Bibliography  Reference  Forum  Plots  Texts  Simenon  Gallery  Shopping  Film  Links

Maigret Forum Archives 2003

Forum Archives: 1997-98   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004  
2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014  
film and tv '97-'01   Index '97 - '04   Bottom

 

Happy New Year!

1/1/03 – To celebrate the new year, I've added a new feature! There's an addition and a change to the site index lines at the top and bottom of this and most pages to access it. (Please let me know if you find any that weren't changed.)
Now there's a new index location, Plots, where links to short plot summaries for each of the novels and stories can be found. (And for this page, a new linking name, Forum, for what had been previously Bulletin. For me, at least, this one may take a little getting used to.)
As for the plot summaries, please feel free to send me corrections and suggestions, including notice of minor typos. There's a lot of material, and though I've gone over it before posting it, it's from some years ago, and I keep finding minor errors myself, so I'm sure it needs polishing.
Have a good one!
Steve
(For those of you who think I'm a day early with my New Year's greetings, in a way you're right, since these pages are prepared in Tokyo, and we get the new year a little earlier here than most of the world. But I'll be making a big move in about a month, back to Honolulu after all these years, and then those dates should line up a little better. On the down side, I expect there to be a period of three weeks or so when the Forum won't be regularly updated until I get set up again in mid-Pacific. Please bear with me.)

Simenon Again
1/1/03 – [LEI: Liège, December 21] For the Simenon centenary in 2003, in addition to special walks, Madame Maigret menus, a Josephine Baker and Simenon musical, on February 14, an Inspector Maigret square will be dedicated to the author's most famous character behind the Liège city hall and opposite his birthplace in Rue Léopold. We shall return to the Simenon theme throughout the year. It was interesting to read recently (Parick Marnham, NYRB, 19.12.02) that the great English specialist in French history the late Richard Cobb used the world of Georges Simenon in his periodization of French 20th century history. Taking the Stavisky affair in February 1934 as the dividing line, separating the years of light, the vision of René Clair, from the defeated world of Georges Simenon. Please read issue #32 under 'Maigret and Tootsy'. The Simenon press conference also provided an opportunity for Het Belang van Limburg to distribute a Simenon novel with a Limburg flavor. The House on the Canal that has already been serialized in the paper deals with a family drama in Neeroeteren and also reveals that, in his great-grandparents' generation, Simenon had family members who came from Herzogenrath, Schin op Geul, Neeroeten and Liège – which really was his home town.
www.simenon2003.be

Emile Budé

Maigret's Boyhood Friend

1/1/03 – The plot description is fine... I just want to make a note about some irony in Maigret's Boyhood Friend. There is a saying "doing right things for wrong reasons". Something like that happened here. Maigret started the investigation based on a lie by Florentin (that the killer spent 15 min. in apartment after the shots) but the conclusion made by Maigret from this false information (killer was looking for letters) turned out to be correct.
Regards,
Vladimir

Madame Maigret's Four Sisters
1/3/03 – While visiting a Japanese Maigret site recently, Paris du Commissaire Maigret, I noticed a page investigating Maigret's sister-in-law, Hortense.
Hortense? Was Mme M's sister named Hortense?

There was the reference, right at the end of Chapter 6 of Maigret Takes a Room [Maigret en meublé] (MEU). Mme M had been called to Alsace two days before, to take care of her sister, who was to have an operation. Now she called with her plans: "Listen. Hortense is much better and I might possibly get home in two days..."
Hortense.
I knew David Drake's opinion, for he'd written in a draft edition of his Maigret Biography that "the Maigrets only had one close relative, Louise's sister, Elise Leonard Lauer. She and her husband, Charles Lauer, regularly visit the Maigrets in Paris, and Louise, sometimes with Jules, annually visited the Lauers in Alsace."
Elise Leonard Lauer. Since nowhere in the Maigret Chronicles is Mme M's sister referred to by her full name like that, let's see how Dave must have worked it out. The Leonard is easy. Maigret's Memoirs tell us how M met Louise Leonard, who was to become his wife, and although there's no mention of a sister in that volume, it follows that her sister's maiden name would also be Leonard. How about Lauer?

continued at Mme M's Four Sisters.
ST

Maigret's Paris
1/4/03 – Jérôme Devémy has sent season's greetings in the form of these three postcards showing Maigret-era Paris. (The postcards are new; the images are old.)

Collection Photothèque des Jeunes Parisiens
"Association Soleil" Club de Prévention
2, Place Rutebeuf - 75012 Paris - Tél.: 01.43.41.95.90

TIRAGE LIMITÉ À 2000 EXEMPLAIRES - Reproduction Interdite
Les deux "hirondelles", 1936
Two bicycle-riding policemen, 1936

REPRODUCTION INTERDITE - TIRAGE LIMITÉ À 1000 EXEMPLAIRES
Les Halles au temps des Halles, Paris 1954
Les Halles at market time, Paris 1954

REPRODUCTION INTERDITE - TIRAGE LIMITÉ À 1000 EXEMPLAIRES
Autobus à plate-form, 1969
Platform bus, 1969

Thanks, Jerome!

New to Maigret
1/5/03 – Hello, and thanks for the Maigret website. I'm a new Maigret reader, and was looking for a bibliography to check off the volumes I've managed to acquire. Your site came up as the third link (and the first in English!) on a Google search for "Georges Simenon." There is an almost overwhelming amount of information and detail, much of which I'll probably never use, since I am a casual reader rather than a scholar. But it's nice to know it's there! Ain't the web great?

R. Johnson,
New Mexico


Toshiro Mifune and Takashi Shimura in Akira Kurosawa's Stray Dog.
  Kurosawa film
1/6/03 – Happy New Year!
David Thomson, in an article in yesterday's New York Times, refers to a Kurosawa film, "Stray Dog (1949), a film noir adapted from Simenon." However, Michael E Grost, quoted on this website writes:

"The film director Akira Kurosawa was a big fan of Simenon, and he reportedly wrote his detective movie Stray Dog (1949) first as a novel, before shooting it as a film. Kurosawa's detectives are policemen, like Maigret, who engage in realistic, ploddingly detailed police work. Like Simenon, and the British realists before him, Kurosawa explores a great many locations, in this case, the poorer districts of Tokyo. The extreme heat, which constantly afflicts the characters, also is present in such Simenon novels as M. Gallet décédé, where it affects his heavily built Maigret perhaps more than it would Kurosawa's athletic star Toshiro Mifune. "
For once the IMdB is not particularly helpful:
Plot Summary for Nora inu (1949) (Stray Dog)
Murukami, a young homicide detective, has his pocket picked on a bus and loses his pistol. Frantic and ashamed, he dashes about trying to recover the weapon without success until taken under the wing of an older and wiser detective, Sato. Together they track the culprit. (Summary written by Jim Beaver {jumblejim@prodigy.net})
Sounds good, but it doesn't sound like any Simenon I've read. Does anyone know the film and whether it's an adaptation or a homage?
Roddy Campbell

An excerpt from Kurosawa's Something like an Autobiography:
I first wrote the screenplay [for Stray Dog] in the form of a novel. I am fond of the work of Georges Simenon, so I adopted his style of writing novels about social crime. This process took me a little less than six weeks, so I figured that I'd be able to rewrite it as a screenplay in ten days or so. Far from it. It proved to be a far more difficult task than writing a scenario from scratch, and it took me close to two months.

Four Sisters and Three Nephews
1/6/03 – I enjoyed reading "Mme Maigret's Four Sisters," but I don't agree with the final comment that "Georges was pulling our collective leg" by calling Louise's sister by four different names. As good as Simenon was in creating a generally consistent life for his fictional detective, he was in many respects too driven a writer (or too lazy) to bother to reread his previous stories. It wasn't the number of names for Louise's one sister that bothered me, so much as the three nephews that Inspector Maigret had to rescue. Philippe Lauer in "Maigret Returns," Paulie Vinchon in "Inspector Maigret Deduces" (or "Jeument: 51 Minutes Stop"), and Jerome Lacroix in "Mademoiselle Berthe and Her Lover." But the final straw was calling Louise Henriette, in "Madame Maigret's Admirer"! Simenon wasn't pulling any legs.

Dave Drake

BBC Shop - Maigret: A Man's Head
1/8/03 – The recent BBC Maigret plays are now available on cassette at the BBC shop. Four new Radio 4 dramatisations of stories starring Nicholas Le Prevost as Maigret and Julian Barnes as Simenon. The stories featured are Maigret: A Man's Head, Maigret: The Bar on the Seine, My Friend Maigret, Madame Maigret's Own Case. £9.99
Roddy Campbell

re: Kurosawa's 'Stray Dogs'
1/8/03 – I've seen Kurosawa's 'Stray Dogs' [1/6/03] and it is more of a homage than a direct adaptation. As far as I can remember, the young, inexperienced detective has his gun stolen while he is using public transport. So it is not like 'Maigret's Revolver' where the gun is stolen from Maigret's apartment. (Though he did once have his wallet, including his police badge stolen whilst he was on a bus.) However, it is a moody, atmospheric film with a wonderful use of light, but not a Maigret.

Patricia Clark
Cardiff

Simenon by Simenon
1/9/03 – Thanks to Michel Pitchounet, of Marseilles, who also provided the copy of the Simenon on Screen article, here's another interesting French magazine article on the cinema of Simenon, this one from 1989, shortly after his death. It's a collage of commentary on film by Simenon himself, collected and arranged by the dean of Simenon cinematography, Claude Gauteur.
Here's the French original and my translation:

Simenon par Simenon

Simenon by Simenon

Claude Gauteur
La Revue du Cinéma
n° 454, novembre 1989

The collected pieces are from Simenon's dictées: Destinées (1979) and Point-Virgule (1977), an interview by Doringe in Ciné-France (1937) [which appears in full in Cahiers Simeon 1: Simenon et la cinéma], quotes from Maigret himself in Maigret's Memoirs (1951), and an interview (mid '60s) from Bresler's The Mystery of Georges Simenon (1983).
Gauteur has added three convenient charts, Box-Office Simenon, showing the successes of the films, The 10 Cinema Maigrets, and Simenon on the Screen, summarizing respectively the Maigret actors and all the Simenon stories adapted to the big screen. The piece finishes with a series of short reviews of main Maigret actors, and includes a scattering of photos from the films.
I was particularly happy to find the interview from Bresler, since it provides a(n intermediate) source for the unattributed Simenon quote in Haining, criticizing Jean Richard, which troubled Jean-Paul Corlin last October [10/12/02]. Bresler does not say where the quote is from, only that it dates from the mid-60s. (I'd been afraid, after all the Haining-bashing, that it might have been another one of Haining's accidental creations.) Gauteur's article provides a French version of that text.
ST

The worst Maigrets?
1/11/03 – The section in Gauteur's article from Bresler (above) got me back into his Mystery of Georges Simeneon. Consider these comments on the last Maigrets in Chapter 19, "Death of a Talent" (page numbering from the Beaufort edition):

  • p.221. Most informed French critics would agree with the view expressed by Maurice Dubourt that [Simenon's] "last good novel" was Le Chat ("The Cat"), written in October 1966, when he was sixty-three.
  • p. 222. Of the eighteen more novels, equally divided between Maigrets and non-Maigrets, that Simenon was to write after Le Chat, none has anything like its stature. ...for the most part they are no better or no worse than any other competent storywriter could have produced.
  • p. 228-229. Even his beloved Maigret had lost sparkle for him; the last Maigret novels are clockwork, automatic things with sloppiness in the plotting and a palpable disenchantment on Simenon's part for all the new "gadgetry" of forensic science with which a modern policeman would have to work. When Maigret talks, in Maigret et l'affaire Nahour ("Maigret and the Nahour Case"), written in February 1966, about a "paraffin test that can reveal crusts of powder on the skin up to five days after a shot has been fired", it just does not sound convincing.
  • p. 229-230. "One must have the courage to say it, and so much the worse for the faithful who will complain," wrote a reviewer in L'Actualité magazine in December 1970 about one of the last Maigret novels, La folle de Maigret ("Maigret and the Madwoman"), "but Commissioner Maigret does not exist any more. Georges Simeon, worn out by so many books, and today's society, which, like the police itself, functions by computer, has killed him." "The new book by Simenon is not to be classed among his best," wrote Jacques de Ricaumont in the influential Nouvelles Littéraires in October 1972 about Maigret and M. Charles ("Maigret and Monsieur Charles"), which turned out to be the last Maigret — and the last novel — that Simenon ever wrote. "One has the impression that the author is out of breath and that his hero is fading away... This is really a third-rate Maigret." Noelle Loriot in L'Express was no more complimentary. "Here's Simenon's latest book, Maigret et M. Charles, a police thriller so alarmingly bad that one wonders what would have happened to it, if it had been the manuscript of some unknown 'Mr. Smith' who has sent it in to the publishers? Refused for mediocrity, lack of action and feebleness of style? Probably."
Here's the section of the Check List showing the last eleven Maigrets, published after 1966:
65.NAHMaigret and the Nahour Case ('67) PLOT
66.VOLMaigret's Pickpocket ('67) PLOT
67.VICMaigret Takes the Waters, Maigret in Vichy ('68) PLOT
68.HESMaigret Hesitates ('68) PLOT
69.ENFMaigret's Boyhood Friend ('68) PLOT
70.TUEMaigret and the Killer ('69) PLOT
71.VINMaigret and the Wine Merchant ('70) PLOT
72.FOLMaigret and the Madwoman ('70) PLOT
73.SEUMaigret and the Loner ('71) PLOT
74.INDMaigret and the Flea, Maigret and the Informer ('71) PLOT
75.CHAMaigret and Monsieur Charles ('72) PLOT
Although it's true that Maigret and Monsieur Charles is not one of my favorites, I'm afraid I "suffer" from the attitude that "there's no such thing as a bad Maigret," and so it's hard for me to think of this group as notably poor.
How about you? Are these among your least favorite Maigrets? What's your favorite? What would you recommend to someone who'd never read Maigret as the best five to start with?
ST

paraffin tests

1/11/03 – Bresler writes, (above) about "a palpable disenchantment on Simenon's part for all the new "gadgetry" of forensic science with which a modern policeman would have to work. When Maigret talks about a "paraffin test that can reveal crusts of powder on the skin up to five days after a shot has been fired", it just does not sound convincing."
Here's the section from Chapter 6 of Maigret and the Nahour Case (NAH 1967):
'We have one way, Monsieur Fouad, of finding out whether that is what happened, within an hour. I shall ring Moers, one of the best technicians at the records office. If he isn't at the Quai he'll be at home. He will bring the equipment necessary for the paraffin test which we performed on Monsieur Nahour, and we will know whether you used a fire-arm.'
Oueni did not flinch. On the contrary his smile became more ironical than ever.
As Maigret went towards the telephone, he stopped him: 'There's no point.'
'Do you admit it?'
'You know as well as I do, Monsieur Maigret, that the test can reveal crusts of powder on the skin up to five days after a shot has been fired.'
'You are remarkably knowledgeable.'
'On Thursday I went to a shooting-range, as I frequently do, in the basement of a gunsmith called Boutelleau and Sons, in the Rue de Rennes.'
'With your pistol?'
'No. I've got another one, exactly like this one, which I leave there, like most of the customers. So it's quite likely that you'll find crusts of powder on my right hand.'
'Why do you practise shooting?' Maigret was annoyed.
'Because I belong to a tribe which goes armed at every time of the year and which claims to have produced the best shots in the world. Boys use guns after the age of ten.'
Maigret slowly raised his head.
'And what if we don't find any traces of powder on Alvaredo's hand or on Madame Nahour's?'
'Alvaredo came from outdoors where it was twelve degrees below zero. One can assume he was wearing gloves and probably even fairly thick gloves. Didn't you check that?'
He was trying to be insulting.
I'm not sure what troubles Bresler about that. For one thing, it's not M who talks about it. And actually, paraffin tests had already appeared in at least three Maigrets since 1960: It's a paraffin test that reveals (to M's surprise), that Jaquette Larrieu had fired the gun in Maigret in Society (VIE 1960). It was used again in Chapter 8 of Maigret and the Lazy Burglar (PAR 1961): "The 'paraffin test' had been applied to the four men's hands, so that if any of them had used a firearm of any kind within the past three or four days, gunpowder would be found in the pores of his skin, even if he had taken the precaution of wearing gloves." At the beginning of The Maigret Bides His Time (PAT 1965). M has Moers come in and give a paraffin test to Aline, who tests negative. (Fingerprints appear in this story as well. In Chapter 2, Moers says, "We'll have the photographs and an enlargement of the fingerprints around three o'clock.") The magistrate asks Maigret, "I suppose you consider the paraffin test conclusive, Maigret?" ... "Unless the murderer wore rubber gloves, his hands certainly carry minute traces of powder, which last for two or three days and which the paraffin test always reveals..."

I think, as we saw when considering fingerprints, [11/05/02], that M doesn't actually avoid modern forensic science at all in his investigations. In that same Chapter 2 of Maigret Bides His Time, Moers "ran the vacuum cleaner around just in case, and took away the dust to analyze it." It seems to me that Simenon regularly added these kinds of "realistic" touches to the Maigrets over the years, but they just aren't the key to "his method," and so we tend not to notice them.

ST

Maigret in German / German Simenon Society
1/11/03 – Oliver Hahn, webmaster for the fine German Maigret Site, Quai des Orfèvres, has sent in the two missing German translation titles for the Maigret Multi-lingual list, making German the only other language besides English for which all 103 titles are listed. (Italian, Spanish and Dutch are only 3 or 4 short.)
He also reports on a new Simenon society in Germany:

"The first activities have already begun, for example an 'Inspector Maigret Night' for an adult education center. We are preparing an excursion to Liège and support journalists for the preparation of articles for Simenon's 100th birthday celebration. Next week some of our members will give interviews for radio stations. The construction of a web page is in the works — as soon as we know more we'll let you know the web address."
Best regards,
Susann & Oliver Hahn

Not "the worst Maigrets"
1/12/03 – Some of my favorite Maigrets are among those last 11 [1/11/03]. Maigret in Vichy is entirely charming, and gives us the closest look at Madame Maigret. Maigret and the Flea (Maigret et l'indicateur) has the classic confrontation between Maigret and a savvy opponent. And Le Voleur de Maigret is one of the best he ever wrote, in my opinion. Who among his readers has not sought out, in memory or on the ground, that bistro where so much of the action takes place? And the others are at least average in quality — except for Maigret et M. Charles, which I agree is substandard.
Simenon used this period to give us a varied picture of Maigret, examining his relationship with his wife, with his past, with the demands of modern police work, and with his colleagues. It's true, of course, that some of the stories add nothing new — Maigret et le marchand de vin, for instance, feels to me to be the same kind of story as Maigret et la grande perche. But they're still good stories, and for the most part, credible stories within the Maigret canon.

Oz Childs

The Blue Room
1/13/03 – From The Guardian, 11.January 2003:

The Blue Room, by Georges Simenon (Orion, £6.99)

As the centennial of the birth of the great Belgian crime writer approaches, with celebrations across Europe and the UK in 2003, British publishing is moving into gear. While Penguin will be elevating an initial half-a-dozen Maigret adventures to the pantheon of their Modern Classics imprint, attention is also being focused on the often remarkable non-Maigret novels. The Blue Room, a minor masterpiece of psychological crime-writing, published in 1963, had been out of print for more than 35 years.* A vain, womanising man and a passionate but manipulative woman meet eight times in 11 months in the blue room of the Hotel des Voyageurs, for blissful, hedonistic afternoons of stolen love. But sex and passion have a curious way of transforming themselves when the long-term plans of the lovers fail to coincide. Soon, the hapless Tony is caught in the nightmare of a double murder. Spare, intense and gripping, this is a perfect introduction to the despairing world of Simenon.

Review by Maxim Jakubowski

Roddy Campbell
(*...in the UK, perhaps. Later editions have appeared in the US.)


Georges Simenon - The Pocket Essential Guide
1/13/03 – Scheduled for publication in February, 2003, a 96-page "Pocket Essential Guide" by David Carter. £3.99

The Greatness of Simenon

Georges Simenon, born 1903 in Liege, Belgium, has suffered from a false reputation, being considered by many as no more than an author of crime fiction and as having been too prolific for his own good. For this reason he has not been given his due by many literary critics. He was however admired and revered by many great writers and artists. Most famously Andre Gide described him as "the greatest of all, the most genuine novelist we have had in literature." His works were praised by people as diverse a Jean Cocteau, T. S. Eliot, Henry Miller, Somerset Maugham and John Le Carre. He also had close relations with the film world, and was friends with Federico Fellini and Jean Renoir, who made the first film of a Simenon novel.
He developed a simple, clear prose style, with which he nevertheless created works of extraordinary psychological perception and provided compelling evocations of milieu and atmosphere. He probed the depths of lust, envy, resentment and lifelong obsession, but revealed without passing judgement.
His own life was as fascinating as his works. He was reputed to have moved house 37 times in his life, and he once claimed in an interview to have made love to 10,000 women. The last 23 years he spent as a recluse, with only one companion, and wrote 21 volumes of memoirs.

"It deals with both the Maigrets and the 'romans durs'. The series consists of short introductions to various themes, writers, film directors etc, so that the scope cannot be broad, but my book contains extensive annotated checklists of both Maigret novels and 'romans durs'."
David Carter

New French Maigret Site
1/13/03 – Bonjour – Un site sur le célèbre raccommodeur de destinée vient de naître : Vous l’aurez compris, il s’agit du personnage le plus célèbre de la littérature policière internationale : le commissaire Maigret.
Cliquez sur

monsite.wanadoo.fr/commissairemaigret

Ce site n’est pas totalement achevé, mais pouvez déjà découvrir Bibliographie important et des liens avec d’autres sites Web. N’hésitez pas à nous rendre visite.
Jean-Paul Corlin
Créateur du site
A new site on the famous mender of destinies. As you no doubt realize, it's about the most famous character of international police literature, Commissaire Maigret. It's still in progress, but there's a significant bibliography and links to other web sites. Please visit!

