simenon's true name. <ST>]

Maigret Tend Un Piège
12/3/01 - Thanks to David Cronan for alerting me to the showing of this film on BBC Knowledge. I thoroughly enjoyed it — it had pace and humour, and I thought Jean Gabin conveyed Maigret's massive solidity and humanity very well. Mme Maigret was very feisty -- not at all the passive housewife of the books. Let's hope they show some of the other films listed in this site's filmography.

Roddy Campbell

Times Have Changed
12/6/01 - I also enjoyed the showing of Maigret Tend Un Piège on BBC Knowledge and, like Roddy, was struck by the difference in character of Mme Maigret [Jeanne Boitel] to that portrayed in the books. Another thing that I noticed was the way the area where the murders were committed (the Marais) has changed in forty odd years. When the film was made this area of Paris was run-down full of the lower strata of society. Now it is up-market, full of trendy boutiques and very expensive housing. There are no butcher's shops now in the arcades round the Place des Vosges. Instead they are populated by art galleries, expensive restaurants and high class shops.

David Cronan

Maigret's birth - another for 1887
12/7/01 - A somewhat less well-known Simenon biography is the one written by Professor Mathieu Rutten: Simenon: ses origines - sa vie - son œuvre [1986, Nandrin, Belgium] [Simenon, his origins, his life, his work]. Chapter 5 [p.189] tells us more about the birth of Maigret:

"Jules Amédée François Maigret was born in Saint-Fiacre par Matignon-lez-Moulins département de l'Allier, Berry, in 1887. He started his police career in 1913 and ended it, officially, as 'commissaire en chef' in the year 1942. However, he continued after he retired until 1972."
Best regards,
Philippe Proost

Maigret Tend Un Piège
12/7/01 - There are some quite notable differences between the film and the book.
I wonder why the film makers changed the location, from Montmarte in the book to the Marais in the film? My impression was that most of the film was shot in a studio, but at least one street scene was naturally lit and looked like a location shot.
Inspector Lognon in the novel became Lagrume in the film.
A more important difference is that the motivation for the murders in the film was essentially and overtly Freudian. In the novel, Simenon nods in that direction but is disinclined to impute motivation completely in that direction.
It may be heresy to say so, but I feel the film made the character's motivation more believable than the novel. However, I believe it's also true to say that Simenon rarely analyses motivation and that Maigret solves his crimes more by gaining insight into the lives and minds of the murderer and his or her victims than by psychological detective work

Roddy Campbell

Jean Richard Maigret filmed in the Netherlands?
12/8/01 - Hello, I am Paul Oostenveld from the Netherlands. When I was about 9 years old, it was arround 1975 I think, a movie of Maigret was made in Makkum, the Netherlands. I was in that movie on my bike. I am searching for that movie, but I can't remember the name of it. Can anyone help me?
The only thing I know is, that Jean Richard was playing Maigret in the movie. The place where the movie was made, (Makkum), is in the north of the Netherlands in the province Friesland.
I am looking for that movie for several years now, so if anyone can help me, it would make me very happy.

Thanks for reading this, and best regards,
Paul Oostenveld

This looks like a good possibility:
Un Crime en Hollande. 1976.
Directed by René Lucot. Maigret: Jean Richard.
Cast: René Roussel, André Van Der Heuvel, Marike Van De Pooll, Fernke Boersma.
ST

Simenon movie posters


12/9/01 - Collectionneur d'affiches de cinéma, je suis à la recherche des affiches suivantes afin de compléter le thème des films adaptés au cinéma d'après des romans ou nouvelles de G. Simenon. S'il vous ai possible de m'aider, n'hésitez pas à me contacter.

I'm a collector of movie posters looking for the following to complete my collection on films based on Simenon's stories and novels. Please let me know if you can help.

Missing
La nuit du carrefour1932 Jean RENOIR
Le chien jaune1932 Jean TARRIDE
La tête d'un homme1932Julien DUVIVIER
Annette et la dame blonde1941Jean DREVILLE
La maison des sept jeunes filles1941Albert VALENTIN
Monsieur la souris1942Georges LACOMBE
Le voyageur de la Toussaint1942Louis DAQUIN
Picpus1942Richard POTTIER
Les caves du Majestic1944Richard POTTIER
Le port de la tentation1946Lance CONFORT
Panique1946Julien DUVIVIER
La Marie du port1949 Marcel CARNE
La vérité sur Bébé Donge1951Henri DECOIN
L'Homme qui regardait passer les trains1953Harold FRENCH
Maigret fait mouche1968Alfred WEIDENMANN
L'ours en peluche1994Jacques DERAY

Voici les affiches que je possède en double pour faire des échanges.
I have doubles of the following which I would be willing to trade...