Late Maigrets
1/14/03 – With regard to your query about what people think of the later Maigrets [1/11/03], I would take your opinion and that of Oz Childs [1/12/03] and other enthusiasts over those of newspaper and magazine critics.
I was not very taken with Bresler's biography. It seemed to me that he was trying too hard to prove a thesis, and his attempt at explaining Marie-Jo's suicide seemed very unconvincing.
For myself, I like the 1950s Maigrets best [see CheckList]. They seem to me to have a greater fluency, invention and sense of atmosphere, but I wouldn't denigrate the others.

Roddy Campbell

New Maigret Website by Guido de Croock!
1/15/03 – I've created a website, Maigret’s journeys in France. As many of you know, I am particularly interested in the locations of the Maigret novels and stories set in France which took place outside of Paris. On this new website I present summaries and extensive location-analysis of these stories.
For the moment only 4 of 33 stories or novels are reviewed. But it is my intention to review the remaining stories progressively. The website is illustrated with lots of photographs, maps, drawings and old postcards. Already reviewed stories are:

In the nearest possible future I will try to visit the different locations. So that the website can be completed with information and photographs of the present-day situation. This new website can be found at: www.maigret-in-france.net. [NB: this site went down in 2006 and has been reconstructed from archives here. ST 7/19/07]
Guido de Croock

Congratulations, Guido! Best of luck with your new site!

The Man on the Eiffel Tower
1/22/03 – The National Film Theatre in London is showing The Man on the Eiffel Tower [La tête d'un homme] on 23 and 25 February as part of its History of Colour season (details at www.bfi.org.uk/nft). The NFT programme booklet for February says: Based on a novel by Georges Simenon, this superb piece of 'continental noir' stars Charles Laughton as Parisian police inspector Maigret, investigating a rich woman's murder, and includes an exciting climactic chase on the Eiffel Tower. It was filmed on location in Paris by top cinematographer Stanley Cortez in the newly available Ansco Color process. Previously shown at the NFT in black and white; restored in 2002 by the UCLA Film and Television Archive from two surviving original prints.

Richard Thomas
...and see John H. Dirckx's comments on this title: [12/3/02]

Penguin reissues
1/23/03 – A little bit of detective work leads me to believe that the Simenons which Penguin will release in the UK in April (don't know about elsewhere, but you'll be able to buy them on the Internet) are as follows:

  • Lock 14, trans. Robert Baldick
  • Inspector Cadaver, trans. Helen Thompson, intro. Paul Bailey
  • The Yellow Dog, trans. Linda Asher, intro. David Vinen
  • The Bar on the Seine, trans. David Watson, intro. Michael Dibdin
  • My Friend Maigret, trans. Nigel Ryan
  • A Man's Head, trans. Geoffrey Sainsbury, intro. Patrick Marnham
In addition, Penguin are republishing Patrick Marnham's biography of Simenon, The Man who wasn't Maigret, in February.
Roddy Campbell

Maigret's Fourth apartment in Paris
1/24/03 – In L'Ecluse No 1 (French version) and in two different books of this story, Maigret was living on the Blvd Edgar-Quinet but the number wasn't mentioned. In The Lock at Charenton (English version of the same story, he's at the Blvd Richard-Lenoir. Edgar-Quinet is near the Gare Montparnasse (station) and some distance from his usual place on R-L. In the course of this story Maigret asked for and received permission for early retitement and was in the middle of moving house to Meung as he was working on his last case. The other two addresses were numbers 8 and 21, Place des Vosges.
In the later Maigret stories, Maigret and the Loner [SEU] is one of my favorites no matter when it was written. I love the murder within the murder that Maigret uncovered as this progressed and how he started from just the corpse and arrived at the double solution. I also have Maigret and Mr. Charles [CHA]. Aside from the fact that Mr. Charles was the nickname of a no-gooder in another story, I noticed that my book did not have the address of Gastinne-Renette in it although he is mentioned. If anyone has this, could they please post it on the Forum?

Joe Richards

In the Tout Simenon [Tome 18] edition of L'écluse n° 1, at the beginning of Chapter 6, "Maigret prit un taxi et arriva quelques minutes plus tard dans son appartement du boulevard Richard-Lenoir." [Maigret took a taxi and arrived a few minutes later at his Blvd. Richard-Lenoir apartment.] Please let us know which French editions the Edgar-Quinet address appears in! Does anyone else have French editions of this they can check?

Gastinne Renette
1/25/03 – Re: Joe Richards' posting (above), a Google search on "Gastinne-Renette; France" generated a link to: Armuriers d'Ile de France, which gives their details as:

Gastinne Renette 01 43 59 77 74
télécopie: 01 42 56 21 11
39 av Franklin D Roosevelt 75008 PARIS
Best wishes,
Michael Newman
Chelmsford UK

Blvd. Edgar-Quinet
1/25/03 – My edition of L'écluse n° 1 ("Pocket" No. 1353, but includes ads for Presses de la Cité, printed in 1999) has Maigret taking that taxi to the Blvd. Edgar-Quinet [1/24/03]. Threw me for a loop, too. I wonder which came first? My guess is that the original edition had the same mistake, corrected when "Tout Simenon" was published, but I don't have the original edition, needless to say.
Oz Childs

Blvd. Edgar-Quinet
1/26/03 – I have the story in both Pocket [copyright 1977, Presses de la Cité, 12, Avenue d'Italie. 75627 Paris CEDEX 13. TEL: +31 01 4416 0500. Pocket 1353. No d'imprimer 301. depot legal fevrier 1999. Acheve d'imprimer en fevrier 1999 sur les presses de l'Imprimerie Bussiere a St. Amand (Cher)], and in Œuvres complètes Maigret V, 1967. The text is the same in both:

Chapter 6...
Maigret prit un taxi et arriva quelques minutes plus tard dans son appartement du boulevard Edgar-Quinet.
[Maigret took a taxi, and a few minutes later was at his flat in the Boulevard Edgar-Quinet.]
The chapter ends with this...
—Taxi?
—Oui... Non... Boulevard Edgar-Quinet, il n'y avait personne et la grand lit était parti pour la campagne. Maigret fit comme Ducrau: il alla coucher a l'hotel au bout de la rue St. Honoré.
Sa femme qui était arrivée là-bas, dormait pour la première fois dans leur maison.
["Taxi?"
"Yes— No—" There was no one at the Boulevard Edgar-Quinet, and the big double bed had gone to the country. So Maigret did what Ducrau had done. He spent the night in a hotel on the corner of the rue St.-Honoré.
His wife would have arrived by now, and would be sleeping, for the first time, in their new house.]
This brings up some interesting points. In other stories the Maigrets bought a car before he retired. Given this, why did Madame Maigret take the train to Meung? Also, it's mentioned in several other stories that the Maigrets vacationed or even spent the weekend at their house in Meung. That implies that there was already some furniture there and they had slept there previously. Also, they kept their flat in the boulevard Richard-Lenoir (and also in the Place des Vosges depending on the story). That indicates a need for furniture to remain in Paris.
Also, in different stories, the flat on Richard-Lenoir was rather small but they later bought the other flat on the same floor. In another story a maid's room on the sixth floor was mentioned. To confuse things even more, there were two different businesses across the street in the same place with large premises.
Anyway, I hope this provides some food for thought...
Regards,
Joe Richards
Oh, does anyone know Simenon's addresses in Paris besides 21, Place des Vosges?

The Boulevard Richard-Lenoir Address
1/27/03 – I have used the number 132 Boulevard Richard-Lenoir from the advertisement Maigret put in the paper in Maigret's Special Murder [MOR] to find the car thieves who had placed the body in the Place de la Concorde.
Dave Drake

Blvd. Edgar-Quinet
1/28/03 – Guglielmo (Willie) Innocenzi, webmaster of the Italian Simenon site, Georges Simenon, writes that Blvd. Edgar-Quinet [1/24/03] appears "in the original French edition, the Italian first edition of 1934, and in an early Italian edition of 1974." It's also listed as the address on the Japanese Maigret site, Paris du Commissaire Maigret. The earliest English edition I have is the 1941 Jonathan Mystery edition, Maigret Sits it Out, and that, like apparently all the English editions (and the 1991 Tout Simenon edition), shows Blvd. Richard-Lenoir.
L'écluse n° 1 [ECL] was the 18th of the original Fayard Maigrets, written in April, 1933, and published that same year. The Richard-Lenoir address appears in six of the preceding Maigrets, but there is a gap of about a year and a half between the last mention, in L'ombre chinoise [OMB], written in December, 1931, and L'écluse. While that might be long enough for Simenon to have forgotten that he'd been using Richard-Lenoir, those first 18 were more or less written as a series, so we might expect a relatively high degree of internal consistency. (In fact L'écluse was intended to be the final Maigret, but he was brought back for "one more time" in Maigret [Maigret Returns] [MAI], written in January, 1934. The next Maigret novel, Les caves du Majestic [MAJ], was not written until five years later, and published in 1942.) Did the English translator (Margaret Ludwig) make the "correction"?
Another "slip" noted by Willie Innocenzi (and others) is that Maigret gives his name as "Joseph" when asked by Ducrau for his Christian name in Chapter 5. It appears in the English translation as well.
My feeling (shared by numerous critics) it that the early Fayard Maigrets should probably be analysed as a group. I hope to examine in more detail what the Maigret of these 19 pre-war investigations was like, and how he differed in later years...

ST

Another Maigret Reference by Nicolas Freeling
2/1/03 – I think the author, Nicolas Freeling, must be a Maigret fan. "A Long Silence" (first published in 1972) is only the second of his Van der Valk thrillers that I have read and, like "Tsing Boum", which I mentioned in an earlier posting [3/12/02], it too contains a reference to Maigret.
In a book containing notes for his thesis, Van der Valk writes (page 23 of the 2001 House of Stratus paperback edition):

Conclusion, a criminal investigation unit should perhaps consist of no more than four or five men, each with specially sensitised skills. Cf fictional Maigret. Lucas the elderly, careful, good at details, patience, perseverance, Janvier young, ambitious and imaginative, the "little Lapointe", sensitive and idealistic, innocent and kindly, Torrence who is muscles, and Lognon the indefatigable plodder - this is a clever formula, remaining workable for fifty books. Now postulate smallish flexible computer unit, able mechanically to perform all that time-wasting checking. It can give mechanical evaluation, but cannot replace sensitive human understanding, can never replace Maigret!
Not sure where he got the fifty book total from though, given that the last Maigret had already been published by 1972!
Best wishes.
Michael Newman
Chelmsford, UK

Maigret on TV5
2/2/03 – TV5 is available to UK viewers on the Sky platform - Channel 825.
On 8 February 2003 from 2125 to 2305 the channel will be broadcasting a Bruno Cremer "Maigret" - "Maigret et les plaisirs de la nuit", from 1991.
According to the TV5 website - www.TV5.org - this is "Episode 1 of 24".
If you access the website there is a brief "trailer" with stills from the broadcast.

David Lax

More about TV5
2/6/03 – Further to my recent message, I've been flicking through the UK Sky Guide and have discovered that the following are due to be transmitted on satellite TV (channel 825 on UK Sky Digital) shortly.

Saturday 8 February 21:30 - 23:00 GMT - Maigret
(The first of) 24 episodes with Bruno Cremer. Detective series set in 50's France featuring Georges Simenon's pipe-smoking super-sleuth, Superintendent Maigret

Sunday 9 February 21:20 - 23:00 GMT - Picpus
A film by Richard Pottier, with Albert Préjean, André Gabriello, Jean Tissier, Juliette Faber, Edouard Delmont, Colette Régis. Detective film based on a Maigret novel by Georges Simenon. When a woman moves into her new apartment, she discovers a corpse in her wardrobe.

Monday 10 February 21:20 - 23:05 GMT - Le voyageur de la Toussaint
A film by Louis Daquin (1942), with Assia Noris, Jean Desailly, Jules Berry, Gabrielle Dorziat, Louis Seigner. Drama based on a novel by Georges Simenon.. When a young man returns to his parents' home town as the sole heir of his uncle's fortune, he encounters hostility from the locals.

Also, the following is the response I have received from the very helpful Sarah at TV5 to my e-mail:

Please find attached a schedule for the series Maigret starting this Saturday (8th) at 9:30pm, it is a series of 24 episodes and I have given you the schedules for Feb and March, after that the timings should be the same but you can use the website to check in April.
Samedi 21h30 Dimanche 00h05 Lundi 09h15 Mardi 13h30 Mercredi 17h15
Maigret 1/24 08/02/03 09/02/03 10/02/03 11/02/03 12/02/03
Maigret 2/24 15/02/03 16/02/03 17/02/03 18/02/03 19/02/03
Maigret 3/24 Les Césars 23/02/03 24/02/03 25/02/03 26/02/03
Maigret 4/24 01/03/03 02/03/03 03/03/03 04/03/03 05/03/03
Maigret 5/24 08/03/03 09/03/03 10/03/03 11/03/03 12/03/03
Maigret 6/24 15/03/03 16/03/03 17/03/03 18/03/03 19/03/03
Maigret 7/24 22/03/03 23/03/03 24/03/03 25/03/03 26/03/03
Maigret 8/24 29/03/03 30/03/03 31/03/03 01/04/03 02/04/03

The TV5 website - www.tv5.org - is excellent and includes an extensive feature on Simenon, as well as a few links and a competition. Those outside the UK can check out availability in other countries too. Not surprisingly, perhaps, it appears that these programmes are being broadcast as a tribute to Simenon in his centenary year.
Best wishes.
Michael Newman
Chelmsford, UK

Interesting Simenon messages from fr.rec.arts.polar
2/9/03 – Here's a copy of an email from fr.rec.arts.polar on upcoming events related to Simenon. The link is interesting.

From: freeweb@rocketmail.com (E.Borgers)
Newsgroups: fr.rec.arts.polar
Subject: Simenon à profusion...
Date: Sun, 09 Feb 2003 10:21:47 GMT

2003 est le 100ème anniversaire de la naissance de Georges Simenon (13 février 1903), et est célébrée en Belgique francophone comme "année Simenon"..
Il faudra être attentif aux diverses programmations des chaînes TV qui, déjà à partir du 13, présenteront nombre de films tirés de l'oeuvre de Simenon (des "Maigret", mais aussi tirés de ses romans "durs"). Le cinéma n'a pas toujours bien adapté son oeuvre, mais quelques films anciens valent la peine: Les Inconnus dans la maison - Le voyageur de la Toussaint - La neige était sale (intéressant, mais reste inférieur à l'exceptionnel roman noir dont il est tiré), notamment. Je suppose que pour les films plus récents, les références vous sont mieux connues.
En plus des films, il y aura des reprises de documentaires et interviews qui aident à mieux cerner l'oeuvre et Simenon le personnage, personnage complexe, c'est le moins qu'on puisse dire... L'interview de Bernard Pivot en son temps reste par exemple un document intéressant.
Enfin, il y a une nouvelle réédition de son oeuvre complète en cours (chaque volume regroupant plusieurs ouvrages). Et Simenon entre dans la Pléiade (de Gallimard)...
Il y a un site reprenant le calendrier des événements de "l'année Simenon", à: www.simenon2003.be.

E.Borgers
POLAR NOIR
www.geocities.com/polarnoir

Here is another one, with a link to a French literary newspaper with an article on Simenon.
From: c.lecam.verdier@free.fr (Catherine Le Cam-Verdier)
Newsgroups: fr.rec.arts.polar
Subject: Re: Simenon à profusion...
Date: Sun, 09 Feb 2003 10:53:13 GMT

Dimanche, 09 Feb 2003 10:21:47 GMT, freeweb@rocketmail.com (E.Borgers) a écrit:

2003 est le 100ème anniversaire de la naissance de Georges Simenon (13 février 1903), et est célébrée en Belgique francophone comme "année Simenon"..
Le numéro de février du Magazine littéraire s'intitule "sur les traces de Simenon". Introduction sur le site de la revue: www.magazine-litteraire.com qui offre un article d'archive: Maigret ou la clé des coeurs par Francis Lacassin (paru dans le Magazine littéraire de décembre 1975): www.magazine-litteraire.com/archives/ar_417.htm.

Bonne lecture!
Amicalement
--
Cath

Regards,
Jerome

Simenon in Concarneau
2/11/03 – I am doing research on Simenon in Concarneau. Simenon spent the winter 1930-1931 there, and there he wrote "Le pendu de Saint Pholien". Some time later he would write "Le chien jaune" (The yellow dog). Has anyone any information, pictures from his stay?

Jeannine Soullié

Simenon on TV5 / wanted notices
2/11/03 – The forum may like to know that digital TV channel 825 - ie TV5 - has just started to broadcast the odd film based on non-Maigret Simenon (eg Le Voyageur de la Toussaint) and French TV's Maigret series starring Bruno Cremer. Both are on today 11th Feb. It looks like the Maigret is on on Sats and Weds (maybe Weds repeats Sats). Sorry to be so vague but the TV guide is a bit sketchy as far as the Maigret is concerned.

I'd imagine you don't want the forum cluttered up with wanted notices, but if you were to have a designated swaps/sales/advice on sources of Simenon's novels "day" for "posting" such stuff, it might help some of us to go some way to completing our collections (in my case more of an accumulation) and perhaps we could get to meet fellow fans of your excellent site.

Peter Smith
Hinckley

TV5 is showing the Bruno Cremers and some of the films
2/12/03 – First, thanks so much for this wonderful website. Between the material you have assembled and the many links this is just about anything anyone could possibly want to know about the good Inspector.
TV5, the French network, which is available darned near everywhere in the world on cable or satelllite, is showing quite a few Maigrets beginning this month as part of the centenary. They will be doing all 24 of the Bruno Cremers, starting on Feb. 12 in New York City, and the Albert Prejean "Picpus," as well as a '43 Louis Dacquin film "Le Voyageur de la Toussaint" and a new documentary, "Simenon in America." The films will have English subtitles in the US, I don't know about the documentary.
For more information, people should check out their website. Try www.tv5.org/TV5Site/programmes/accueil.php and if that doesn't work, just www.tv5.org should.

George Robinson
New York City, NY

Maigret's pipe-smoking habits
2/15/03 – I'm a pipe smoker who just became aware of the character Maigret. What pipes or tobacco did the esteemed inspector enjoy?

Alex Kummel

Maigret et le clochard
2/20/03 – Quite an impressive site you've put up there, wow!
I have discovered your site through a link on the website of "Le Monde" (www.lemonde.fr), just after reading my first Maigret: "Maigret et le clochard" (in a French "Easy Reader" edition). There is just one little detail in your plot summary that differs from what I have read: The name of the Quai where Doc slept before he installed himself under the Pont Marie is Quai de Bercy (not Quai de la Rapée).

Best regards,
Marion Brandl

Thanks
2/19/03 – Thanks, Marion, I'll check where I got that reference once my books, computer and I are reunited. Until then, at least I should be able to once again post notices soon after they're received. And thanks to all the faithful Forum readers who have put up with these few weeks of no postings. That's the reason for the repetitions in some of the above articles - they weren't posted until today due to my move. I've also received some updates to the Norwegian Maigret titles from Nils Nordberg which have not been posted yet...
If you've sent something during the past few weeks and haven't received a response, or it hasn't appeared on the Forum page, please send it to me again.

Ahoha!
Steve

A correction for Chez les Flamands
2/20/03 – As I've started to read Simenon again, inspired by the centennial, I have spent a good time browsing your Maigret site for info. For a Swede now living in Brussels it is an enjoyable way of practicing my French!
Just read Chez les flamands and found that you have written "the Seine" instead of "the Meuse" in your plot summary: "Her body has been found 50 miles downstream in the Seine"
Thanks for a good website!
Kind regards,
Nils Hammarlund

Simenon Expo in Liege
2/21/03 – The big Simenon expo in Liege opened on Thursday, 13 February and I went to it on the following Monday.
I would give it three and a half stars out of five. Part of this has to do with the fact that it wasn't fully operational. One of the rooms was being set up as a kitchen from thirty or forty years ago, possibly Mme Maigret's, but the work had just started.
I was not positively impressed with some of the practical aspects. The expo is in its own temporary structure in the center of Liege and easy to get to. The main problem is the entrance is on the opposite side of where most people will be approaching it from and there are no signs telling where to go to get in. To add to the confusion, you must pass two doors marked "Door Number One". You can't get into either one of them as they are both emergency exits. Once inside the first thing you see is the cloakroom. You can go either left or right but there are no signs mentioning that the entrance is to the left and the ticket seller isn't visible from the entrance. Things pick up quite a bit once inside. All exhibits are explained in French and Dutch, Belgium's two main languages. There's nothing in German, Belgium's other language, and this is a bit odd as the Germanophone community isn't that far away from Luttich, which is what they call Liege. There's also nothing in English, also odd given Simenon's popularity around the world.
The first part is related to Simenon's family and his youth in Liege. After that you pass through several rooms made up as in a boat or barge. There are sections that deal with Maigret and with Simenon's other works. A number of books in other languages are on display to show that he's famous everywhere. There were things dealing with his wives and lovers plus his relations with his publishers. There's quite a bit to see and plan on an hour or so.
There were two representations of Maigret's office and I didn't care for them. There was no coal burning stove, no cupboard with the washbasin and the bottle of Cognac, and no lamp with a green shade on his desk. Also, the view out the "windows" was a ground floor view but his office was on the first. The view was also a problem out the 'window' of his appartment as the perspective was also from the ground floor level.
The end of the expo is a long corridor with books that go from floor to ceiling. The books were painted on the walls and each book went from floor to ceiling. I suppose it's like being an ant on a bookshelf as the books are very much taller than you are. I recognized many of the books, not just by title but also by edition, having a few of the same ones at home.
At the end is a representitive from the tourist office and you can get some free material here. Don't forget to pick up the guide to the walking tour, which comes in four languages including English.
As it was below freezing, I decided to do the walking tour another day, like maybe in June.
There is nothing for sale in the expo; no books, no Maigret T-shirts, or whatever else. Not even a place to get a cup of coffee and a snack. Of course Liege doesn't lack for stuff like this and you may want to try the Bus Cafe across from the expo. Right next to it is a small newsagent selling Simenon books and related items including and expanded guidebook of the walking tour. A little farther on is the Liege branch of the FNAC chain and the books are located upstairs and maybe a little cheaper than the newsagent.

GETTING THERE

>From Brussels:
Take any train going to Liege, there are three or four each hour. Get off at Liege-Guillemens station. Take either a train to Liege Palais station (the second stop), again several an hour or take buses 1 or 4 from the front of the station. From the Palais station, go up the stairs to get to street level. Go around to the left, which is downhill. You'll see the palace right away, walk toward it without crossing the street. At the corner of the palace you can see the expo tent. Remember to go to the far end of it and around the corner to get inside. Entry is nine Euros. By bus, get off at the Place Lambert. The expo is visible from the bus stop. Belgian railways (www.sncb.com or www.nmbs.com) has a package deal available that gives a return fare from your departure point up to the Liege Palais station plus admission to the expo at a reduced rate.

>From Paris:
Fast (300 kmh/185mph) Thalys (www.Thalys.com) trains connect the two capitals with departures every 30 minutes during most of the day. If the destination of your Thalys is Koln/Cologne in Germany, it will also stop in Liege. If not, get off at Bruxelles Midi station and make a connection for Liege as mentioned above. If your Thalys ticket is only for Brussels, first go downstairs and get a ticket to Liege as it's expensive to travel without one. Trains marked IC-A (Intercity route A) are the fastest and make the fewest stops. They run once each hour.

Regards,
Joe Richards

www.maigret.ch
2/23/03 – A few weeks ago I was very happy to see that you announced a Maigret short-video I'd made [12/19/02]. Thanks! Now I have published my website www.maigret.ch (in German):

  • a feature about Maigret
  • a feature about Simenon
  • the video as mentioned above
  • a radio-interview (Swiss Radio) I've participated in (Windows streaming audio)
  • quotations from Maigret and Simenon
  • Links (this site is already on this list)
I'm not a competitor of www.maigret.de! My idea is to give a personal view.
Kind regards,
Willi Flueckiger
Bern/Switzerland

Micheline autorail
2/24/03 – In the notes to The Unlikely Monsieur Owen you mentioned that the Micheline autorail was powered by electricity. In fact it was a diesel powered railbus.
I'll have a little more to say on the expo soon. As it has become unseasonably warm here, I may get back to Liege before June for the walking tour. I need to get a city map so I can find the places listed in Maigret and the Gai Moulin, which I'm rereading at the moment.

Yours,
Joe Richards

"Maigret et le clochard" question
2/24/03 – Salut! Since you've written your page in English I will put my question in English. I am reading "Maigret and the bum" but I would be interested in reading a review of this book. The language don't matter.
I myself can't find any information concerning the plot from the book. Can you refer some internetpage or do you know something else written about this book?
Yours Sincerely,
Kiitos Ludwig


There's a plot summary here

Maigret - TV5
2/25/03 – Next week's (starting Saturday 1 March) Bruno Cremer offering on TV5 in the UK is "Maigret et la maison du juge".

Best wishes,
Michael Newman
Chelmsford, UK
2nd Maigret in Esperanto
2/27/03 – I would like to draw your attention to a translation of a Maigret story which does not yet appear in your site: www.esperanto.org/Ondo/Nov02-14.htm
André Ruysschaert

Welcome Back! / Maigret's tobacco
2/27/03 – Great to have you back up and running.... ....the question relating to what type of tobacco Maigret smoked [2/15/03] was answered a long time ago [1/27/99] and I then repeated the answer recently. If my memory still serves me correct it was 'gris'.

Regards,
Steve Beamon
Aylesbury - UK

New website
3/02/03 – I've seen special pictures on www.jossbeaumont.be.tf "Simenon by Maigret". It's new I think...
Joseph Jeanmart

Just a little longer...
3/02/03 – Though I'm able to post messages and I've relocated, my computer and books haven't arrived yet, so I'm still muddling through with the Forum. Presumably this will only last a few more days, and then we should be back to the regularity and style to which you're more accustomed. And for those of you troubled by the loss of access to these pages a week ago or so, my apologies. A heavy traffic load brought down my server temporarily... it shouldn't happen again.

ST

Maigret et le clochard
3/7/03 – Marion Brandl wrote [2/20/03] that in a French "Easy Reader" edition of "Maigret et le clochard," the name of the Quai where Doc slept before he installed himself under the Pont Marie is Quai de Bercy (not Quai de la Rapée, as I have in the plot summary).
In the Tout Simenon edition (Tome 11) it's: "...quai de la Rapée, sous le pont de Bercy," which corresponds to the English translation (in the Popular Library paperback, Chapter 5): "...on the Quai de la Rapée, under the Pont de Bercy."
I've added "pont de Bercy" to the plot summary.
And speaking of plot summaries for this book, I wonder how this one at Amazon got written:

When Maigret learns that a bum's murder is in reality an assassination, he becomes deeply involved in what without him would have been left as an unremarkable event. Maigret must discover the identity of the man who had been living under the Seine bridge, then find out why anyone would want him dead.
"Maigret learns that a bum's murder is in reality an assassination"?
ST

Maigret in Paris
3/9/03 – I've been searching the bulletin archives for an entry I recall but can't now find. It was about a couple of Belgians who were preparing a book about all the Parisian sites that occur in Inspector Maigret's investigations. I also recall it was to be published this year. Did I imagine this, and if I didn't does anyone if this project is still going ahead, and when the book will be published?

Rob Moore

Simenon...
3/9/03 – Yesterday I bought a two-CD pack with 2h30 min of meetings with G. Simenon published by Radio France. It contains three interviews done in 1955, 1968 and 1975. You can find/buy it at www.radiofrance.fr/divers/boutique/accueil. I will try to listen to it next week-end.
And here's an image of the Liege exposition I found on the Fnac web site.
Regards,
Jérôme Devémy

Maigret in Paris
3/11/03 – In response to Rob Moore's question above, that was my submission of last March about the (then forthcoming) book by Claude Menguy and Michel Lemoine. I haven't heard any more about it. Maybe the Centre Simenon in Liège knows when the book is to be expected.

Guido de Croock

Maigret in Paris
3/16/03 – Regarding the post "Maigret in Paris" and other similar inquiries, I was always wondering how many of the places (especially Paris hotels and restaurants where Maigret would stop for a drink) mentioned in Maigret books are actual and how many are fiction. Best way to check, I guess, is against a Paris telephone book for the year when a particular Maigret book was written.

Vladimir

Maigret audio books
3/19/03 – Further to my note [9/24/98] about Maigret audio and the excellent Denham/Gough BBC releases the Beeb has now issued 4 stories with Nicholas Prevost — available, I assume, from BBC publications.
I regret not acquiring the Geoffrey Hutchings EMI tapes as they now seem unavailable.

Clive Smith

Sous peine de mort
3/19/03 – Does anyone know if there's an English translation of the non-Maigret short story "Sous peine de mort"? This is one of the stories in "Maigret et les petit cochons sans queue," [Maigret and the Little Tailless Pigs] set on the island of Porquerolles. Thanks,

Guido

Correction
3/23/03 – The correct web links for the Belgian railways are www.sncb.be in French and www.nmbs.be in Dutch and NOT what I put in the review of the Simenon Expo [2/21/03]. It doesn't matter which you choose as you can get it in English on either one.

Joe Richards

Simenon in Paris Match - 1955
3/25/03 –

Paris Match   (N°346)
November 26, 1955, p 90-95

 

SIMENON
CONFESSES

André Parinaud

Photographic Report:
Jean-Paul Ollivier
Edward Quinn

original French

In six reels of radio confessions
the author of 164 novels reveals
the secrets of his creation


Simenon Confesses
3/26/03 – According to SIMENON CONFESSES article [above], Simenon's working habit was to write early in the morning, finish by about 9 am and pass the newly finished writing to his wife, without ever re-reading his work. Then until lunch he would rest alone. After lunch he would do various things with his wife and family, but never discussed his work with his wife.
When did his wife read the work he finished early in the morning? My most logical assumption is that she read it late in the morning until lunch, while Simenon was resting.
Why would Simenon have his wife read his work if they did not discuss it? Is it possible that she not just read it, but also edited and "polished"? Is that possible that others, maybe professional editors, helped her in editing and "polishing" Simenon's work? Just curious.
Here is why I am curious. To me, Simenon's works (not only Maigrets, other novels as well) look as well written work, where each word is highly "polished" for a good fit with the rest of words. Of course, I am speaking about English translations, where translator could have done some "improvements". However, I assume that original work in French is equally well done. Any comments from those lucky to read Simenon in French?
Considering that producing such quality work on first draft is somewhat unlikely, and since Simenon himself never re-read or edited his work (as many sources indicate), someone must have done this for Simenon. If that is true, they deserve some credit, do they not?

Regards,
Vladimir

Simenon's mot juste
3/27/03 – Vladimir's comments [above] are interesting. But I don't think Simenon had a lot of help from his wife – or from his mistress who at one point was living in a menage à trois with him and his wife. Simenon was a natural genius.
Simenon seldom had a translator who improved on his language. Quite the contrary – one reason I've kept up my French is his novels are so much better in the original. Simenon was the master of the "mot juste", the exactly appropriate word, that never can be translated well. An example drawn totally at random from the first page I opened in the first book that came to hand, "Le voleur de Maigret" (p. 35):

"Le restaurant était modeste. La plupart des clients travaillait dans le quartier et mangeaient en solitaires tout en parcourant un journal. Les steaks étaient servis, les frites assez croustillantes."
Every word is perfect. In three or four short lines, Simenon has described a bistrot you could visit even today, in the quartier du Commerce. Note the word "solitaires". He could have had them eating "seuls" (alone). "En solitaires" says the same thing without hinting that the regular diners found anything wrong with being alone. Note the word "tout". It changes in a subtle way that I can better understand than explain the picture of the diners reading their newspaper. And the word "assez". It translates as "enough", but it really means in this context, "perfectly, deliciously."
Steve could translate this better than I, but I would expect an ordinary translator to write,
"The restaurant was without pretension. Most of the customers worked in the neighborhood and ate alone while reading a newspaper. The steaks were served; the fries were sufficiently crisp."
No matter how much you improve that translation, you are never, ever going to come close to the artistry Simenon used in his choice of French words.
So, no, I don't think Simenon got much help with his writing, and I don't think he needed it. Possibly his wife had a comment or two on the characters or action of the novel-in-progress after the kids were put in bed, the one time Simenon does not claim he refused to think about his novel. No more than that, I don't think.
Oz Childs

Pocket Essentials Simenon
3/28/03 – A review by Steven Poole from The Guardian (15.03.2003)
Georges Simenon, by David Carter (Pocket Essentials, 2003, £3.99)
Simenon was born a century ago this year. He sold 500m copies of his novels, and claimed in a famous interview with Fellini that he had slept with 10,000 women. This tiny book on a man with gigantic appetites (or, at the least, a gigantic imagination) offers precis nuggets covering all 103 novels (including the entire Maigret series), with the strange decision to mark each one out of five, and some critical "comments" that range from the banal to the just weird: "This is quite a short novel, but it manages to reflect very well the infighting that goes on within a provincial family," reads one; it's anyone's guess as to what that "but" is doing. Doubtless, though, this will be a useful descriptive bibliography for fans, and it is amusing to learn of Simenon's publishers' doubts as to whether the relatively new-fangled detective genre would ever be commercially successful. SP

Roddy Campbell

This book is essentially a checklist of all the Simenons, with summaries, preceded by about 10 pages of succinct commentary on the author and his works. Poole's comment "...all 103 novels (including the entire Maigret series)..." may be misleading. There are summaries of the 103 Romans Durs ("hard" novels) and all 79 Maigret books (including the short story collections), as well as Simenon on film. Poole's "...strange decision to mark each one out of five.." refers to Carter's system of rating each book on a scale of five. (I'm pleased to note that on the last page [p. 94], under Internet Resources, it's this website, thank you, although unfortunately the URL is misspelled.) Here's a sample entry:
70) Maigret's Pickpocket

(Le voleur de Maigret, 1967). Hamilton, 1968; Harcourt, USA, 1968; in The Second Simenon Omnibus (Penguin 3185, 1970). Also translated as Maigret And The Pickpocket (Harvest, USA, 1985).
Plot: While traveling on a bus Maigret has his wallet stolen, but the following day the pickpocket contacts him. He proves to be a journalist and would-be screenplay writer who is suspected of the murder of his wife and who wants Maigret to prove his innocence. Maigret mingles in the world of filmmakers, discovering that the wife had been the lover of a film director. He follows several false trails but arrives finally at the simple truth.
Comments: Many feel that this is not one of the best Maigrets, but there is good characterization to enjoy. 3/5

ST

Simenon's mot juste
3/30/03 – Further to Oz Childs insightful comments in 'Simenon's mot juste' [above]. The word 'alone' could be translated as 'solo', like 'pilot made a solo flight' or 'a climber went solo on the mountain'. However, English 'solo' does not sound right in the contexts of eating in a restaurant. Unfortunately, the word 'alone' does not really fit either. Another choice would be 'by themselves', but this is not very good, either.
The above case is just one more example that an artful expression is almost impossible to translate without losing something in translation.

Vladimir

Maigret sites updated
3/30/03 – Amis Maigretphiles, bonsoir !
Un petit mail pour vous annoncer quelques changements, ajouts et modifications en tous genres sur le site.

  • J'ai mis en page des transcriptions d'articles de revues et journaux concernant "Les caves du Majestic", "Maigret et la nuit du carrefour" (voir lien "les épisodes" dans le menu défilant)
  • Un lien dans le menu défilant a été ajouté concernant "les débuts de la série"
  • Mises à jour des filmographies TV et ciné de Bruno Cremer
  • Des photos d'actrices ayant interprété le rôle de madame Maigret m'ont été envoyées : elles sont désormais sur le site
  • Votes mis en ligne (ils sont peu nombreux, snif ... n'hésitez pas à voter !!)
  • Affiches du film "Maigret fait mouche" en ligne
    Merci beaucoup et bonne semaine,
    Cordialement,
    JY Depoix
    jy.depoix.free.fr/commissa

    Maigret's Journeys in France
    3/30/03 –


    Simenon and alcohol
    4/2/03 –

    SIMENON

    Learning to Drink American Style

    "For many years – roughly from 1935 to 1949 – writing and drinking were inseparable for Simenon..."

    Chapter 5 of Dr. Donald W. Goodwin's (1988) "Alcohol and the Writer." (Other chapters are on Poe, Fitzgerald, Hemingway, Steinbeck, Faulkner, O'Neill, and Lowry.)

    Simenon's Liège
    4/4/03 – "One hundred years after the birth of its most famous son, Georges Simenon, Liège maintains the old-fashioned spirit of his detective novels. Ros Taylor searches for clues among its narrow alleyways..." By Georges, an article from The Guardian.

    Roddy Campbell

    Simenon's Liège
    4/5/03 – What a delightful article about Liege. And less than 3 hours from London - if I was in London I would have jumped on the train next weekend.

    Vladimir

    Simenon in Ciné-Revue - 1957
    4/12/03 –

    Ciné-Revue   (N°21)
    May 24, 1957, p 33

     

    An exclusive article by

    Georges Simenon

    original French


    Simenon's Monsieur Hire
    4/21/03 – A link to an article about an English-language remake of Simenon's novel, Monsieur Hire.

    Roddy Campbell

    Harcourt Releases Maigret Titles
    4/21/03 – I thought you might be interested in the following announcement recently made here at Harcourt:

    CELEBRATING THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF GEORGES SIMENON
    HARVEST RELEASES SIXTEEN OF THE
    AUTHOR'S MOST POPULAR MAIGRET MYSTERIES

    Reasonably Priced Trade Paperbacks Released Through the Spring

    Special Edition MAIGRET'S CHRISTMAS
    To Be Featured at BEA and Released for Holiday 2003

    Georges Simenon is one of the world's best-loved mystery writers, as his Inspector Jules Maigret is one of fiction's foremost detectives characters. In eighty-four mysteries penned by the author – many of which were made into movies and featured in the PBS series "Mystery!" – the Maigret mysteries remain one of the most collected and read series of all time.

    To honor Simenon's 100th anniversary, Harvest Trade Paperbacks proudly releases sixteen titles considered to be Simenon's best - with brand-new covers designed to bring an even wider audience to the millions of readers already obsessed with Maigret.

    Releasing in May 2003

    Madame Maigret's Own Case ($8.00 / 0-15-602849-2). Madame Maigret's trip to the dentist brings surprising insight to a baffling case.

    Maigret and the Apparition ($8.00 / 0-15-602838-7). A colleague of Maigret's is brutally attacked, and the only clue is a single word the victim whispers as he drifted out of consciousness: "apparition."

    Maigret and the Bum ($8.00 / 0-15-602839-5). One of the harmless vagrants who live along the Seine is bludgeoned and thrown into the river, revealing a new underworld to Inspector Maigret.

    Maigret and the Burglar's Wife ($8.00 / 0-15-602840-9). A safe-manufacturer-turned-burglar stumbles upon a dead body while committing a robbery: Will Maigret crack the case?

    Maigret and the Saturday Caller ($8.00 / 0-15-602842-5). When a fearful man shows up on Maigret's doorstep, confessing to a murder he intends to commit, the Inspector must investigate a crime that is yet to happen.

    Maigret and the Spinster ($8.00 / 0-15-602843-3). Maigret's guilty conscience over dismissing a victim's complaints propels him into the search for a murderer, or maybe more.

    Maigret at the Gai-Moulin ($8.00 /0-15-602845-X). Maigret goes undercover to expose a murderer in a twisted chain of events at a famous Liège nightclub.


     
    Releasing in June 2003
    Maigret and the Wine Merchant ($8.00 / 0-15-602844-1). When a rich wine merchant is murdered, the killer's motive may not be what it seems.

    Maigret and the Killer ($8.00 / 0-15-602841-7). The investigation of a murder with no apparent motive pushes Maigret to look beyond the simple question of guilt and innocence.

    Maigret and the Madwoman ($8.00 / 0-15-602850-6). An elderly woman is frightened because someone has been moving her furniture when she is away, but by the time Maigret investigates, she is already dead.

    Maigret and the Man on the Bench ($8.00 / 0-15-602837-9). The only clues to this murder lies in the victim's strange behavior before his death – he'd taken to sitting alone on a bench wearing clothes strikingly out of character.

    Maigret Loses His Temper ($8.00 / 0-15-602847-6). Maigret investigates the perplexing murder of a nightclub owner who, at first glance, seems to have no enemies.

    Maigret in Holland ($8.00 / 0-15-602852-2). Human appetites clash with small-town respectability when a teacher in a prim Dutch village is murdered.

    Maigret's Boyhood Friend ($8.00 / 0-15-602851-4). A string of lovers and a murder tinged with blackmail make one woman's death a complicated affair for Maigret.

    Maigret Sets A Trap ($8.00 / 0-15-602848-4). Five stocky woman are brutally knifed in the streets. Can Maigret lure the murderer into a clever trap?

    Releasing in November 2003
    Maigret's Christmas ($14.00 / 0-15-602853-0). Nine holiday-themed mini-mysteries perfect for gift-giving.
    Georges Simenon (1903-1983) was born in Liège, Belgium, in 1903. As a young man he worked as a baker, journalist, and bookseller and published his first novel at seventeen. He went on to write more than two hundred novels, becoming one of the world's most prolific and bestselling authors. His books have sold more than 500 million copies and have been translated into fifty languages.
    ********************************************
    Evan Boorstyn
    Publicity Manager
    HARCOURT TRADE PUBLISHERS
    15 East 26th Street
    New York, NY 10010

    Simenon in Good Housekeeping - 1954
    4/22/03 –

    Good Housekeeping
    April, 1954, p. 28

     

    Interesting People:

    Georges Simenon

    By Stephen White

    In 30-odd years he's written 300-odd novels. Not a bad score.


    Simenon Commemorative Coin
    4/23/03 –

    The Belgian government, in cooperation with "The friends of Simenon" and the "Fonds Simenon", has issued a special 10 EURO coin on the occasion of the anniversary of Georges Simenon's hundredth birthday...

    These usually sell for about 30€, and are regularly available on eBay auctions, as well as the Shop of the Royal Treasury of Belgium.
    (Thanks to Guido de Croock for reminding me about this.)
    ST

    Traversing Paris with Maigret
    4/23/03 – On the web site of the City of Paris, I found the following:

    Maigret, Traversées de Paris
    Pour fêter le centenaire de la naissance de Georges Simenon, la Bibliothèque des Littératures Policières avec Paris bibliothèques et les éditions Omnibus se lancent sur les traces du détective Maigret. Bibliothèque des Littératures Policières, du 25 avril au 20 septembre 2003
    – Un livre – Maigret, traversées de Paris, écrit par Michel Carly
    – Un cycle de conférences, de mars à décembre 2003, autour de Simenon ainsi que des rencontres en bibliothèques.

    Maigret Across Paris
    To celebrate the centenary of the birth of Georges Simenon, the Police Literature Library, along with other Paris libraries and Omnibus Editions, launch themselves on the tracks of Inspector Maigret. At the Police Literature library from April 25 to September 20, 2003
    – A book – Maigret, traversées de Paris, written by Michel Carly,
    —A cycle of conferences, from March to December 2003, concerning Simenon, as well as meetings in libraries.

    Jerome

    The Rap Sheet
    4/25/03 – A link to January Magazine's excellent review of crime fiction, The Rap Sheet, edited by J. Kingston Pierce. This issue contains Cara Black's ten favourite crime novels set in France, which of course includes a Simenon.