Have for trade
Maigret à Pigalle
Maigret dirige l'enquête
Trois chambres à Manhattan
Le fond de la bouteille
Le Président
L'Ainé des Ferchaux
Betty
Le Chat
Les fantômes du chapelier
Les frères Rico
Les Inconnus dans la maison (de: Pierre Rouve)

Mystery on a train?
12/10/01 - Thanks to John H. Dirckx for his answer to me on M. Labbe.
Another query. A long time ago, before I really started liking Maigret, I read a short story in which the Inspector deals with a puzzling mystery on a train. It is set pre-war, as one of the suspects is a Jewish refugee from Hitler. Could someone supply the title?

Thank you again,
Graeme Sutherland

Jeumont, 51 minutes d'arrêt. It appears in the Hamish Hamilton "Maigret's Pipe: Complete Maigret Short Stories Vol 2" and a few other places as "Jeumont, 51 Minutes' Stop!" - see the bibliography. (For some reason it doesn't appear in the US [Harcourt, Brace pbk] edition of "Maigret's Pipe".)
ST

Where do visitors to this site come from?
12/11/01 - Here's the record of the past week's (703) hits to the top (home) page of this Maigret site, with these domain counts:

Unknown
mainly USA (.net)
mainly USA (.com)
Belgium ( .be )
Italy ( .it )
France ( .fr )
Canada ( .ca )
USA (.edu)
United Kingdom ( .uk )
Japan ( .jp )
Switzerland ( .ch )
146
124
115
69
26
21
21
20
20
14
12
    Germany ( .de )
Sweden ( .se )
Brazil ( .br )
Austria ( .at )
Spain ( .es )
USA ( .us )
Finland ( .fi )
Netherlands ( .nl )
New Zealand ( .nz )
Australia ( .au )
Argentina ( .ar )
12
12
9
8
8
7
7
7
6
6
5
    Mexico ( .mx )
NPO (.org)
Czech Republic ( .cz )
Bulgaria ( .bg )
USA Military ( .mil )
Poland ( .pl )
Singapore ( .sg )
Greece ( .gr )
Luxembourg ( .lu )
Denmark ( .dk )
Croatia ( .hr )
4
4
4
3
3
3
2
2
1
1
1

 
New Maigret films with Bruno Cremer
12/11/01 - There are four new Maigret films with Bruno Cremer:
Maigret et le fou de Sainte-Marguerite - 2001 (October) by Claudio Poletti
Maigret à l'école - 2002 (January) by Yves de Challonges
La Maison de Félicie - 2002 (February) By Christian de Challonges
L'ami d'enfance de Maigret - 2002 (April) by Laurent Heyman
I found this information at: perso.worldonline.fr/james62/commissa.htm.

Mattias Siwemyr

Jean Richard [1921-2001]

12/12/01 - Bad news today ... I heard on French television that Jean Richard just died. The sequence was only a few minutes and not much about Jean Richard as Maigret. Most of it was about his job as manager of the Jean Richard Pinder Circus.

Some more about the telefilms of Maigret-Bruno Cremer: Up to now there have been 37 films and 4 more will be aired next year.

Once more, Congratulations for this Maigret website. C'est unique!

Jacques Dieu
Liège - Belgium

Jean Richard, who portrayed Maigret 92 times on French television, died yesterday (December 12th). There are two online articles in Le Monde:

Décès de Jean Richard, éternel Maigret à la télévision
Jean Richard, éternel maigret à la télévision

Jérôme


Edicom:
  Jean Richard est mort
  Décès de l'acteur Jean Richard, le commissaire Maigret de l'écran
Excite Canada News:
  Actor Jean Richard, portrayed Inspector Maigret on TV, dead at 80
Yahoo! Actualités - France:
  Mort de Jean Richard, commissaire Maigret et patron de cirque
Yahoo! News - Canada:
  Actor Jean Richard, portrayed Inspector Maigret on TV, dead at 80
MesNouvelles.com:
  Décès de l'acteur français Jean Richard, interprète de Maigret à la télé
Voila:
  Mort de Jean Richard, commissaire Maigret et patron de cirque
Excite Italia:
  19:08 TV: MORTO IL FRANCESE JEAN RICHARD, PROTAGONISTA DI MAIGRET
Canoë:
  Le comédien Jean Richard est mort
tf1.fr:
  Un Maigret disparaît
kwCinema:
  E' morto Jean Richard, celebre commissario Maigret

Jean Richard 1921-2001

Jean Richard was born in Bessines, western France, on April 18, 1921. He began his working life as a caricaturist before turning to comedy and then acting. He went on to appear in some 80 movies, but it was his TV role as Simenon's Maigret, for which he had been selected by director Claude Barma, that made him famous. Beginning with Cécile est morte in 1967, for over 20 years and 92(?) episodes, more than any other actor, Richard portrayed the most celebrated French commissioner, ending with Maigret à New York in June, 1990. By then Richard, with his trademark pipe and hat, had become completely identified with the role.
He was a pioneer: He had created the Jean Richard Circus in 1957, France's first theme park, "La Mer de Sable" in 1963, and the first private zoo in Europe. In 1973, he was the victim of a serious automobile accident, but after his convalescence he returned to the role of Maigret which had become his main work, for he had virtually abandoned the movies. He was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor (Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur) in 1995. His wife, the actress Annick Tanguy, deceased in 1999, was also his screen wife in the role of Mme Maigret. His memoirs, Ma vie sans filet [My life without a safety net], were published in 1984 by Robert Laffont. He died of cancer on December 12, 2001, near Paris.