    Roddy Campbell

    Simenon in Paris Match - 1952
    4/25/03 –

    Paris Match   (N° 165)
    May 10-17, 1952, p 36-37

     

    On a Liège street corner,
    fame and Maigret
    awaited Simenon

    by Philippe de Baleine

    photos Daniel Filipacchi

    original French

    Patrick Marnham also wrote about this 1952 visit of Simenon to Europe
    (from Lakeville, CT) in Chapter 12 of his "The Man Who Wasn't Maigret".
    Excerpts are here.

    Maigret mini-statue?
    4/27/03 – Does anyone have any information/value on a mini-statue of Maigret, about 10 inches high, brass or bronze?

    Lesley Kellough

    from the archives:
    Maigret statue replica
    9/11/99 - It must have been in the early seventies that a 10-inch replica was made of the famous Maigret statue in Delfzijl in the Netherlands. As a long-time collector of Maigret books, I am still looking for this small statue. It was issued with a series of Maigret books bound in leather. Does anyone have one for sale?
    Jan Sander
    The Hague

    [An emotional Simenon blowing his nose after unveiling the statue of Maigret, September 3, 1966, Delfzijl. The bronze sculpture is by Pieter d'Hont (born Hilversum, April 24, 1917).]

    Simenon walk in Liege
    4/29/03 – I did the walking tour in Liege last week. It was a nice day for it. The tour starts out at the Place St. Lambert and goes to a number of places related to Simenon's early life in Liege. His birthplace was just behind the city hall, which is near the start of the tour. Between the two is the Square Jules Maigret, which got that name on 13 February, 2003 on Simenon's birthday. From there you don't go far before crossing the Meuse river. After a couple of blocks is the church of St. Pholien and just after that is the church of St. Nicolas where Simenon used to go. Later on come the three places — all close together — where he lived as a boy. One of these was right across the street from his primary school. After passing all this we find our way across the river again and go towards the cathedral. There are a few more sights to see before returning to the starting point, but nothing fantastic. The former hat shop of his grandfather is now an optical shop and I'll probably buy my next pair of glasses there.
    Oddly enough the rue Pot d'Or was left out of the tour even though it would only add a few extra minutes to see it. This is where the Gai Moulin nightclub was. There's nothing with that name there today but the far end of the street is full of bars and the like. One of them could have easily been the model. This is now a teeming pedestrian area. Jean Chabot supposedly lived at 53, rue de la Loi. This in fact was one of the houses where Simenon himself lived, the one across from the school. In the story, Chabot's mother rented rooms to foreign students just like Simenon's mother did in the same house.
    I did slides of all the important sights along the walk. I'll add them to the photo CD I'm working on...

    Regards,
    Joe Richards

    Simenon book cover artist?
    4/30/03 – Many of the UK editions of the Simenon books had cover illustrations by an illustrator who just signed the covers as M B. Do you know who this could be?

    Martin Breese

    Dick Bruna
    5/1/03 – I don't know who M.B. (above) was, but I was interested to find out that the famous children's illustrator, Dick Bruna, was involved with covers for Maigret. Here's an extract from an interview:

    Talking to Dick Bruna, you quickly discover that what meets your eye here is much, much more than you think.
    Dick's career began with illustrating the covers of thrillers for his family's publishing house... books by, amongst others, Leslie Charteris, Peter Cheyney, Simenon. Simenon?
    His famous detective Maigret seems about as far removed from Miffy as it's possible to get. Yet, artistically, the Bruna approach to both characters is entirely consistent. "I always had in mind that I must leave an awful lot of room for the imagination of the reader. You and I, we have our own idea of what the main person is like. When we see a film after a book we always say 'Oh, that's not my idea of James Bond...'. So I kept it as simple as possible just the atmosphere of the book. With Maigret novels, for instance, I'd suggest Paris in the rain, just a bit of landscape, but never Maigret himself. All he got was a pipe. I left the reader to fill in the rest."
    Simenon himself entirely approved. "I still have the last letter he wrote to me before he died. He said 'You are trying to do in drawing exactly the same as I'm trying to do in writing'. That was wonderful!" It was also no accident. Dick's roots were in Art and Design rather than illustration...
    And a link to the whole interview at Carousel - The Guide to Children's Books.
    Roddy Campbell

    [Bruna's designs for the covers of (Dutch Bruna editions of) Maigret are usually are dominated by a monochrome silhouette of a pipe. Click on the image for a link to more Bruna covers.]

    Another Simenon illustrator

    5/2/03 – John H. Dirckx wrote and mentioned another web-page dedicated to a Simenon illustrator, Jacques de Loustal. The site includes a reproduction of the Figaro magazine article (9.23.2000) on de Loustal, and many samples of his work. The pages can be accessed here. (It may not be so obvious, but click on the "fish" to navigate the site — top page is www.loustal.nl.)

    For book covers and more Simenon by Loustal, look further into this site by starting at www.loustal.nl/museum600.htm

    Simenon Expo 2
    5/5/03 – On the same day I did the walking tour I revisited the expo in Liege. It made more sense the second time. I mentioned that it didn't seem quite finished when I visited just after it opened [2/21/03] and now things fell into place much more readily. Did they really not have the little brass plates identifiying several parts of the expo up the first time or did I just miss them in the relative darkness?
    Anyway, the "cabins" on the "boat" belong to (In Order) Simenon, Jack Kerouac, Louis-Ferdinand Céline, André Gide, André Malraux, and Ernest Hemingway. The "offices" were those of Maigret (still no lamp with the green shade), Nestor Burma, Philip Marlowe, Sherlock Holmes, Kay Scarpetta (a morgue scene), and Hercule Poirot, this last being only a scene on a large poster.
    Later on were two simulated movie sets. The first was for Trois Chambres à Manhattan and the second was Le Chat. This was the kitchen scene that I thought was Mme Maigret's!
    From the collected documents on display I learned that Simenon lived at either 7 or 17 boulevard Richard Wallace (both were mentioned on different items), not too far where the story of Maigret and the Burglar's Wife played out. Also, Simenon had a Social Security card while he was living in the USA. The number was 080-28-7959.

    Regards,
    Joe

    Simenon in La Pléiade: the revenge of the novelist
    5/5/03 –
    PARIS (AFP) - Georges Simenon, who would have been 100 on February 13, 2003, had never been accepted while he was alive by the world of letters, who reproached him for writing too much, and without a true style: the novelist took his revenge by being published in the prestigious Bibliothèque de La Pléiade (Gallimard), recognition coming after numerous centenary events...
    (Translation of the beginning of an article at Yahoo France: Actualités, spotted by Jérôme Devémy.)

    Jérôme also found this Gallimard page www.gallimard.fr/simenon/ which lists the contents of the two La Pléiade volumes, including five Maigrets, and more information...
      Tome 1
    Le Charretier de « La Providence »
    L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre
    Les Fiançailles de M. Hire
    Le Coup de la lune
    La Maison du canal
    L'Homme qui regardait passer les trains
    Le Bourgmestre de Furnes
    Les Inconnus dans la maison
    La Veuve Couderc
    Lettre à mon juge
      Tome 2
    La Neige était sale
    Les Mémoires de Maigret
    La Mort de Belle
    Maigret et l'homme du banc
    L'Horloger d'Everton
    Le Président
    Le Train
    Maigret et les braves gens
    Les Anneaux de Bicêtre
    Le Petit Saint
    Le Chat

    David Carter's Pocket Essential Georges Simenon
    5/10/03 – After reading Roddy Campbell's message of 3.28.03 I ordered a copy of David Campbell's Pocket Essential Georges Simenon. I thought that it was a sloppy and disappointing book. One thing that really irritated me was the categorical statement on p.9:

    "What is certain is that Georges Joseph Christian Simenon was born in Liege, Belgium on the [sic] February 12th, 1903."
    Actually, this is not certain at all. Two biographers, Patrick Marnham and Fenton Bresler, mention a family story that Simenon was actually born early on the 13th February but that his superstitious mother insisted that his birth be registered as occurring on the more auspicious 12th. And Pierre Assouline merely gives the birthdate as the 13th February 1903 (page 5 of the English translation).
    I have the distinct impression that this slapdash, poorly-researched pocket guide was produced in a hurry with the aim of cashing in on the centenary celebrations.
    Patricia Clark
    Cardiff

    (Actually, though the layout may have made it look like Roddy wrote that review, he merely submitted it – it was Steven Poole's review. ST)

    Simenon thimble confirms birthday

    5/10/03 – Up for auction on eBay currently is this Georges Simenon commemorative Bone China Thimble, inscribed, according to the seller, "Georges Simenon was born 100 yrs ago today 13th- Feb- 2003". You can bid on it here for three more days. (Opening bid: $2)

    I have the impression that the February 13 birthdate is the "official" one for the centenary celebrations – it's the one given in the Yahoo article above, for example.

    ST

     

    Le Livre de Poche
    5/10/03 – Many of you are probably already aware of it, but I have just discovered Le Livre de Poche's website at www.livredepoche.com.
    It happens that this year marks the publisher's 50th anniversary as well as Simenon's centenary. I have copied the following links from their on-line catalogue. A number of Simenon titles (in French of course) have been published this year, including several Maigrets:

    Maigret a peur, Policiers
    Le Revolver de Maigret - 2003, Policiers
    Mon ami Maigret - 2003, Policiers
    Maigret et son mort - 2003, Policiers
    Au rendez-vous des terre-neuvas - 2003, Policiers
    Le Charretier de la providence - 2003, Policiers
    La Tête d'un homme - 2003, Policiers
    Une Confidence de Maigret - 2003, Policiers
    Pietr le Letton - 2003, Policiers
    L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre - 2003, Policiers
    Le Chien jaune - 2003, Policiers
    Maigret et le corps sans tête - 2002, Policiers
    Maigret à New York - 2002, Policiers
    Maigret aux assises - 2001, Policiers
    Maigret chez le coroner - 2001, Policiers
    La Colère de Maigret - 2001, Policiers
    Maigret et l'homme du banc - 2001, Policiers
    Les Vacances de Maigret - 2001, Policiers
    La Première enquête de Maigret - 2001, Policiers
    Maigret tend un piège - 2000, Policiers
    Les scrupules de Maigret - 2000, Policiers
    Maigret et la vieille dame - 2000, Policiers
    Maigret se trompe - 2000, Littérature
    Maigret et le clochard - 2000, Policiers
    Les Complices - 1999, Littérature
    Maigret en meublé - 1999, Littérature
    L'amie de Madame Maigret - 1999, Littérature
    Maigret et la Grande Perche - 1999, Littérature
    La patience de Maigret - 1999, Littérature
    Maigret et l'affaire Nahour - 1999, Littérature
    Maigret au Picratt's - 1999, Littérature
    Le Voleur de Maigret - 1998, Littérature
    Maigret et le tueur - 1998, Littérature
    Maigret à Vichy - 1998, Littérature
    Maigret hésite - 1997, Littérature
    La Folle de Maigret - 1997, Littérature
    L'Ami d'enfance de Maigret - 1997, Littérature
    Les Mémoires de Maigret - 1997, Littérature
    Maigret et Monsieur Charles - 1997, Littérature
    Maigret et l'indicateur - 1997, Littérature
    Maigret et le marchand de vin - 1997, Littérature
    Best wishes,
    Michael Newman
    Chelmsford, UK

     

    Simenon stamps from Belgium

    5/11/03 – Three new Simenon commemorative stamps from Belgium, issued April 28, 2003. The 0,49 shows a poster for the film Maigret tend un piège, the 0,59 shows one for the film Le Chat, and the 0,84 is a photo of Georges Simenon at his typewriter. The 0,49 and 0,59 stamps were issued in mini-sheets of ten stamps; the 0,84 is a souvenir sheet with a single stamp.

    Does the background of the souvenir sheet look familiar? It's the same great Quai des Orfèvres photo that's on the top page of this site, by Jean-Pierre Ducatez. It apparently doesn't take too long to prepare such philatelic issues: Last December 19, I received an email (which I redirected to M. Ducatez) requesting permission to reproduce that photo on the upcoming stamp.

    ST

    The Date of Georges Simenon's Birth
    5/11/03 – This has always been an interesting point, so here are some factors in the situation.

     
    Reference 1: Mathieu Rutten: Simenon, ses origines, sa vie, son œuvre. Eugène Wahle Éditeur, Nandrin 1986. A very detailed book which is Professor Rutten's research into the Simenon and Brüll families going back through ten generations, using parish and other records.

    Page 5.
    …Georges Simenon, né à Liège, Thursday 12-2-1903. Une tradition familiale, à laquelle Simenon est très sensible, situe cette naissance le vendredi 13-2-1903, date qui aurait été, par superstition, rejetée par sa mère. …Georges Simenon, born in Liège, Thursday 12-2-1903. A family tradition, to which Simenon is very sensitive, cites this birth as Friday 13-2-1903, a date which would have been, out of superstition, rejected by his mother.
    Page 325, note 1.
    Reproduction de l'acte de naissance de Georges Simenon N° 414, État Civil, Ville de Liège: naissance, le 12-2-1903, "à onze heures et demie du soir"; déclaration par le père, le 13-2-1903 "à deux heures de relevée". Copy of the birth certificate of Georges Simenon, N° 414, Registry Office, the town of Liège: born the 12-2-1903, "at half past eleven in the evening"; declaration by the father, the 13-2-1903 "at two o'clock in the afternoon".

     
    Reference 2: Pierre Deligny: Jalons Chronobiographiques. Tout Simenon, Volume 27, Collection Omnibus, 1993. Pages 1522 to 1552. A synopsis, by year, of Simenon's life and work by a long-time researcher and friend of the author.

    Page 1520 (under 1903).
    Vendredi 13 février, peu après minuit: naissance, au 26 (auj. 24) de la rue Léopold à Liège, 2e étage, au-dessus de la chappellerie Cession-Denoël, de Georges Joseph Christian Simenon, premier fils des époux Simenon. Mais Henriette est superstitieuse et ce "Vendredi 13" lui semble de mauvais augure: aussi, à l'état civil de la Ville de Liège et sur déclaration du père, l'acte de naissance porte-t-il que Georges est né "à Liège, rue Léopold, 26, le 12 février 1903 à onze heure et demie du soir". Friday 13 February, a little after midnight: the birth, at 26 (today 24) Rue Léopold in Liège, 2nd floor, above the hatter Cession-Denoël, of Georges Joseph Christian Simenon, first son of the Simenon couple. But Henriette is superstitious and this "Friday the 13th seems to her an ill omen: so, at the Registry Office in the town of Liège and on the declaration of the father, the birth certificate shows that Georges is born "in Liège, Rue Léopold, 26, the 12th February 1903 at half past eleven in the evening".

     
    Reference 3. Carnet de Mariage des parents (Private Collection). This was the Book of the Marriage that the Simenons kept from the time of their marriage in April 1902 and was used to record major family events such as the birth of their two sons. Under Children, there is the first entry as:

    Georges Joseph Christian, né à Liège, 12 février 1903, N° 414.Georges Joseph Christian, born at Liège, 12 February 1903, N° 414.

     
    Reference 4. The commemorative plaque next to the door of N° 24, Rue Léopold in Liège (unveiled 17 May 1975). This plaque states:

    ICI EST NE
    LE 13 FEVRIER 1903
    LE CELEBRE ECRIVAIN
    GEORGES SIMENON
    CREATEUR DU COMMISSAIRE MAIGRET
    HERE WAS BORN
    THE 13 FEBRUARY 1903
    THE CELEBRATED WRITER
    GEORGES SIMENON
    CREATOR OF COMMISSAIRE MAIGRET

     
    So there is a choice of date, depending on whether the information on the birth certificate is followed or Simenon's own point of view. Of the four biographers, Fenton Bresler (1983), Stanley G. Eskin (1987) and Pierre Assouline (1992, French edition), give the date of Simenon's birth as the 13th of February with an brief explanation as to why the 12th is on the birth certificate, whereas Patrick Marnham (1992) gives the 12th in his chronology on page xi, with an explanation concerning the 13th on page 10. In a footnote on the same page, Marnham states that at some time Simenon was told by his father that his birthday was the 13th. Most references seem to favour the thirteenth, as in the case of the opening of events in Liège and elsewhere.

    Peter Foord
    UK

    Simenon in GEO - 1984
    5/12/03 –

    GEO   (N° 69)
    November 1984, pp 48-64

     

    The World of
    Georges Simenon

    photos: Wilfried Bauer

    original French


    Abel Tarride

    5/16/03 – Two years ago, in June, 2001, Mattias Siwemyr wrote to say that the picture of "Abel Tarride" from Haining's Complete Maigret, which I was using on this site, wasn't Tarride at all. In retrospect, I should have wondered about that photo, considering Maigret's comments in Chapter 2 of his Memoirs:
    ...A few months later, I grew some six inches shorter, and what I lost in height I gained in stoutness, becoming, in the shape of Abel Tarride, obese and bland, so flabby that I looked like an inflated rubber animal about to float up to the ceiling. Not to mention the knowing winks with which I underlined my own discoveries and my cunning tricks!
    It would certainly seem to be stretching things (ahem) to consider the photo (of Lawrence Grant, right) as that of someone "obese and... flabby", but until Mattias's sharp eye, no one seems to have noticed. Meanwhile, that left us without any picture of Tarride, and unfortunately, a number of websites have picked up the Grant image as "Tarride", (presumably from this site), compounding the felony.
    Well, now we have a photo! This image is from the February 4, 1937 issue of Confessions magazine, which had a splendid Simenon article with ten pictures (including a number of Commissaire Guillaume). I'll post that article below, but meanwhile we have a Tarride image. (I also found an indication of his date of birth, which was shown as April 18, 1865, at Niort, according to a reference citing the Gauquelin Birth and Planetary Data -Series A- 1970. If that's correct, it would mean that he was 67 at the time he portrayed Maigret in Le Chien Jaune, directed by his brother Jean...)
    Information about Tarride is very difficult to come by. If anyone knows any more, please let us know.
    ST

    Simenon on Maigret and Guillaume in Confessions - 1937
    5/17/03 –

    Confessions   (2nd Year – N° 10)
    February 4, 1937, p 22-26

    Georges Simenon decides:

    On the retirement
    of Commissioner
    Maigret

    original French

    In Maigret's Footsteps
    5/18/03 – Joe Richards has produced Part I of his guide to the Paris of Maigret – no illustrations yet, but coming soon. He'll be adding to it regularly, so check back from time to time to follow:

    In the Footsteps of
    Chief Superintendent Jules Maigret
    in Paris

    By Joe Richards

    In Maigret's Footsteps
    5/19/03 – Yes, "adding to it regularly"! - Updated - Part II


    5/20/03
    A short break

    I'll be away until June 1. Mail will be received and answered, but, sorry, this Forum won't be updated until I get back.

    Hope you enjoyed the GEO and Confessions articles!
    More Simenon articles from Paris Match coming soon...


    Steve

    Simenon on Journalists
    6/1/03 – Just before I left, on May 20, I received this note from Roddy Campbell:

    I enjoy the articles, but have you read what Simenon had to say about the journalists who visited him at the beginning of "When I Was Old"?
    There was a copy on my shelf, but I'd never finished reading it, so I tossed it into my carry-on bag to read on the plane. The book is a diary, a series of three notebooks Simenon wrote, dated from June 25, 1960 through February 15, 1963. Here are the sections Roddy is no doubt referring to:

    /Monday, June 27, 1960

    Spent yesterday, a typical Sunday, with a Match photographer. He's here for four days, after which he will be joined by a journalist for what they call a feature story. It's the fourth that Match has published in seven or eight years about me and my family. These two will be followed by Good Housekeeping, then by an Englishman who wants to write I don't know how many articles.

    Every three or four months we open our doors to journalists this way, one after another. They are almost always charming intelligent people at first glance, and perhaps they really are. Whether they come from Finland, Germany, or Italy, they appear to be making an effort to understand. They listen, take notes, declare that they will make this one "different, that they will make it "true."

    Then, whether it is in Lakeville, in Cannes, or here, the photographers ask us to take the same poses, in the same spots, so much so that the children now know in advance just what they must do.

    The journalists always ask the same questions. Haven't they read the articles their colleagues have published? Most of the time they haven't read my books, either, or only a very few.

    This has gone on for thirty years, and for thirty years I have wondered if there are really any readers for these articles. I must believe there are, since the editors of newspapers and especially of magazines say they know just what their readers want.

    more...


    Joe Richards: In Maigret's Footsteps
    6/1/03 – Updated - Part III   (5/20/03)

    Simenon films on NFT
    6/2/03 – The new Penguin editions of 6 Maigrets are now being published in June and Penguin are sponsoring a Crime film festival in London in association with the books. Jean-Pierre Melville is mentioned in the pre-publicity. Here's the link... British Film Institute (BFI) www.bfi.org.uk - Simenon and Maigret in July... Click here for schedule of films... Check here for Maigret on TV and more... They're including some Simenon interviews...
    [Is anyone planning to record these (or at least the interviews) in US format?]

    And here's something I found at travel.telegraph.co.uk, that I haven't seen mentioned elsewhere:

    Roddy


    Penguin reissues 5 Maigrets + 1
    6/3/03 – Here's a Penguin contest to win these Maigrets and more: Get Back on the Beat with Maigret...


    The Yellow Dog

    The Bar on the Seine

    My Friend Maigret

    Lock 14

    Inspector Cadaver

    A Man's Head
    1. The Yellow Dog was previously issued by Penguin as A Face for a Clue, in a double edition entitled The Patience of Maigret along with A Battle of Nerves in 1946, and with A Crime in Holland, in 1952.
    2. The Bar on the Seine [La guinguette à deux sous] appears for the first time as a Penguin.
    3. My Friend Maigret appeared in Penguin editions of 1959, 1961, 1962, and 1963.
    4. Lock 14 appeared as Maigret Meets a Milord in 1963, reprinted 1964, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1979, and in a 1983 triple edition along with Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets and Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett.
    5. Inspector Cadaver appeared as Maigret's Rival in a Penguin triple edition of 1985 along with The Night Club and Maigret in New York.
    6. A Man's Head was previously published by Penguin as A Battle of Nerves in a double edition along with A Face for a Clue (The Yellow Dog, above) in 1946, and in 1950, 1951 in a double edition along with At the "Gai-Moulin".
    Except for My Friend Maigret, these are all "new" English titles. The translator of The Yellow Dog isn't indicated on the Penguin webpage, so it's probably the old Geoffrey Sainsbury translation. The Bar on the Seine, the only one which hadn't previously appeared as a Penguin, is a new translation, by David Watson.
    Penguin covers have come a long way... Here's a history of Maigret in Penguins.


    The Size of Simenon's Vocabulary

    If you clicked on Inspector Cadaver, above, you may have noticed that in his introduction, Paul Bailey repeats the fairly familiar comment that "Simenon limited himself to a vocabulary of 2,000 words..." which appears from time to time in magazine articles and books. (I've never located the source — if you find any similar comments, please e-mail me the reference.) This comment has troubled me for years, since I don't believe it, and am fairly sure that Simenon himself had no idea how many words he used (and didn't care). I'd always meant to actually check it, and I found some freeware software on the Net, Wurdz, which does that kind of analysis, so I ran it on some of the Simenon texts I had as files, both in French and English.
    In fact, even for short stories like those below, the unique vocabulary is over 2,000 words, with unique words accounting for about 1/4 of the total. And for novels, not surprisingly, as the total number of words increases, so does the unique total, with the percent of the total dropping. In La Maison de l'inquiétude, Simenon's vocabulary is closer to 5,000 words, and the percent of the total is down to around 15%, similar to that of the English translation of Maigret's Memoirs. (On the other hand, these two may not be typical of Simenon's novels...)

    TitleTotal
    words
    Unique
    words
    Unique words
    as % of total
    Ceux du Grand Café9,7322,17422.34
    L'improbable Monsieur Owen9,7992,29623.43
    Menaces de mort9,4642,36625.00
    Death Threats (English)9,8522,10421.36
    La Maison de l'inquiétude30,8384,68115.18
    Maigret's Memoirs (English)35,5294,84213.60

    I'll continue this with additional texts (accessible via the Reference page) to validate these results, but at first glance it seems like the vocabulary Simenon used in his works may not be significantly smaller than that of many other authors, and that he probably never wrote a novel with as few as 2,000 words... or even close. There's a fairly natural rule that the shorter the piece the greater the percentage of unique words. (In other words, the longer the piece of writing, the more likely you are to use the same words over again.) Here are some counts for non-Simenons, including a couple of English science-fiction short stories, a French literary article, an article on Simenon from Paris Match...and the results don't seem all that different:

    TitleTotal
    words
    Unique
    words
    Unique words
    as % of total
    First Men (Howard Fast)11,1862,12619.01
    The Martian Shop (Howard Fast)8,4962,14725.27
    Science fiction et préhistoire (François Bordes)6,1991,91130.83
    L'affaire Ewanchuk... (Gilles Renaud)3,3471,16234.72
    Au coin d'une rue de Liège... (Philippe de Baleine)1,84987247.16
    On a Liège street corner... (Philippe de Baleine)1,90783643.84

    Another of the notorious Simenon myths he "complains" about in "When I was old" may be rearing its head.

    ST


    Joe Richards: In Maigret's Footsteps
    6/3/03 – Updated - Part IV   (5/21/03)
    6/3/03 – Updated - Part V   (5/21/03)


    New Harcourt Releases
    6/3/03 (5/22/03) – It was earlier posted on the Forum (4/21/03) that Harcourt will release sixteen new editions of Maigret stories during 2003. After seeing which ones they will be, the question is "Why those?" All of these titles were in HBJ paperback about ten years ago in the USA and you can still find some of them new at bookdealers. There are still a fair number of Maigrets that have never been published in the USA. Why not do these instread? There's NO WAY I'll be buying another copy of a book that I already have in very good condition no matter what the cover looks like. I've had to go to bookdealers in England to get titles – and secondhand at that as they're not available there new any longer – that were never released in the USA. Isn't this a little silly? Why not give us some new titles?

    Regards,
    Joe Richards

    Simenon (at 73) in Paris Match - 1976
    6/4/03 –

    Paris Match   (N° 1440)
    December 31, 1976, p 54-56

     

    GEORGES SIMENON:

    What I think about
    'the Killer of the Oise'

    An exclusive interview
    by Marie-Hélène Normand

    original French


    Joe Richards: In Maigret's Footsteps
    6/8/03 – Updated - Part VI   (5/22/03) - the finale! (except for the photos.)

    Simenon (at 54) in Paris Match - 1957
    6/9/03 –

    Paris Match   (N° 445)
    October 19, 1957. p 98-109

     

    Simenon in Maigret's Trap

    by Guillaume Hanoteau

    photos: Pierre Vals

    original French


    Simenon stamps?

    6/13/03 – I went to the post office in my village [Mont Saint Guibert, Belgium] and asked if they had the new Simenon stamps. They had never heard of them. I tried the same thing at the post office in the central train station in Brussels. The same response. At least I was told to go to the central post office and try there. That's for next week. Incidently, there was a poster of all planned special issues for 2003 in my post office. The Simenon stamps were not on it.
    Regards.
    Joe

    Well, that tends to confirm my observation that no matter what the country, there are always some people working in post offices who know less than the customers. I received notice of the issue in April from Les Amis de Georges Simenon, to the effect that it would appear "À partir du 28 avril dans tous les bureaux de poste." [After April 28 in all post offices.] I wrote to a friend in Tervuren (outside Brussels) in early May, who was able to get sheets of the two poster stamps for me at the local post office, but not the Simenon portrait sheet (stamp shown here), which I had to buy from a dealer. There's a notice and images here, as well as on my pages.
    I notice that the 0,49€ stamps have a small label attached, "PRIOR". Does anyone know what this means?
    ST

    More Maigret On BBC Radio
    6/13/03 – As I predicted a few months ago [12/07/02], the digital radio station BBC7 is starting to broadcast past Maigret series. Starting on Wednesday 25 June, at 11 am, there is a daily broadcast lasting 45 minutes. From the scant information I can get from Digiguide I do not know if these broadcasts are plays or readings. All I know that the episodes to be broadcast are: M Goes Home (25th), M in Montmartre (26th) and M Has Scruples (27th). I imagine that more episodes will be broadcast the following week. BBC7 can be heard on Sky Digital, Freeview, DAB and cable. The bad news is that this programme cannot be heard via the internet because of copyright restrictions.

    David Cronan,
    Braintree, UK

    Georges Simenon Belgium stamp issue (28 April 2003)
    6/14/03 – I received my requirements for this commemorative issue in early May by post from the Philatelic Bureau in Brussels. The address is Direction Timbre-Poste & Philatélie, Rue E. Walschaerts 1, B-2800 Mechelen, Bruxelles.
    There is a 45 page booklet, entitled Philanews (in French — it may be in English as well), edition N° 2 - 2003, which has a four page entry on the Simenon issue with reproductions, in colour, of the 3 sheets and other details. With this booklet came an order form and other information. The Bureau sells stamps at face value, but there is a small premium for First day covers and other special items.
    The Post is not the quickest way to acquire items, but for those outside Belgium it is the most convienient way.
    Other information to go with the Bureau address above:

    Tél. service clientèle: 015 28 58 11
    Fax service clientèle: 015 28 58 16
    e-mail philately@post.be
    Website www.philately.post.be
    Or if you are in the Belgian capital — try the Guichet Philatélique (Philatelic Counter), Bruxelles 1, Centre Monnaie - 1000 Bruxelles - Tél. 02/241.62.95
    Peter Foord,
    UK

    "Prior" on Belgian 0,49€ stamps
    6/14/03 – The word 'prior' means that you spent 49 euro cents to mail a letter within Belgium. By doing this they are supposed to deliver the letter to any address in the country (remember that Belgium is about the size of Maryland and Delaware combined or Kent) the next workday if you leave the letter at a post office by closing time. Otherwise, a normal stamp costs 41 euro cents and delivery takes three working days.
    Regards,
    Joe

    The Man who Wasn't Maigret
    6/16/03 – I've just finished reading The Man Who Wasn't Maigret by Patrick Marnham, which Penguin are reissuing in June (I have a Harvest edition from 1994 which I picked up in Barter Books, Alnwick, Northumberland, which you should visit if you're ever in the area.)
    I liked Marnham's biography better than Fenton Bresler's, which I thought was sensationalist and finally unconvincing, and Pierre Assouline's, which was pretty dry (it might have lost something in translation).
    Marnham's central thesis, as you can tell from the title, is that Maigret was in just about every respect the antithesis of Simenon. He doesn't explicitly say so, but my own feeling is that Simenon used Maigret latterly to expiate his own feelings of guilt, and that he aspired in some ways to Maigret's settled, monogamous existence.
    Coincidentally, while reading Marnham, I watched a TV5 presentation of Maigret se trompe. The main character in this, a doctor called Drouin, is similar in many ways to Simenon, especially in being a serial adulterer. Maigret taunts him with the idea of love, which means nothing to Drouin. Near the end his wife describes him as "un monstre qui prend et prend" [a monster who takes and takes].
    Maybe it's fanciful, but in this I felt I saw the two sides of Simenon.

    Roddy

    Joe Richards' Guide
    6/16/03 – I very much enjoyed reading Joe Richards descriptions of his investigations into the Maigret places in Paris but I would like to suggest a couple of amendments. Joe suggests that the Brasserie Dauphine 'would have had to be on the right of the Place when seen with the Palais de Justice behind you' because Maigret could watch the Seine from the Brasserie. Patrick Marnham, in The Man who wasn't Maigret p 139 says that Brasserie Duphine in real life was the Trois Marches on the corner of the Rue de Harley. The Seine could be watched from here whether it was on the right or left of the Place since it flows on either side of the Isle de la Cite. The Trois Marches has now disappeared.
    Joe also says that there is no hotel in the Rue Biragues (as described as Hotel des Arcades in M and the Spinster and Hotel Beausejour in "Stan the Killer"). There is, the Hotel de la Place des Vosges – I have never stayed there but it is strongly recommended in several Paris guides and would be a good centre for future Maigret wanderings.

    David McBrien

    Number of unique words in the shortest Maigret novel
    6/16/03 – Roddy's mail got me to rereading Marnham's The Man Who Wasn't Maigret, and by the bottom of page 2 (FSG first edition) I found that he'd written that Simenon, "had employed a vocabulary of 2,000 words, while admitting that he knew more for his personal use." I mentioned above that I was looking for the source of these claims, and no doubt Marnham is one. (Again, if you find others, please let me know.) I've just checked the shortest of the Maigret novels, Un Noël de Maigret [Maigret's Christmas], which might better qualify as a long short story, and the number of unique words in the French edition is 2,925. (To put that in perspective, Le Robert & Collins French-English Dictionary claims some 400,000 entries...) Of course the definition of "word" is troublesome, and the software analysis not foolproof, but still, so far I haven't found evidence to support the claim that Simenon actually used a significantly smaller vocabulary in his writing than other authors.

    ST

    Brasserie Dauphine
    6/17/03 – Re: David McBrien's comments: I said that the Brasserie Dauphine was on the right because that's the side from which it would be possible to see the south branch of the river, the one visible from M's office and presumably the one he would want to watch. It would be equally possible to see the north branch from the left. The problem is that street level is so much higher than water level that you can't see the river from either direction at ground level. If the Brasserie Dauphine had been on the third or fourth floor, this would have changed things considerably in this respect but it's hard to have a terrace that high up. This will be brought out in my slide of that location.
    As to the Hotel de la Place des Vosges, I'll have a look the next time I'm there. It may be on that street but not quite on the corner. I've also done a slide of this intersection. As soon as I can find a way to send the slides in electronically that doesn't cost the earth (there are about 140!), I'll do it.

    Regards
    Joe

    Number of unique words in the longest Maigret novel
    6/17/03 – The longest Maigret novel is Maigret et son mort [Maigret's Dead Man], at 47,235 words, about two and a half times longer than Un Noël de Maigret, above. In this one there are some 5,723 unique words, 11.13% – substantially more than the 2,000 claimed in "the myth". (One simple explanation for Simenon's "small vocabulary" is... short novels.)

    ST

    Maigret se trompe
    6/17/03 – After posting my previous mail about the Bruno Cremer version of this story, I went back to my edition of Maigret's Mistake.
    In the book the doctor is called Gouin, but I'm pretty sure he was called Drouin in the film.
    There is certainly the conversation between Maigret and the doctor in which Maigret asks him about love, and the doctor replies that the term is meaningless to him. He takes a severely existentialist view of the world, believing that we are all essentially alone; the surprising thing is that Maigret agrees with the doctor's view of the world: only their viewpoint is different, with the arrogant doctor looking down on his fellow men, while Maigret looks at them as an equal.
    However, I haven't been able to find the speech in the book in which the doctor's wife calls him "a monster, who takes and takes." The writers have taken other liberties, not least the fact that they changed the identity of the murderer and provided a totally different ending to the book's!
    I have been watching the Cremer series with fairly uncritical enjoyment. Cremer is massively calm, the atmosphere is well-created and some of the acting, especially in the character roles, is excellent (an actress called Bernadette Lafont made the most of her small part in Maigret se trompe). However, they are obviously not to be taken as word-for-word adaptations of the books.

    Roddy

    Hotel de la Place des Vosges
    6/17/03 – With a little help from the internet, I've found that this hotel is about halfway down the rue de Birague. That's to say it's between the Places des Vosges and the rue St. Antoine. There is no hotel on the corner of rue de Birague and rue St. Antoine, which is where Simenon put the three of them in his stories. It's quite possible the Hotel de la Place des Vosges served as the model or inspiration. This place does not have its own website so I had some difficulty in finding it. To find an address in Paris, the best way is to ask your search engine for Mappy. You will be taken right to the spot. If you don't get a result for an address with 'bis', drop the 'bis' and see what happens.

    Regards
    Joe

    Brasserie Dauphine
    6/17/03 – Regarding the discussion related to the Brasserie Dauphine, Michel Carly in his book "Maigret traversées de Paris : Les 120 lieux parisiens du commisaire," writes that the Brasserie was on rue d'Harlay between the place and the quai de l'Horloge. It was called "Aux trois Marches" and is now called "La maison du barreau". There is a picture of Simenon in front of the restaurant in the book. He says that there is a movie called "A la recherche de Maigret" made in 1958 by Jean-Marie Coldefy where Simenon can be seen there. At www.forumdesimages.net, you can find the movie description.
    I found an interesting site : perso.wanadoo.fr/.ritv/html/sime.htm, related to a meeting in Reims about television. There is a study on Simenon & television at perso.wanadoo.fr/.ritv/simejjs/p1.htm.
    Another interesting site is : www.toutsimenon.com.

    Regards,
    Jerome

    Brasserie Dauphine
    6/17/03 – I don't want to prolong a somewhat fruitless discussion, but if one stands in the Place Dauphine with the Palais de Justice behind one, the south side of the Place is on the left. Maigret's office overlooked the Pont St Michel – that is also on the left. There are so many inconsistencies in Maigret's places that it isn't suprising that the Trois Marches, according to Jerome, was on the right overlooking the Pont au Changes and so not a good model for the Brasserie Dauphine. Simenon, after all, was writing fiction. Joe is correct in saying that the Hotel de la Place des Vosges is not on the corner of the Rue Biragues, it is halfway up on the right as one goes towards the Place.

    David McBrien

    The site of La Brasserie Dauphine
    6/18/03 – The establishment that Georges Simenon had in mind as the fictitious "Brasserie Dauphine" in some of his (mainly) Maigret novels and short stories was the Café Restaurant Aux Trois Marches, which was situated not in the Place Dauphine, but in the Rue de Harlay opposite the west facade of the Palais de Justice.
    This short street runs from the Quai des Orfèvres to the Quai de l'Horloge. It was named after Achille de Harlay who was responsible for overseeing the planning and the construction of the triangular shaped Place Dauphine (completed in 1619) on the orders of King Henri IV.
    The Café Restaurant Aux Trois Marches occupied the end building at the junction of the Rue de Harlay and the Quai de l'Horloge (marked in red on the map)...

    the rest of the article: The site of La Brasserie Dauphine

    Peter Foord

    Hotel Beauséjour
    6/18/03 – I found two other hotel Beauséjours in Paris on the web. One of them is at 1, rue Fontaine du Roi in the 11th. The other is at 6 rue Lecluse in the 17th. This is quite near 13 and 14 blvd des Batignoles and also near 3, rue des Batignoles where a fictional Beauséjour was located.
    I did not find the Beauséjour at 1, rue Lepic on the web.

    Regards
    Joe

    Translation of Maigret Titles into English
    6/19/03 – Hello: first of all let me say what a wonderful website this is, which I'm very pleased to have found. And now I'd like to get something off my chest.
    Simenon wrote a story which he chose to call Le Chien Jaune (The Yellow Dog). Why, then, upon translation into English, did the title of this story become A Face for a Clue? The Yellow Dog is a perfectly good title, so why the change? Has the translator taken it upon himself to choose a new title? If so, it seems to me to be taking a very great liberty ­ and why stop there? Why not improve upon the dialogue, the plot or the ending while you're at it?
    The point is that Simenon chose a title for his work that is both perfectly sound and easily translatable, so it surprises me that anyone should (a) feel the need to change it or (b) feel they have any moral right to do so. Lots of the English Maigrets have titles which bear little or no relation to the original French version: A Battle of Nerves, The Shadow in the Courtyard, Maigret Goes Home, Death of a Harbourmaster, The Lock at Charenton, Maigret in Exile, Maigret and the Spinster, Maigret and the Toy Village, Maigret and the Millionaires, Maigret in Society … and there are others.
    It might be argued that some of these new titles improve upon the original, though others assuredly do not. In one or two cases, my guess is that the change will have been in order to introduce the word "Maigret" into the title so that the book would more easily sell. But marketing alone cannot explain this. For the most part, in fact, it seems wholly inexplicable, not to say unacceptable. Provided that literal translation is possible, the author's choice should surely be respected in every case ­ or does the title not really matter? Does anyone know if Simenon himself cared at all about this?

    Regards,
    Jim Dring

    A New Maigret Pastiche
    6/19/03 –

    Maigret in Antwerp

    by

    Joe Richards

    More About BBC7 and Maigret
    6/19/03 – The BBC7 web site does not give much detail about its Maigret programmes. All I can glean from it is that they are indeed plays and must be fairly recent productions because they are in stereo. But no cast list or other details. Apart from the list above, other plays are: M in Society (June 30), M Sets a Trap (July 1), M and the Young Girl (July 2), and M and Monsieur Charles (July 3). All broadcast at 11am BST. To clarify the position about web broadcasts, they can be heard via the internet at the actual time of broadcast but the "hear it anytime in the next seven days" facility is not available. This mainly because of copyright and artist's repeat fees problems.

    David Cronan
    UK

    Translation of Maigrets into English
    6/19/03 – In response to Jim's comments (above), first of all, thanks, and welcome to the site and this Forum!
    As for titles, I think the publisher is more responsible for the choice of title than the translator. Interestingly, since Le Chien Jaune was first translated into English as A Face for a Clue in 1939, it was almost 50 years before HBJ came out with a new translation (in 1987) entitled Maigret and the Yellow Dog. One with the simple title The Yellow Dog didn't appear until the new Penguin edition (of the old Sainsbury translation) this year, 64 years after the first translation. (There was a fourth English title of this book, Maigret and the Concarneau Murders, which appeared from Severn House in 1980.)
    My guess is that when Simenon/Maigret was relatively unknown to English-speaking readers, publishers wanted titles that sounded more like mysteries than "The Yellow Dog," "A Man's Head" or "Peter the Lett". And of course once Maigret had become famous, his name had to appear in the title.
    But as far as translators "drawing the line" — "Why not improve upon the dialogue, the plot or the ending while you're at it?" — here's an example from my short article Maigret in Translation, where the translator has created both his own dialogue and ending! Compare these two translations (of the same paragraphs!) and try to guess which one is true to Simenon's story. The answer is in the article.

    And suddenly, standing up so abruptly that the sergeant gave a start:
    'Look at this woman's shoulder... The left shoulder, yes...'
    He bent forward himself. Lucas drew aside the woman's dress and uncovered white flesh on which was the mark with which, in America, they brand criminal women.
    'Have you seen, Lucas?'
    'But, Chief...'
    'Don't you understand? She was Stan! ... I had read something of the sort, but I hadn't made the connection because I was so firmly convinced that our Stan was a man... Four or five years ago, in America, a young woman led a gang of criminals in attacks on lonely farms, just as has been happening here... And, just as here, the victims had their throats cut by this woman, whose cruelty was described with a certain relish in the American papers...'
    'She was that woman?'
    'Almost certainly... I shall know that within an hour, if I can lay my hands on the requisite documents... I had cut a few pages out of a magazine one day... Are you coming, Lucas?'
    Suddenly Maigret rose, crossed to the wall and pulled down the brightly colored picture of Olga. He tore away the tape that framed it, revealing lines of lettering above and below the face. He handed it to Lucas.
    The sergeant knew enough English to make out both the line above:
    Real Life Detective Cases
    and the lines below:
    The Pretty Pole and the
    Terror of Terre Haute
    Maigret was smiling now. "Vanity," he said. "They can't ever resist it. They had to buy the magazine when they saw it on the stands, and she had to frame the picture.
    "I knew I'd seen her face before. I do remember the case roughly. I kept some clippings on it. Very similar to ours. In the Middle West of America, four or five years ago. A gang attacking lonely farms, cutting throats... just like ours... and they had a woman leader. The American press took great pleasure in describing her atrocities."
    "Then Stan...?"
    "...was Olga. Almost certainly. I'll be positive in an hour, now that I know what to look for in the office. Are you coming with me, Lucas?"
    ST

    Pictures of Paris
    6/20/03 –


    67 rue Caulaincourt
    If you want to get pictures of a street or a building, with a map, in Paris (or other cities in France), go to Pages Jaunes Photos de Villes. You can give the street name & number and then move the view around to check some Maigret places. The pictures are from 1 or 2 years ago.
    Regards,
    Jerome

    Boucher's "Stan the Killer" translation
    6/21/03 – Was anybody else as shocked as I was at the liberties Anthony Boucher took in his translation of the section near the end of "Stan", above? I think most people expect that the translation of the "facts" of the story will be fairly literal — we don't expect the translation to change the story. But that's just what Boucher did. As we can see below, in the original, and in my fairly literal translation, (and in Jean Stewart's, above), Maigret suddenly gets an idea, and has Lucas uncover the dead woman's left shoulder, where they discover what M apparently expected, "the mark with which the Americans brand their criminal women."
    Where Simenon got this idea is an interesting question — I wonder if some American had been pulling his leg with the story one day — but even if the premise is offensive, that's the way it was published.
    In the Boucher translation, however, not only is there no mention of the shoulder or the brand, but an entirely new action is substituted, the uncovering of the tell-tale border of a magazine article taped to the wall, to reveal the captions. Would a publisher have asked Boucher to create the new section, or could he have done it on his own? And why this gratuitous summation?:

    "Maigret was smiling now. 'Vanity,' he said. 'They can't ever resist it. They had to buy the magazine when they saw it on the stands, and she had to frame the picture.'"
    Somehow that doesn't sound like Maigret speaking, and I wouldn't expect him to be smiling. Actually, it seems to me that it has been "cleaned up" for American readers, bowdlerized... or should we say, boucherized? (And now that they have the magazine article (which in the original M would look for to confirm what he remembered), why does M still say "I'll be positive in an hour, now that I know what to look for in the office"?)