How many Jean Richard episodes were there?
12/14/01 - Newspaper reports of Richard's death seem to agree on 92 as the number of televised episodes, but newspaper reports are not necessarily accurate. Bernard Alavoine's Les enquêtes de Maigret (Encrage 1999) lists 88 episodes, and says in the introductory section, "in the space of 20-some-odd years, 73 of the 76 novels, and half of the short stories were adapted." The Richard listing in the film section of this site corresponds to Alavoine's list. Included in the 88 were three which were done in two versions: La Nuit du carrefour, La Tête d'un homme, and Le Chien jaune, so in fact there were only 85 different Maigret cases. The novels which weren't done were La première enquête de Maigret, Les mémoires de Maigret and Maigret tend un piège. Although it's easy to imagine why the first two weren't done, it's hard to guess why Maigret tend un piège wasn't, unless there was some problem of permission. Additionally, 15 of the short stories weren't made into episodes of the TV show, according to Alavoine's list.
Still, with 85. Richard holds the record. According to my list, Rupert Davies is next with 52. Bruno Cremer has 37, with 4 more scheduled for next year. I don't have a full list for Italy's Gino Cervi, but he appears to have 36. Michael Gambon has 12 on my list. I don't have any information on number of episodes for Boris Tenine (Russia), Jan Teuling (Netherlands) or Kinya Aikawa (Japan), but I'd like to hear from anyone who knows, or has others to add.

Kees Bruce?
12/15/01 - Was there a Maigret series starring Kees Bruce? Ciném@ et Cie says he starred in a British television Maigret series between 1964 and 1968. The only other mention I can find is on a Finnish page, which seems to list him as a German Maigret, "Heinz Ruhmann ja Kees Bruce (Saksa)".
Ciném@ et Cie also says there were 90 Jean Richard television episodes, but lists 85, 62 in detail. Among those without detail is one called "Montmartre," which may be Richard's "missing" Maigret tend un piège...

Maigret chocolate bar wrapper!
12/20/01 - On ebay auctions today (offered by De Kantlijn Antiquarian bookseller of Bredevoort Booktown in The Netherlands) -

The Dutch publisher Bruna & Zoon issued the well-known pocket books "Zwarte beertjes." For promotional purposes, chocolate bars were made in the shape of these books, looking just like the originals but much smaller - 45mm x 65mm x 4mm (about 1¾"×2½"). This one is for Het pistool van Maigret, the Dutch translation of Le revolver de Maigret [Maigret's Revolver].

[Note: The bidding started at €5.00 (approx. $4.36) - The winning bid was €30.50 (approx. $26.58) - no chocolate - just the wrapper!]

Maigret chocolate bar wrapper!
12/19/01 - To promote Maigret books with chocolate look-alikes is an ingenious idea. If anyone had a problem what present to give a Maigret fan who has already all the books - here is a solution. Regarding the item on eBay, I am not sure what are they selling - books, chocolates or only wrappers?

Vladimir

Citroën 11?
12/27/01 - Can you tell me if Maigret drove (in the tv series) a Citroën 11? I would be very delighted if you could answer this question. Thank you very much,

Jan Beuving
The Netherlands

Citroën 11?
12/28/01 - I don't have a definitive answer, but I would like to make a few comments.
There were many Maigret TV series made over the last 40 or 50 years, and in many countries. A biography of Simenon features a famous photograph of the author with five or six actors who player Maigret; and that does not include M.Gambon. So, maybe someone, somewhere did use Citroën 11. I don't think they use this car in latest series with M. Gambon.
I am sure, however, that Maigret did not drive Citroën 11, it is a known fact he never learned to drive. Perhaps he even had a fear of driving.
Also, I remember in one of Maigret books a mention that Paris police cars were small. It seems from the picture the Citroën is rather a large car, so it was not the type of car Maigret would usually get from police car pool. Of course, Maigret used a taxi often, too.

Vladimir


12/29/01 - This model car was offered on eBay a few years back, and I think it is a Citroën — it looks like the real one above that I found on the web. It was described as "Maigret's car," and had also been used by the Nazis (in Paris?).
There's a large black car in the Rupert Davies film clip at Whirligig's '50s TV on BBC site, that looks like the Citroën 11... Did the Citroën possibly appear on French TV?
ST

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