    Et soudain, se dressant dans un mouvement si brusque que le brigadier sursauta
    — Regarde l'épaule de cette femme, à tout hasard... La gauche, oui...
    Lui-même se penchait. Lucas écartait la robe, découvrait une chair très blanche et, sur cette chair, la marque dont les Américains flétrissent les femmes criminelles.
    — Tu as vu, Lucas ?
    — Mais, patron...
    — Tu ne comprends donc pas ? Stan, c'était elle !... J'avais lu quelque chose dans ce goût-là, mais je ne faisais pas le rapprochement tant j'étais persuadé que notre Stan était un homme... Il y a quatre ou cinq ans, une jeune femme, en Amérique, à la tête d'une bande de criminels, menait l'assaut contre les fermes isolées, tout comme cela s'est passé ici... Tout comme ici aussi, les victimes étaient égorgées, de la main de cette femme dont les journaux américains ont décrit avec complaisance la cruauté...
    — C'est elle ?
    — C'est presque sûrement elle... Mais je le saurai dans une heure, si je retrouve les documents en question... J'avais découpé un jour quelques pages dans un magazine... Tu viens, Lucas ?
     

    And suddenly, standing up with such an abrupt movement that the sergeant jumped,
    "Let's have a look at this woman's shoulder, just on the off chance… yes, the left.
    He bent over. Lucas moved the dress aside, uncovering very pale flesh, and on the skin, the mark with which the Americans brand their criminal women.
    "Do you see it, Lucas?"
    "But, boss... "
    "Don't you get it? This is Stan! I'd read about something like this, but I couldn't make the connection as long as I was convinced that our Stan was a man... Four or five years ago in America, a young woman led a band of criminal attacks on isolated farms, just as happened here... Just like here, all the victims had their throats cut, by the hand of this woman, whose cruelty the American newspapers have described with relish.
    "This is her?"
    "It is almost certainly her... But I'll be sure in an hour, if I can locate the necessary documents... I'd cut out some pages one day from a magazine... Are you coming, Lucas?"
     

    ST

    More on Titles
    6/23/03 – One of Simenon's biographers wrote that it was Sven Nielsen, Simenon's publisher (Presses de la Cité) after WWII, who revised the titles of all Maigret publications or re-publications after the war except A Summer Holiday to include the chief inspector's name.

    Dave Drake

    Simenon on sale at Sotheby's Paris - 6/24
    6/23/03 – SOTHEBY'S Press release : GEORGES SIMENON - "The greatest of all" according to André Gide - first editions, original autograph manuscript and original typescripts - Sale in Paris on Tuesday 24 June 2003
    At the time of the centenary celebrations of Georges Simenon's birth, Sotheby's will offer for sale one of the most famous collections of works by the celebrated novelist. This remarkable collection was gathered by a Frenchman, a great admirer of literature, first editions and manuscripts. Predisposed to literary culture by his family environment, he was brought up with the texts of the great authors of the 19th and 20th centuries, and was captivated by Georges Simenon's novels from a very young age...
    More in English at Nieuwsbank, or in French at Sotheby's.   Here's the catalog.

    Maigret on BBC7
    6/25/03 – Here's the BBC7 schedule of this and next week's listings of the Maigret broadcasts. They are dramatisations which date, I think, from the early 1990s, and were previously released on cassette.


    • Wed 25 Jun 11:00-11:45 - Maigret Goes Home
      Maigret investigates the murder of the Countess de Saint-Fiacre, after a warning note prompts him to return to his home village.
    • Thu 26 Jun 11:00-11:45 - Maigret In Montmartre
      A Parisien stripper overhears a conversation at her club between two men planning to kill a countess.
    • Fri 27 Jun 11:00-11:45 - Maigret Has Scruples
      A man believes his wife is poisoning him, his wife says he's having delusions. Maigret has them both investigated.
    • Mon 30 Jun 11:00-11:45 - Maigret In Society
      When the death of an ex-Foreign Ministry Official coincides with the funeral of a Prince, Maigret stumbles across an old affair. [Episode 4 of 6, rptd tomorrow, 2.00am]
    • Tue 1 Jul 11:00-11:45 - Maigret Sets A Trap
      With a serial killer on the loose targeting the women of Montmartre, Maigret must use all of his wiles to trap the murderer. [Episode 5 of 6, rptd at 2.00am]
    • Wed 2 Jul 11:00-11:45 - Maigret And The Young Girl
      When a young girl's body is found in Place Vintimille, Maigret crosses swords with Inspector Lognon. [Rptd tomorrow, 2am]
    Roddy

    Simenon sale totals 282,425 euros at Sotheby's in Paris
    6/25/03 –

    mercredi 25 juin 2003, 8h44

    La vente Simenon totalise 282.425 euros chez Sotheby's à Paris

    PARIS (AFP) - La vente aux enchères d'une des plus importantes collections privées dédiées au romancier Georges Simenon, comptant de nombreux tapuscrits et éditions originaux, a totalisé 282.425 euros (frais inclus) mardi soir chez Sotheby's à Paris.
    D'abord estimée au total entre 500.000 et 700.000 euros, la valeur des 186 lots dispersés au cours de cette vente avaient été nettement revue à la baisse au cours des derniers jours, a précisé Sotheby's, soulignant la difficulté d'établir des estimations en l'absence de référence. Près de 68,3% des lots ont été vendus, soit environ 85,9% en valeur.
    "C'est une vente très correcte, qui donnera un nouveau standard de prix pour cet auteur", a indiqué à l'AFP l'expert de la vente, Jean-Baptiste de Proyart. "Simenon n'est pas encore au panthéon des bibliophiles. C'est une frange de collectionneurs beaucoup plus jeune et inventive qui se passionne pour son œuvre", a-t-il souligné.
    Vedette de la vente, le manuscrit autographe de "La mort de Belle" (1952), accompagné du tapuscrit original et de l'enveloppe jaune sur laquelle le père de Maigret avait coutume de jeter diverses indications sur le récit en gestation, a été adjugé 70.875 euros (frais inclus).
    Parmi les neuf autres tapuscrits originaux corrigés proposés aux enchères, "Maigret s'amuse" (1956), accompagné d'un calendrier annoté par le romancier belge, a été enlevé à 25.050 EUR, "Le soi-disant Monsieur Prou ou Les Silences du Manchot", un roman radiophonique inédit en 12 épisodes (1942) à 21.525 EUR, "Maigret et la vieille dame" (1949) à 19.175 EUR, "L'amie de Madame Maigret" à 16.800 EUR et "Mon ami Maigret", à 15.600 EUR.

    Wednesday June 25, 2003, 8h44

    Simenon sale totals 282,425 euros at Sotheby's in Paris

    PARIS (AFP) - The auction of one of the most important private collections dedicated to the novelist Georges Simenon, including many typescripts and original editions, totaled 282,425 euros [$327,707, £195,262] (including fees) Tuesday evening at Sotheby's in Paris.
    First estimated at between 500,000 and 700,000 euros [$580,170 - $812,200, £345,728 - £484,095], the evaluation of the 186 lots dispersed during this sale was seen to clearly decrease in the past few days, specified Sotheby's, underlining the difficulty to establish evaluations in the absence of reference. Close to 68.3% of the lots were sold, at about 85.9% of estimated value.
    "It was a very accurate sale, which will set a new price standard for this author," Jean-Baptiste de Proyart, expert for the sale, explained to AFP. "Simenon is not yet in the pantheon for bibliophiles. It is a fringe of collectors a lot younger and more creative who are fascinated by his work," he emphasized.
    The star of the sale, an autographed manuscript of "La mort de Belle" (1952), accompanied by the original typescript and the yellow envelope on which the father of Maigret customarily recorded various notes on the novel in gestation, went for 70,875 euros [$82,239, £49,014] (including fees).
    Among the nine other original revised typescripts up for bid, "Maigret s'amuse" (1956), accompanied by a calendar annotated by the Belgian novelist, went for 25,050 euros [$29,066, £17,324], "Le soi-disant Monsieur Prou ou Les Silences du Manchot," an unpublished radio novel in 12 episodes (1942) went for 21,525 euros [$24,973, £14,886], "Maigret et la vieille dame" (1949) for 19,175 euros [$22,246, £13,261], "L'amie de Madame Maigret" for 16,800 euros [$19,490, £11,619] and "Mon ami Maigret"for 15,600 euros [$18,097, £10,788].

    Jérôme Devémy
    Paris

    Searching for a Jean Richard video
    6/26/03 – I played the role of Bessy Mitchell in the 1981 French TV production of a Jean Richard Maigret, Maigret in Arizona [Maigret chez le coronor]. It was filmed in Arizona, but aired in France, so I've never seen it. Can anyone help me locate a copy of this episode?

    Thank you,
    Babette Props

    Maigret on France TV 2, 30 June 2003
    6/29/03 – Tomorrow, 30th June 2003, there is a Maigret on 2nd French channel at 20 h 55
    Titre : Signé Picpus
    Origine : France - Belgique. 2002.
    Réalisation : Jacques Fansten.
    Scénario : Jacques Fansten.
    Distribution : Bruno Cremer (Jules Maigret), Martine Sarcey (madame Lecloagen), Frédérique Bonnal (mademoiselle Roy), Olivier Pajot (monsieur Blaise)
    Musique : Laurent Petitgirard.
    Un mot étrange est retrouvé sur un buvard dans un café: «A 17 heures, je tuerai la voyante, signé Picpus». Malgré toutes les surveillances mises en place, une voyante est assassinée à l'heure indiquée sur l'énigmatique message. Dans la pièce voisine de celle où le meurtre a eu lieu, un vieil homme hagard n'a rien vu ni entendu. Le commissaire Maigret se prend d'affection pour ce pauvre bougre et plonge dans une enquête qui prend dès le départ des allures de mauvais rêve. Ses investigations l'amènent à rencontrer une galerie de personnages tous plus étranges les uns que les autres: un comptable menteur, une femme avare qui aime bien les rumeurs, un rentier, une crémière et un gigolo...

    [A strange message is recovered from a blotter in a café: "At 5:00 pm, I will kill the fortune teller, signed Picpus." In spite of surveillance, a fortune teller is indeed murdered at the indicated hour. In the room adjacent to the one where the murder took place is a haggard old man who didn't see or hear anything. Maigret feels some affection for him, and launches an investigation that from the start is like a bad dream. His inquiries dredge up a cast of characters one stranger than the next: a lying accountant, a greedy, rumor-mongering woman, a man of means, a dairy owner and a gigolo...]

    Regards,
    Jerome

    Index to the Archives
    6/29/03 – As the years go by and the Archives of these Forum pages accumulate, it gets more and more difficult to locate articles in them. And there are so many interesting threads! Of course the Google search form at the bottom of this page is a wonderful tool, but it searches the entire site and doesn't produce an alphabetical list, so it doesn't always give the results we want. To address this I've created an Index to the Archives, (actually an index to the titles of the articles), which can be accessed from any of the archive lists at the top and bottom of this page and the archive pages. (Articles on this page, the current Forum, don't appear in the index until they're archived.)
    As a by-product we get some statistics: The archives contain, as of today, some 750 articles, submitted by over 200 contributors. I hope you'll find the index useful. Suggestions and comments are, like contributions to this Forum and site, always welcome.

    ST

    The size of Simenon's vocabulary... oops
    7/1/03 – In Giulio Nascimbeni's recent Lunario article about his 1985 interview with Georges Simenon, he writes:

    I asked Simenon: "Is it true that you have not used more than 2,000 words?" "That's too many — he replied — I did not reach that figure. Besides, Racine only used 800. I have always tried to write in a simple way, using down-to-earth and not abstract words. Boileau used to say that, if it's raining, it is sufficient to say that it's raining: we don't need to say that the sky is shedding tears. This is one of the reasons why my books have been translated into one hundred thirty-one different languages".

    I'd said earlier that even in the shortest Maigret novel, Simenon had used around 3,000 words, and many more as the size of the books increased, but as I read Nascimbeni's article, an uneasy realization came over me. My methodology had been flawed. The software I'd used had considered, for example, these words to be "unique": trouva, trouvais, trouvait, trouve, trouver, trouverait, trouveras, trouvé, trouvée... but actually, they're all grammatical forms of what we'd consider to be one word, the verb trouver, 'to find'. (It's like saying find, found, finds, and finding are all 'different' words.) Similarly, singular and plural forms of nouns and adjectives, and masculine and feminine forms of adjectives, were counted by the program as separate words. The numbers I had reported were clearly very inflated. Maybe what Simenon had claimed was true...
    And so I manually went through the list of the "2,925 unique words" for "Une Noël de Maigret," combining the entries for forms of the same verb, singular and plural forms of the same noun and adjective... and the total number of "unique" words became about one-third less. The new count for this longest Maigret short story appears to be between 1,900 and 1,950 — just within the 2,000-word range Simenon had claimed for his novels. If this percentage holds in general, however, as can be expected, it will still turn out that his novels contain many more than 2,000 unique words, although less than I'd originally thought.
    I apologize for what turns out to have been somewhat of an exaggeration — although still less of one than Simenon's, I believe. (I've updated the article in the Reference section to include this revised data.)

    ST

    Simenon (at 64) in Lui 1967
    7/2/03 –

    Lui   (N° 42)
    June 1967. p 7-34

     

    Tête-à-Tête with Simenon

    A rambling conversation
    with the father of Maigret

    interview : Jacques Lanzmann

    original French


    Maigret's Journeys in France
    7/2/03 –

    If you've never been to Guido de Croock's Maigret's Journeys in France website, or you haven't been there lately, it's worth visiting! Guido has extensive guides to the stories and locales of (so far) nine Maigret adventures outside of Paris, and they're filled with interesting information and images which you won't find anywhere else, and which will surely enhance your readings of these Maigrets. The links are on the right.

    This is an unsolicited testimonial!

    Book on Paris places of Maigret's cases
    7/4/03 –
    I've heard recently that a book has been published, in French only, (earlier this year?), detailing all the locations in Paris that involve Maigret's cases, but I don't know the title of it. Have you heard of this?
    Barbara Chan

    That sounds like Michel Carly's "Maigret: traversées de Paris, les 120 lieux parisiens du commissaire," (192pp, Omnibus, 2003) which Jerome mentioned above. I've only glanced at it, but "detailing" all the locations doesn't seem to be what it's about — it's certainly not a walking tour...

    ST

    Simenon's middle name(s)?
    7/5/03 – Could some kind person tell me Simenon's middle name(s) as (surprisingly) I seem to be having problems in finding out what they are.

    Thank you,
    Algernon Black

    Georges Joseph Christian Simenon (see Peter Foord's The Date of Simenon's Birth)
    S.K.P.

    Simenon: The Unknown Man
    7/5/03 –
    There's a new article in the "Guardian" books area on Simenon by Peter Lennon - "The Unknown Man".

    Very Best,
    Bradley Hodge

    Maigret Sees Red in CinéMonde 1963
    7/6/03 – A storyboard version of the 1963 film Maigret Voit Rouge, starring Jean Gabin, based on Inspector Maigret and the Killers / Maigret and the Gangsters (Maigret, Lognon et les gangsters):

    CinéMonde
    N° 1511, pp 15-17
    Tuesday, July 23, 1963

     

    Maigret Sees Red

    a film by Gilles Grangier

    told in pictures by Gilles Durieux

     
    [original French]

    The introduction includes the comment "...Jules Maigret, the equal of Lemmy Caution and Sherlock Holmes." the equal of Lemmy Caution?! Who's Lemmy Caution?

    Lemmy Caution
    7/7/03 – Lemmy Caution was a private eye created by a writer of the "thick-ear" school of crime fiction, Peter Cheyney. His name, I believe, came from a Cockney pronunciation of the policeman's words: "Let me caution you that anything you say," etc. Interestingly, Jean-Luc Godard used the character's name in his science-fiction film, "Alphaville". I think any similarity between Lemmy Caution and Maigret is likely to be incidental. But maybe someone knows better.

    Roddy

    Penguin reissues
    7/7/03 –
    All 6 of the new Penguin reissues can be obtained in the UK for a total of £9.98 plus £2 postage, from www.bol.com (post free if you order another item at the same time). Terms and conditions apply if you are not already registered with them, so check before ordering.

    Robert Hood
    London

    Simenon season at London's National Film Theatre
    7/8/03 – Roddy sent a notice of this early in June, but here's a more detailed description and press release...


    I'm sure visitors to your site would be thrilled to hear about the Simenon season at London's National Film Theatre. The season is part of the annual Crime Scene festival here on the South Bank. The festival is this weekend, but the Simenon screenings are throughout July.

    Georges Simenon: A Centennial Celebration

    A season throughout July celebrating the centenary of the prolific Belgian crime writer, creator of Inspector Maigret. Georges Simenon is one the most adapted writers for film and television, a brilliantly scandalous personal life and a natural gift for publicity make him a fascinating study.
    A dazzling range of directors have tackled the translation of Simenon's works for the screen, from Jean Renoir in the precursor of noir, La Nuit du Carrefour (1932), an early outing for Inspector Maigret; Julien Duvivier directed one of three adaptations of Les fiancailles de Monsieur Hire, his version Panique (1946) seems inspired by the work of Fritz Lang with its lynch-mob hysteria and dark shadows.
    Simenon lived in the USA for a decade 1945 -1955 and The Brothers Rico (1958) is a taut thriller about mobster brutality which shows clearly how intensely he understood his adopted home.
    But it is primarily to France that the season turns with The Watchmaker of Saint Paul (1973) dir. Bertrand Tavernier, a brilliant debut feature that transposed an American story to Tavernier's native Lyon to great effect.
    As a counterpoint to these film adaptations there is a very rich seam of much-loved British television versions of Simenon. We are delighted to be able to present three British impersonators of the great Inspector Maigret, one of whom Maigret himself thought definitive, the actor Rupert Davies, but Richard Harris and Michael Gambon are also excellent in the role. A special treat is a rare outing for the two episodes which survive from the BBC's adaptation of Simenon's non-Maigret stories, Thirteen Against Fate, originally broadcast in 1966.

    Full Crime Scene 2003 press release is here

    Carmel England
    bfi Marketing
    National Film Theatre
    020 7815 1440

    Thanks!
    7/8/03 – Thanks to Marco Bertolini of Belgium for informing me of a spelling mistake in one of the French titles on the Bibliography page (amoreux amoureux). I do appreciate being notified about errors on these pages, so please don't hesitate to let me know!

    ST

    Maigret in Japanese
    7/8/03 – I was visiting Yuji Utsushihara's Maigret site, (Paris du Commissaire Maigret, in Japanese, with some French), and I noticed that he'd updated his bibliography section. Now it seems Japanese has joined the small club with English and German as the only languages into which all 103 Maigrets have been translated, or at least that I know of. (I had to help the English side by translating the three missing short stories, "Death Threats," "The Group at the Grand Café," and "The Unlikely Monsieur Owen," myself.) Not far behind are Dutch, Italian and Spanish, with 100, 100, and 99 respectively (and all missing those same three short stories). If you know of any of the missing titles for these or other languages, please let me know.
    As I look at this group of languages, it strikes me that there's no Maigret website in Spanish, and only a small government blurb on Simenon in Dutch. There are large Maigret sites in all the other languages with high translation counts, German, English, Japanese and Italian. (And of course, there are many sites in French.) On the Links page, there are also listings for sites in Portuguese, Korean, Turkish and Finnish. Do you know of any others?


    7/11/03 – Inspired by what I'd written, I suppose, I searched a little harder and located a couple of Maigret pages in Spanish, one of which included the title of one of the missing stories (bringing the Spanish count up to 100 like Dutch and Italian)...
    ST

    Maigret exhibition at French Detective Library
    7/12/03 – This morning I visited the Maigret exhibition at the BILIPO in Paris. This is the Biliblothèque des Littératures Policières. The exhibition is a small one but very interesting. It's by Michel Carly who recently published a book on Maigret and Paris. There are lots of old books and newspapers from the 30s and 50s with Simenon in Paris. The Police museum has lent some interesting pieces related to detective work. For example, I saw the list of people staying at 21 Place des Vosges when Simenon was living there, and one of his neighbours was called Maigret. That could be the origin of Maigret's name.
    There will be two Paris visits organized by Michel Carly about Maigret and Paris, the 13th and 14th of September. The exhibit will last through mid-October.

    Best Regards,
    Jérôme

    Maigret in Greek
    7/12/03 –

    Maigret in other languages? Here's a book cover for a Greek translation of Maigret in New York - O MAIGKRE STH NEA UORKH, and a webpage in Greek on Simenon : epohi : culture.

    Jérôme

    Maigret on TV5
    7/13/03 – In response to an entry in the forum from Jerome, 29th June, 2003, "Maigret on France TV 2, 30 June 2003", unfortunately a little late in the day. Twenty-four episodes of this series have been broadcast on TV5 to viewers in the UK via cable and satellite. The last episode (no. 24) Maigret sets a trap [Maigret tend un piège], first aired in the UK on Saturday, 12th July 2003, is repeated on: Sunday, 14th at 0120 hrs BST; Monday, 15th at 1326 hrs BST; Tuesday, 16th at 1724 hrs BST.
    [TV5 is a television channel set up for the promotion of the French language and French culture throughout the world, and is now available as part of the standard (?) full package (i.e. monthly subscription without surcharges for extras like Sky Movies, Sky Sport, etc). See the web site at www.tv5.org]
    The setting for these excellent films, initially produced by RBTF (Belgian TV) and subsequently joined in co-production by France 2, and others and finally by Czechoslovakian TV, has been Paris and rural France in the post war years to the early 50's. Some liberty has been taken with the minor characters, and the unfolding of the plot (i.e. the way and sequence of events as presented in the film and compared with the original novels), and obviously some details more appropriate to the pre-war original setting have been updated or replaced to fit the 50's settings. Also Mme Maigret appears substantially more in the TV films than she did in the novels, either in person helping to solve the crime, or as the unseen/unheard person at the other end of the telephone when Maigret explains that he won't be coming home for a while. However, the main idea of the plots has been well adapted, and particularly Maigret's psychological approach to solving the crime or getting an admission in the face of hostile uncooperative participants and the insufficiency of material evidence.

    John Tempest

    Simenon's vocabulary
    7/14/03 – I, too, would tend to doubt Simenon's own estimate of the size of the vocabulary he used (6/3/03). However, it may be more interesting to consider the range of vocabulary from point of view of current usage. Discounting the standard conjugation of verbs by person and tense, there are quite a few words including nouns, adjectives, adverbs and other forms derived from a verb, which aren't found in a pocket French-English dictionary mainly because they aren't often in common use today, either in conversation, or in, for example, popular/tabloid newsprint. This must be because of the great social changes that have occurred since the 1930's when the stories first appeared. The impact on rural life brought about by the first world war was enormous enough, and by the time Simenon started writing the old feudalistic rural life was already in an advanced state of disintegration (see Maigret goes home [L'affaire Saint-Fiacre]). The vocabulary, customs, attitudes, way of life, and so on, would have persisted as long as people from that era were still alive, but we are now two or generations further along.
    TV, the pressure of American culture, Anglicisation of the language – have had their effect on the common French vocabulary to make it what it is today compared with when Simenon was first getting published. It is true though that the style of language used is relatively simple and straightforward compared with say Proust, or even articles in Le Monde, whose writers seem to pride themselves in seeing how many qualifying clauses they can fit into a sentence. There is always the problem of the usage of the impersonal mode ("On est ...", "On dit...", etc) which causes a lot of problems for those whose first language is not French – I always have to urge to shout aloud "But who...". And the other problem for non-native French speakers/readers is the difficulty in deciding whether the sentence(s) immediately following obvious dialog in the same paragraph, indicated by an em dash and terminated by such as "dit-il.", are a continuation of that dialog or continuation of the narrative. These are the kinds of things that trip up translators. This aside, Simenon's stories, and particularly, the Maigret stories, are an excellent vehicle for anyone learning French to start reading French writing, which is so grammatically and structurally different from conversational French.

    John Tempest

    Maigret in Chinese
    7/15/03 –
    Back in 1998, Xavier Paulin asked, and again in 2000, Jerome asked... are there any Maigrets translated into Chinese? I've located a Chinese page on Simenon, from Taiwan, which includes a page on a Chinese translation of The Yellow Dog [Le chien jaune], and two cover scans. (There's also a page on a Chinese translation of another famous Simenon, La Neige était sale [The Snow Was Black].)
    ST

    Photographer?
    7/16/03 – Bon jour. Could anyone tell me the name of the photographer of the photo on the cover of Carly's book?

    Merci,
    Mary Brighthaupt

    Michel Carly cover photograph
    7/17/03 – I checked my copy of Michel Carly's book, and I find that the back cover says Copyright Keystone BHVP. A quick search of the internet shows that BHVP = Bib. de l'histoire de la ville de Paris (now Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris). Some searches later, deep in the internet I found a pdf file that says: "Péniche devant les bâtiments de la Police Judiciaire vers 1930" [Barge in front of the buildings of the Judicial Police around 1930]. © Agence Keyston - Fonds France-Soir, Bibliothèque historique de la Ville de Paris. (France-Soir, a historical French newspaper founded in 1944 by Pierre Lazareff which, in a very short time, sold more than 1.5 million copies per day, the only one in France to have reached this circulation.)

    Regards,
    Jérôme

    Maigret and the Press
    7/17/03 – Speaking of France-Soir, above, got me to thinking about a question for the Forum – that of Maigret and the press: How did M use the media by leaking or not leaking information, what papers are mentioned in his cases...?

    Jérôme

    Newspapers mentioned in Maigret cases
    7/17/03 – Near the end of Chapter 4 of Maigret and the Millionaires [Maigret Voyage], there's a large section about M and reporters, ending with France-Soir mentioned. Here, M has just phoned Lucas:

    "Is that you, Chief?"
    "Yes, I'm in Monte Carlo... Any news?"
    "You know, of course, that in spite of all our precautions the press has gotten wind of things?"
    "I know, yes."
    "The third edition of France-Soir came out with a big front-page article. At four o'clock this afternoon English journalists came over from London..."
    At the very beginning of Maigret Hesitates [Maigret hésite], M receives an anonymous letter, which includes:
    'If you take me seriously, please put the following item of the personal column of the Figaro or the Monde: "K.R. I am waiting for a second letter."'
    Figaro is mentioned in at least four others:
    Joseph offered newspapers to Raymond Auger: Le Temps, Figaro, Les Débats. [1946-OBS]
    Almost all the people who'd lived in those houses had had names that could be read any morning in the Figaro or Gaulois. [1957-VOY]
    Mace, from Figaro, had managed to follow the taxi. [1959-ASS]
    Two months later Blanche Bonnard saw their wedding picture in the Figaro. [1972-CHA]
    ST

    Maigret and the Press
    7/17/03 – In M and the Loner [M et l'homme tout seul], the Parisien Libéré, one of the Paris dailies, was mentioned. M went to their office and searched their files for info on the murder of Nina Lassave in 1946. He found what he was looking for. He chose that particular paper because it was one of the first to come out after the liberation.
    In M and the 100 Gibbets M searched the files of the Meuse newspaper office in Liege for the February 15 issue, but someone, probably Joseph Van Damme, had beat him to it and removed what he was looking for.
    Now that I'm thinking about it, there were a number of times that M used the press to his advanatage. In several stories M told the press everything he knew in the hopes they would publish it and help his investigation. In at least one story M decieved the press with a false suspect. Other times he would promise an exclusive to a paper or reporter that was helping him, often getting them not to print something until he gave the go-ahead. In most of these cases a certain paper wasn't mentioned by name or all were grouped together

    Joe Richards

    In search of the Missing Maigret!!!
    7/20/03 – Help wanted!!! We have been trying to locate a VHS copy of "Maigret at bay", the so-called "Missing Maigret" episode.
    Due to the Maigret Centenary festivities, this episode has scheduled performances on NFT2 :
    - on Wednesday July 9, 2003, at 6.20 pm
    - on Friday July 25, 2003, at 8.40 pm
    We would be delighted to obtain a VHS copy of this Maigret episode, and would of course pay a fair price for it, as well as pay for any expense incurred by the kind furnisher...
    This would happily fill a hole in our archives!
    If you can help us, please write to : mdeseraux@postmark.net

    Micheline de Séraulx
    Gillian Hills Appreciation Society

    The Translation of Maigret Texts into English (— with a couple of others)
    7/21/03 – Jim Dring (6/19/03) and Steve Trussel (6/19/03 and 6/21/03) have raised interesting points concerning the question of translations.
    First of all, I cannot recall that Simenon made any objections to the various English titles given to his novels and short stories. Practically all the time that he was writing, he negotiated the terms and contracts with his publishers by himself, without the aid of agents, and in this respect he proved to be a very good businessman.
    In Paris, after Fayard had launched and published 31 novels under the author's patronym, Simenon changed publishers in 1934 to the more prestigious Gallimard, only to change again in 1945 to the newly formed Presses de la Cité created by Sven Nielsen (1901-1976). Simenon liked Nielsen's more modern approach and they became life-long friends. It was Nielsen who persuaded Simenon to include "Maigret" in the title of every volume published involving that Police officer, irrespective as to whether it was a novel or a collection of short stories. Even a mixed collection carried the name of Maigret, such as Maigret et les Petits Cochons sans Queue. This is a composite title as the volume contains nine short stories, only two involving Maigret, and of the seven others, one is entitled Les Petits Cochons sans Queue (The Small Tail-less Pigs — not published in translation — a title referring to a collection of little ceramic pigs, each minus a tail, which are central to this short story).
    Simenon only objected to one French title. This was Maigret et l'Inspecteur Malchanceux...

    Read... the complete article.
    Peter Foord

    Simenon son in Chorion Poirot push
    7/21/03 –

    Robert Lea
    Evening Standard
    14 July 2003

    The son of Belgian crime writer Georges Simenon is set to mastermind plans to push two of the most famous detectives from across the Channel on to television and the big screen in new markets around the world.
    John Simenon has joined Chorion, the London publishing rights firm which controls the rights to his late father's Inspector Maigret novels as well as the Hercule Poirot books of Agatha Christie. Chorion today named Simenon as a consultant responsible for filmed production and promotion. He worked for several film producers before setting up full-time to manage the literary rights of his father. Copyright was acquired by Chorion in 2001.
    'The market for filmed adaptations can certainly be developed further particularly throughout the non-English speaking world,' he said.

    Roddy Campbell

    Maigret et l'homme du banc
    7/22/03 –
    In the original version of Maigret et l'homme du banc [Maigret and the Man on the Bench], there is a phrase I do not understand:
    Chapitre 2: "La vierge au gros nez"
    The concierge explains to Maigret "Les Zanin n'existaient déjà plus quand je suis entrée dans la maison, il y a vingt-six ans. A cette époque, c'était le vieux M. Kaplan qui dirigeait seul l'affaire, et les enfants se retournaient sur lui dans la rue parce qu'il avait une tête de roi mage."
    What is "une tête de roi mage"? Can anyone explain this or indicate the equivalent phrase in the English title please?
    Jean Thompson


    Here's Eileen Ellenbogen's (Harcourt) translation: "There were no longer any Zanins in the firm when I came to this place twenty-six years ago. At that time, old Monsieur Kaplan was running the business singlehanded. Children would stop in the street and stare at him, because he had the look of an Old Testament patriarch."

    Roi Mage
    7/22/03 – Re Jean Thompson's post (above): a roi mage would literally be one of the three kings (or magi) who visited the infant Jesus on the feast of the Epiphany according to the Christian scriptures.

    Best wishes,
    Patricia Clark
    Cardiff

    The mystery of the 13 Maigrets
    or: What happened to Rupert Davies?

    7/23/03 –

    In this dramatic photo, a two-page spread in Paris Match, July 11, 1970, Simenon is surrounded by thirteen Maigrets - the actors who portrayed him in films and on tv... But the one identified as "Rupert Davis" (yes, misspelled), looks to me like Gino Cervi, who therefore appears twice. It's hard to imagine how that could have happened... with all those Maigrets standing around, you'd think one of them would have noticed! SIMENON cerné par ses treize Maigret. reportage: Colette Porlier. photo: Patrice Habans

    (Here's a similar scene, similarly mislabeled.)


    The more I think about this photo the more I'm impressed. Consider how much time, effort and money must have gone into it! Starting with someone's imaginative idea – life-size stand-up cut-out figures of "all" the Maigrets – photos had to be found of sufficient quality that they could be blown up and printed life-size, then mounted and set up with a way to make them stand... then everything sent with a crew to Switzerland to make the photo-shoot... Whose idea was this, what did it cost, how many people were involved, and how long did it take... and what happened to all those figures after the photo session was done?
    Of course, there's still one more question. With all the people who must have been involved, how could it be that no one realized that the photo wasn't of Rupert Davies?
    ST

    Simenon Books
    7/24/03 –
    I bought two books about Simenon today at the FNAC in Bruxelles (or Brussel if you're Flemish). One is Michel Carly's "Maigret traversées de Paris," and the other, "Paris Chez Simenon" by Michel Lemoine. Needless to say I haven't read them both, but I've looked at parts of them.
    The Carly book claims to be something of a tourguide and it's loaded with period photos. The photos are generic rather than specific to the text and there are no captions.
    The Lemoine is a listing of all the Paris locations mentioned in all the Simenon stories, not just the Maigrets. It's very detailed and includes the names of all the people mentiioned, both real and fictional. This one has no photos at all, just the covers of a few of the books used for illustrations. It's several times thicker than the other.
    Both share the opinion that the real Chez Manière was at 65 rue Caulaincourt and is still there today under another name, rather than at the base of the steps at place Constantin-Pecquer. Another shared belief is that M lived at 132 blvd Richard-Lenoir, in spite of many textual references to the contrary.

    Joe

    Cyrano
    7/27/03 –

    I found the photo captions in the back of the Carly book. A lot of them are stock photos but there are also some related ones. The one that caught my attention was of the Blanche Metro station at night. You can see the word "Cyrano" in big neon letters. There was a "Brasserie Cyrano" mentioned in two or three stories and it was right next to the Moulin Rouge. The neon sign for the Rouge comes just after the Cyrano sign. I'd like to go there with this photo and compare then with now but it would be helpful if I knew when then was. Anyway, this shows there was a Cyrano there at one time.
    Regards,
    Joe

    Maigret on France 2
    8/02/03 – Next week, France 2 will broadcast each afternoon a Maigret movie at 13 h 40 , all of them with Bruno Cremer...

    Monday: Maigret se défend
    Tuesday: La nuit du carrefour
    Wednesday: Maigret et le fantôme
    Thrusday: Maigret et les témoins récalcitrants
    Regards,
    Jerome

    L'Homme qui regardait passer les trains
    8/05/03 –
    I pretty much have all the Maigrets at this point, except for the two that have not been in paperback (Maison du juge, Les caves du Majestic). So I've been occasionally reading some of the novels. Many would appeal to Maigret fans. The one I just read, L'Homme qui regardait passer les trains [The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By], looks at a criminal (category: deranged killer) from the point of view of the criminal. Maigret has retired, but now-Commissaire Lucas plays a bit part, indeed the part he plays is very much in the killer's imagination.
    Simenon resists every temptation to make the book into a roman policier and does a fine job in my opinion.
    Oz Childs

    see also Jim Doherty's 3/18/99 comments in the forum, and this section from Gavin Lambert, among others.

    A note on the 13 Maigrets
    8/06/03 – Hi, I'm an Italian fan of Georges Simenon and Maigret in particular.
    Since I know very well Gino Cervi's portrayal of the Great Inspector (In Italy he is a must!, and still very popular even if the actor died in 1974), I would like to inform you that it's true that Cervi appears twice in the Paris Match photo, but that the other Cervi is under the name Jan Teuling (even if without moustaches) and NOT under Rupert Davies.
    Good bye and and hurrah for your work!

    Massimo Pietroselli


    Gino Cervi Jan Teuling
    Thanks, Massimo! I've had trouble believing that both those pictures were of Cervi. The problem seems to go back to this published photo (left) in which Cervi and Teuling were sometimes mislabeled. It's correct in Gilles Henry's "Commissaire Maigret qui êtes vous?" (p. 96-97), but reversed in Bresler's "Mystery of Georges Simenon" (p. 214-215), and (of course?) in Haining's "Complete Maigret" (p.81). So it's Gino Cervi on the left and Jan Teuling on the right. (In which case the Paris Match photo has two Maigrets mislabeled!)
    ST

    Liège
    8/12/03 – I popped over to Belgium for a few days last week and visited the Simenon exhibition in Liege.
    Although a purist might have found some of the exhibition a little irritating (a ship's cabin purporting to be occupied by Ernest Hemingway, whom Simenon never even met?), I think an attempt was made to interest visitors who maybe weren't too interested in the minutiae of Simenon's life.
    There were a lot of exhibits from the Fonds Simenon at the University of Liege which one would not otherwise normally see: an excellent collection of the semi-pornographic magazines for which Simenon wrote in the 1920s, as well as of the pre-Maigret novels which he wrote under all those pseudonyms; the envelopes on which he planned his novels; manuscripts and typescripts, at least one of which gives the lie to the myth — promulgated by Simenon himself — that he did not revise his books.
    There is a very good section on Simenon and the cinema. I had a look in some shops in Brussels but couldn't find anything in the way of videos or DVDs of Maigret, though there were a few adaptations of his literary novels.
    Speaking of shops, two second-hand bookshops in the boulevard Maurice Lemonnier in Brussels, Bibliopolis and Pele-Mele, have an excelent selection of Simenon paperbacks, mostly priced at around one euro.
    I also went on the walking tour which Joe Richards has already described. To be honest, there isn't a lot to see, but I'm glad I did it. I think that, rather than follow the trail on a sunny summer's afternoon, the best time would be around dusk on a rainy November evening, with a mist rising from the river and creeping through the narrow streets of Outremeuse....
    Joe said he was working on a photo CD. Keep working on it, Joe, because my digital camera managed to lose every single picture I took on my visit!

    Roddy

    Simenon in the Wall Street Journal
    8/12/03 – Joe Richards has just sent over a great package of Simenon / Liège material along with his photo CDs (which I'll get up online pretty soon), including this little article on Simenon from the Wall Street Journal earlier this year, Benjamin Ivry's

    There was more to M. Simenon than M. Maigret

    Occasionally interesting, tending towards sensationalism, it somehow sounds as if the writer had never actually read one of Simenon's books: "Maigret, the second most famous Belgian literary detective..." Hello?

    ST

    Another "pipe gun" caricature of Simenon
    8/12/03 –

    Vasco (Portugal)

    Identify this Simenon?
    8/13/03 – I've just discovered your Simenon Site, and will begin to visit it often.
    A question—
    I'm trying to recall a Simenon title (not, I believe, a Maigret novel) which was very highly respected in literary circles. Several critics, as I recall, placed it with Dostoyevsky and Kafka....
    I believe one of the main characters was a dwarf, or a lame man, whose friend was a thief....
    I know that's very sketchy at best, but I thought it might help you to recall. Whatever its title, I haven't read it yet. But I'll purchase it as soon as I identify it....

    Thanks,
    George Kirazian

    The Patience of Maigret... all three of them
    8/13/03 – Joe Richards spotted what looked like an error in the Bibliography, but further checking confirms that there are actually three different Maigret volumes entitled The Patience of Maigret.
    The earliest dates from 1939, when George Routledge & Sons, London, put out a volume with that title containing two Maigret translations, A Battle of Nerves [La tête d'un homme], and A Face for a Clue [Le chien jaune].
    Two years later, in 1941, the American publisher Lawrence Spivak put out the 25¢ paperback at left, using the title of the combined edition for the same Geoffrey Sainsbury translation of just one of these, La tête d'un homme (A Battle of Nerves).
    And then, to top it all off, some twenty-five years later, in 1965, Simenon wrote La patience de Maigret, which was naturally translated as The Patience of Maigret when it was published in English the following year.
    ST

    Translators
    8/14/03 – If you read Benjamin Ivry's article (above), about "the translator Geoffrey Sainsbury, who according to Simenon's biographer Pierre Assouline changed 'names, psychological profiles, details, and even plot elements.'" — but don't have access to Assouline's book, here are the two sections about Sainsbury. There are 10 Maigrets translated by Sainsbury, and only three have been reissued in other translations.
    I've added a Translator List showing all the Maigret translators, with links to the corresponding "plots" page to enable checking which have multiple translations. It's accessible from the Statistics Page, or by clicking on the translator on a plots page.

    ST

    L'Auberge aux Noyés - The Inn of the Drowned
    8/19/03 –

    At Guido de Croock's Maigret's Journeys in France website, there's a new anaylsis, L'Auberge aux Noyés - The Inn of the Drowned. This is the tenth in the series of extensive guides to the stories and locales of Maigret's adventures outside of Paris, and they're all filled with interesting information and images which you won't find anywhere else, and which will surely enhance your readings of these Maigrets. The other nine are on the right.

    A Walking Tour of Simenon's Liege
    8/20/03 –

    A Walking Tour of Simenon's Liege

    Joe Richards' April visit to Liege, illustrated by 30 photos.

    Joe's tour of Liege
    8/22/03 – Thanks, Joe. Great pictures, good background.
    Roddy

    A Walking Tour of Simenon's Liège
    8/24/03 – Just a few points related to Joe Richards' pictorial account of this tour.
    The Map
    I assume that this simplified map of part of the town centre and a section of the district of Outremeuse is just a guide to the names of the locations of the photographs. It appears in the booklet by Christian Libens entitled Sur les traces de Simenon à Liège [On Simenon's trail in Liège] (Les Éditions de l'Octogone, Bruxelles-Louvain, 2002). The numbers on the map relate to the contents of the booklet and not to the numbering of Joe's photographs.
    Georges Simenon's place of birth, 24 Rue Léopold (photographs 8, 9 and 10)
    A small point. The counting of the various storeys starts after the ground floor (le rez-de-chaussée), but the distribution is deceptive looking at the façade from the outside. The row of windows (reflecting the buildings opposite) just above the name fascia (Georges) belongs to the shop. In February 1903 this shop was owned by the Cession family who sold hats and who occupied the ground floor. A family with private means lived on the first floor (the three tall windows with a continuous wrought-iron balcony), then came the Simenons on the second (the three windows with separate small balconies) where Georges Simenon was born.
    Nos. 5 and 29, Rue de l'Enseignement (photographs 18 and 17)
    This street is not named on the map. The southern end of the Rue de la Loi meets the Rue Jean d'Outremeuse and opposite, at an angle, is the Rue de l'Enseignement.
    No. 25 Rue Georges Simenon (photograph 26)
    This house is almost on the corner of the crossroads formed by the Rue Georges Simenon and the Rue de la Loi. For the Rue de l'Enseignement refer to the previous item.
    The "Gai-Moulin" site (photograph 30)
    Sorry, but the real nightclub with this name that Simenon frequented in about 1921 was not located in the Rue du Pot d'Or, but at No.8 Rue de la Sirène, under the management of a Monsieur P. Prenten. Later the construction of the Rue Charles-Magnette shortened the Rue de la Sirène considerably, and the site of the nightclub disappeared many years ago. This was yet another occasion when Georges Simenon changed the venue of an establishment that he incorporated into his work, this time the Maigret novel La Danseuse du Gai-Moulin written in 1931 (At the Gai-Moulin/Maigret at the Gai Moulin), so as not to cause himself any possible problems with property owners.
    The Rue de la Sirène is the first turning to the right off the Rue de la Cathédrale going in the direction of the Rue Léopold.
    But the author did use, in the same novel, a venue that not only existed, but he kept the same address, without stating the number. This was the hotel where Maigret stayed, the seventy-roomed Hôtel Moderne at No.29 Rue Pont d'Avroy, which was there for many years, but closed in 1976. It was not far from the original Gai-Moulin.
    Also he incorporated some autobiographical details into the novel that particularly revolved around one of his boyhood homes at 53 Rue de la Loi.

    Peter Foord
    UK

    (I've added these notes to the end of Joe's photo-article.   ST)

    Maigret Music
    8/29/03 – In today's Le Monde, there is an article about the composer Laurent Petitgirard who did the music for the Maigrets with Bruno Cremer. They write that EMI will issue a CD entitled 'Les Brumes de Maigret' with the music he did for the Maigret.
    The composer's web page says: "Les Brumes de Maigret", Suite Symphonique (2002) tirée de la musique orginale de la Série TV. Enregistrée en mars 2003 par l'Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo dirigé par le compositeur (Editions OSF Productions). ["The Mists of Maigret", Symphonic Suite (2002) based on the original music of the TV series. Recorded in March 2003 by the Philharmonic orchestra of Monte-Carlo directed by the composer (OSF Productions).]
    At jy.depoix.free.fr/lasuite.htm there is some other interesting information on this subject with pictures.
    On another subject, there's a forum (in French) related to Maigret, at forum.europeanservers.net/cgi-bin/liste.eur?Depoix.
    Jerome

    Simenon fan? His complete works! (in French)
    8/31/03 – J'ai gagné sur Internet un concours! Et j'ai recu tous les livres de Georges Simenon + le DVD "Special Simenon" avec le film "L'horloger de Saint Paul"... Tout neuf et encore emballé car jamais ouvert! Si ca vous intéresse, contactez moi.
    [I won an Internet contest! And I received all the books of Georges Simenon + the DVD "Simenon Special" with the movie "The Watchmaker of Saint Paul " ... All new and still wrapped because never opened! If this interests you, contact me.]

    Anti-Semitism and Simenon
    9/4/03 – I am curious to discover that GS wrote several violently anti-Semitic articles as a younger man.
    I would be interested to know if these views remained with him in later life and if there is any evidence of anti-Semitism or racism in the novels.
    From the ones I have read, I have noted the occasional reference that would not be deemed politically correct by modern standards - especially directed towards homosexuals. But these are common in novels of their time and reflect attitudes that, although repugnant, were very much a part of the those times.
    We can not expect writers from by-gone days to fit into codes of morality which were not prevalent in their age.
    However, anti-Semitism plays such a crucial role in the very history of the Twentieth Century and the Europe in which GS lived and wrote. I would be grateful for any thoughts on the development of his views, or at least the public and literary reflections of those views.

    Graeme Sutherland
    Coventry
    UK

    Jewish references in the Maigrets
    9/5/03 – I've found references to 'Jew/s' or 'Jewish' in 13 of the Maigrets, mainly in those published in the 30s, but running up through his 1965 Patience of Maigret. Here are most of the quotes, without much context, of course, arranged in chronological order by year of publication.
    Many of these portrayals are stereotypes, frequently of poor immigrants, and tend to come across more or less negatively. Based on this relatively small group of examples, though, I think that Simenon, while not exhibiting any particular affection for the Jewish people, doesn't show any strong animosity either. Unfamiliarity? (Poles appear in more Maigrets, and are generally treated worse... [see Polish] )

    At last Pietr came to the Rue du Roi de Sicile, a crooked street fringed with blind alleys, still half-Jewish, but already half a Polish colony....
    Anna Gorskin, 25, born at Odessa. Registered with Fédor Yurovich at Au Roi-de-Sicile. Looked older than 25. Like many Jewish women of her age, she had put on weight, but without losing all trace of beauty....
    Reaching the Jewish quarter, centered on the Rue des Rosiers, Pietr walked past the shops with Yiddish inscriptions, kosher butchers and bakeries that displayed unleavened bread....
    On the first floor of the Au Roi-de-Sicile, a Jewish family was eating. The Jew wore a black skull cap...
    In a letter from Anna Gorskin's father: We are caught between the Lithuanians and the Poles, they both hate the Jews....
    M said of the area of Pskov, some of the intelligentsia are in favor of German culture, others prefer Slav. Some of the peasants look like Lapps or Kalmuks... there's a whole mass of Jews and part-Jews, who eat garlic and slaughter their livestock differently from the rest....
    Pskov was in Russia. M had looked it up in an atlas. Near the Baltic. Several little countries there, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, encircled by Poland and Russia.... and there are Jews as well, scattered everywhere. [1929-30-LET]

    Walter Lampson introduced his friend, Willy Marco. M, noting his obvious Jewish features, asked if he was Spanish. "Greek on my father's side, Hungarian on my mother's." was the answer. [1930-PRO]

    When Petit was asked if he knew a M. Jacob, answered "Good Heavens, no! It must be a Jew."...
    M went to the Rue Clignancourt and made his way from house to house asking about M. Jacob. "Try next door, there are some Jews there." [1930-GAL]

    They'd gotten to know Willy Mortier, a Jew, whose father owned a sausage-skin and tripe shop not far from there. [1930-31-PHO]

    Isaac Goldberg's corpse was in the morturary at Étampes. 45, with a pronounced Jewish look. [1931-NUI]

    Jean, M's clerk, came in to say that Lucas had called and asked for him to go to Rue des Blancs-Manteaux, the principal street in the Jewish quarter. [1931-GUI]

    M said "Samuel Meyer. Sounds Jewish to me. The family counts a lot with the Jews... they're thrifty, too..."...
    Between Budapest and Odessa, between Tallinn and Constinatinople, there were large tracts of country where the population was too dense. In particular there were hundred of thousands of hungry Jews whose only ambition was to seek a better existence in some other land....
    All the year round, by tens, hundreds, thousands, Poles, Jews, Rumanians, Italians were streaming outwards to the four corners of the globe...
    M said suddenly to Jacques Rivaud, "One would hardly take you for a Jew."...
    M thought Jacques Rivaud could quite well be a Jew, though it was by no means certain. [1932-FOU]

    Otto Braun, born at Bremen, a former banker from Stuttgart, pronounced Jewish type....
    Lena Leinbach said in Germany a Jew was not entitled to make advances to an Aryan woman. [1936-ARR]

    Frans Steuvels said he'd had a suit made a few years earlier by a neighbor, a Polish Jew, who'd since disappeared, perhaps gone to America....
    Dr Paul told stories of autopsies which were as funny as Jewish jokes or jokes about lunatics. [1949-MME]

    M said his little Jewish tailor on Rue de Turenne was not anxious to have him stared at in the street. He resented the bowler and the velvet-colored overcoat becoming a permanent feature when he hardly wore them at all....
    At the Quai des Orfèvres there are maps on which little islands are marked, the Jews of the Rue des Rosiers, the Italians of the Hôtel de Ville district, the Russians of Les Ternes and Denfert-Rochereau... [1950-MEM]

    During the war Steiner refused to wear the yellow star, claiming he hadn't a drop of Jewish blood. The Germans proved him wrong and sent him to a concentration camp. The Faculty contained a certain number of Jewish professors. [1957-SCR]

    Mme Kruger phoned Pardon during the dinner. Husband a kind of tailor in the Rue Popincourt above an herbalist's, a Polish Jew. [1959-CON]

    In Antwerp, when the diamond cutters retreated before the German advance, they were all directed to Royan and then to the US. Some of them came back to Paris, the Marais and Saint-Antoine. They're almost all Jews. [1965-PAT]

    ST

    Maigret in Magazine Littéraire - 1975
    9/11/03 –

    Magazine Littéraire
    December, 1975 — N° 107
    pp 30-32
    Maigret

    or:

    The key to the heart
     

    Francis Lacassin

    original French


    Maigret stories in this summer

    9/14/03 – I managed to find a story, "Maigret et le Proc," published in honour of Simenon/Maigret this summer on the web site of Le Monde at: www.lemonde.fr. In the right part of the screen, in the 'A lire aussi' section, there are links to the other stories.
    Regards,
    Jerome

    Rupert Davies Videos Exist
    9/15/03 – Below is a response that I received when I contacted the BBC archives asking if they had any of the 1960's Rupert Davies series. So at least we know that they have them.......just got to work out how to get legal copies!

    Regards,
    Steve Beamon

    Thank you for your e-mail. We do indeed have this series. To obtain viewing copies you would need to be from a UK registered company and using it strictly for research/evaluation only. To borrow copies costs £22 +VAT for 2 weeks and to buy £80 +VAT per episode. You can pay by credit/debit card if you don't have an account.
    Regards,
    Michael Paige
    Senior Researcher,
    BBC Research Central
    BBC Finance, Property & Business Affairs
    (Work: 020 7557 2452 Fax: 020 7557 2728)
    Room LG26, Centre Block, Bush House,
    PO Box 76, Strand, London WC2B 4PH
    michael.paige@bbc.co.uk
    www.bbcresearchcentral.com

    Too expensive!
    9/15/03 – £80.00/$130.00 is rather a lot for a single episode. No wonder pirating of recorded entertainment is doing so well! And PLUS UK VAT at about 17.5%!!! That makes it £94.00/$153.00.

    Joe Richards
    ( £94.00 / $153.00 × 52 episodes = £4888 / $7956 - that's entertainment! )

    From the Archives:

    Maigret and the Vanished 52 Rupert Davies BBC Episodes
    1/6/00 - People often ask about the existence of the Rupert Davies series. I remember watching them with barely suppressed excitement many years ago. That distinctive music and the scratch of Maigret's match on the wall before he lit his pipe prior to stepping forth to solve another mystery. I often wondered if copies existed; I suspect they do not. In Peter Haining's "The Complete Maigret" [p. 61] there is an awful quote from Simenon's Memoirs : "There was, however, one clause in the contract that I did not read carefully, and which I was to become aware of only a dozen years later. It provided that, at the expiration of the contract, all prints and negatives were to be destroyed in the presence of a bailiff, so that today there is no trace left of those fifty-two Maigrets." Quelle Horreur!
    No trace? The question is, are there any recordings left in the English-speaking world?

    Don Greenfield
    Wellington, New Zealand

    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

    Correspondence with the BBC
    12/3/02 –

    TO BBC:
    Do you have any intention to reissue any of the 1960's B&W television episodes of the 'Maigret' series, starring Rupert Davies, that were fortunate enough to be recorded?
    February 2003 is the 100th anniversary of Maigret's creator, George Simenon and it would be a fitting tribute to such a prolific author. When he saw Rupert Davies playing the role he exclaimed 'Now I have my perfect Maigret'.

    FROM BBC:
    That's interesting to know about Simenon — thanks for the info. It's unlikely to be a release from my department but I will pass your suggestion onto my colleagues who work in more general home video. It was a terrifically popular show at the time, and in my personal view, superior to the recent series fronted by Michael Gambon.

    All is not lost as there appears to be a Maigret afficianado at the BBC!
    Steve Beamon

    Six More Penguin Maigret reissues coming
    9/16/03 – I just found the following six new Penguin Maigret reissue titles offered at Amazon France, scheduled to be available on the 4th of December: The Madman of Bergerac, The Friend of Madame Maigret, Maigret and the Ghost, Maigret in Court, The Man on the Boulevard, Maigret and the Hotel Majsetic. They're not listed at the other Amazons yet, nor on the Penguin site itself.

    Regards,
    Joe

    Articles on Simenon
    9/16/03 – Here's an article on Simenon, "Maigret and his master," from The Age, apparently motivated by the reissue of Marnham's The Man Who Wasn't Maigret for the centenary. And here's another, "High on film," from ColoradoDaily.com, which talks briefly about the film, Panique, based on Simenon's novel, Les Fiançailles de Monsieur Hire.

    Roddy

    BBC Holdings - Rupert Davies Maigret Episodes
    9/17/03 – I spoke again with the BBC, Michael Paige, this time by telephone. He confirms that it appears that they have all episodes - 16 on 35mm film, the remainder on 16mm. He states that it is possible for them to be transferred onto video and this would be a decision for BBC Worldwide... so it may be an idea to yet again suggest to the BBC that they reissue the series, at a reasonable commercial price.

    Best wishes,
    Steve

    Copy of my email to BBC re Rupert Davies Maigret Episodes
    9/17/03 – Dear Mr. Paige; I think that the £94.00 the BBC is asking for an episode of the Rupert Davies "Maigret" series is rather too much. I'd love to own the entire set, but that's £4888.00! Also, as an American living in Belgium, I don't work for a UK registered company, so even if I was willing to spend that much for something like that, you don't allow me to. I think you would find some demand for this product if you would offer it to everyone at a fair price. If there are legal or copyright issues standing in the way, resolve them! The rights to all of Simenon's works are managed by Chorion in the UK and John Simenon, the author's son, is in charge of this department. I understand the series was very popular in the UK when it ran back in the sixties and I think a lot of people would like to see it again. Also, if you're not aware, 2003 would have been Simenon's 100th birthday if he lived so there's a lot more interest in his works at the moment. Another thing to consider is that Simenon himself said that Rupert Davies was his "perfect Maigret", the one who best filled the role according to the man that created it. Quickly get this out at a normal price and cash in on the Christmas season this year!

    Best regards.
    Joe Richards
    Mont Saint Guibert, Belgium

    Query about a Michael Gambon video
    9/17/03 – Does anyone know which book the episode called Maigret and the Maid is based upon? I have been unable to trace it so far.

    Felice, the surviving companion of the murder victim in a small country town, subverts Maigret's attempts to trace the murder because she mistakenly thinks the object of her love is the guilty party. It turns out to be a friend of the said love interest.
    Any ideas?
    Cheers!
    Keith

    That's based on Félicie est là [Maigret and the Toy Village]. The way to check questions like that is through the Maigret Films & TV page. There you'll find a Title Index which lists all the titles of the television series as well as movies. When you get to the episode you're interested in, the title next to the episode title (in parentheses) is the original French book title. (Click on that link and you'll go to the plot summary page for that title, where there are English titles, translators, and links to the Main Bibliography page and the film book/story index, which shows all the films and tv episodes based on that Maigret.)
    ST

    Penguins for December
    9/17/03 – These are now up on Amazon UK and are rather cheaper £5.59 ($9.04) than at Amazon France, €10,65 ($11.98). You can order now for December delivery. I think this is the first time that the Madman of Bergerac has been issued in English as a stand-alone, at least in paperback. By the way, that steam locomotive on the cover (click to enlarge) is anything but French, or even British for that matter.
    Regards.
    Joe

    BBC archive open to all
    9/18/03 – Let's hope the BBC does release the Rupert Davies series on video/DVD. This article suggests a possible alternative solution — "Director General of the BBC, Greg Dyke, has announced plans to give the public full access to all the corporations programme archives..."

    Roddy

    New York Review Books to publish Simenon
    9/19/03 – New York Review Books Classics is bringing out two revised translations of non-Maigret Simenon novels this fall. We're very excited about them and plan to bring out two more in the next year.
    The books out this fall are:
    • Dirty Snow, (La Neige Était Sale) with a new introduction by William T. Vollmann
    • Three Bedrooms in Manhattan (Trois Chambres à Manhattan), with a new introduction by Joyce Carol Oates.
    The books will be available in all major and independent bookstores, but you'll also be able to purchase them on our website www.nyrb.com (right now they're listed under Forthcoming)

    Simenon at Cinéma Mac-Mahon
    9/20/03 – ...A little late because I only found it this morning, the theater for "cinéma d'art et d'essais" in Paris, 'Le MacMahon' is showing Simenon movies for two weeks, finishing the 29th of September. There is one Maigret: Maigret tend un piège from Jean Delannoy. The web site is www.cinemamacmahon.com. Here's the full Simenon schedule:

    Le plus grand reproche que l'on puisse faire au cinéma d'aujourd'hui c'est le manque de scénarios, car n'oublions jamais qu'un film, c'est « d'abord une histoire »! Georges Simenon est mort, il y a cinquante ans, et … ça se voit !
    Axel Brücker

    du 12 au 29 septembre 2003

    Vendredi 12

    Maigret tend un piège de Jean Delannoy 1957 - 1 h 56
    avec : Jean Gabin, Annie Girardot, Jean Dessailly - 14 h et 19 h

    Le Président de Henri Verneuil 1960 - 1 h 50
    avec : Jean Gabin, Bernard Blier, Renée Faure - 16h30 et 21h30

    Samedi 13

    Le Chat de Pierre Granier-Deferre 1971 - 1 h 30
    avec : Simone Signoret, Jean Gabin - 14 h et 19 h

    Le Passager clandestin de Ralph Habib 1958 - 1 h 38
    avec : Martine Carol, Arletty, Karl Heinz-Böhn - 16h30 et 21h30

    Dimanche 14

    Le Président de Henri Verneuil 1960 - 1 h 50
    avec : Jean Gabin, Bernard Blier, Renée Faure - 14 h et 19 h

    Le Chat de Pierre Granier-Deferre 1971 - 1 h 30
    avec : Simone Signoret, Jean Gabin - 16h30 et 21h30

    Lundi 15

    Le Passager clandestin de Ralph Habib 1958 - 1 h 38
    avec : Martine Carol, Arletty, Karl Heinz-Böhn - 14 h et 19 h

    Maigret tend un piège de Jean Delannoy 1957 - 1 h 56
    avec : Jean Gabin, Annie Girardot, Jean Dessailly - 16h30 et 21h30

    Vendredi 19

    Le Baron de l'écluse de Jean Delannoy 1959 - 1 h 35
    avec : Jean Gabin, Micheline Presle, Jean Dessailly - 14 h et 19 h

    Les Inconnus dans la maison de Henri Decoin 1941 - 1 h 40
    avec : Raimu, Juliette Faber, Mouloudji - 16h30 et 21h30

    Samedi 20

    Le Baron de l'écluse de Jean Delannoy 1959 - 1 h 35
    avec : Jean Gabin, Micheline Presle, Jean Dessailly - 14 h et 19 h

    Betty de Claude Chabrol 1991- 1 h 43
    avec : Marie Trintignant, Stéphane Audran - 16h30 et 21h30

    Dimanche 21

    Betty de Claude Chabrol 1991- 1 h 43
    avec : Marie Trintignant, Stéphane Audran - 14 h et 19 h

    L'Horloger de Saint Paul de Bertrand Tavernier 1973 - 1 h 45
    avec : Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort - 16h30 et 21h30

    Lundi 22

    L'Horloger de Saint Paul de Bertrand Tavernier 1973 - 1 h 45
    avec : Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort - 14 h et 19 h

    Les Inconnus dans la maison de Henri Decoin 1941 - 1 h 40
    avec : Raimu, Juliette Faber, Mouloudji - 16h30 et 21h30

    Vendredi 26

    L'Etoile du Nord de Pierre Granier-Deferre 1982 - 2 h 00
    avec : Simone Signoret, Philippe Noiret, Fanny Cottençon - 14 h et 19 h

    Panique de Julien Duvivier 1946 - 1 h 40
    avec : Michel Simon, Viviane Romance, Paul Benard - 16h30 et 21h30

    Samedi 27

    La Vérité sur Bébé Donge de Henri Decoin 1951 - 1 h 44
    avec : Danielle Darrieux, Jean Gabin, Daniel Lecourtois - 14 h et 19 h

    L'Horloger de Saint Paul de Bertrand Tavernier 1973 - 1 h 45
    avec : Philippe Noiret, Jean Rochefort - 16h30 et 21h30

    Dimanche 28

    Panique de Julien Duvivier 1946 - 1 h 40
    avec : Michel Simon, Viviane Romance, Paul Benard - 14 h et 19 h

    L'Etoile du Nord de Pierre Granier-Deferre 1982 - 2 h 00
    avec : Simone Signoret, Philippe Noiret, Fanny Cottençon - 16h30 et 21h30

    Lundi 29

    La Vérité sur Bébé Donge de Henri Decoin 1951 - 1 h 44
    avec : Danielle Darrieux, Jean Gabin, Daniel Lecourtois - 14 h et 19 h

    Le Bateau d'Emile de Denys de la Patellière 1961 - 1 h 40
    avec : Lino Ventura, Annie Girardot - 16h30 et 21h30


    5, avenue Mac-Mahon - 75017 Paris
    (place de l'Etoile - parking Mac-Mahon)
    REPONDEUR : 01 43 80 24 81
    Prix des places : 6.50 euros
    Tarif réduit : 4.50 euros.
    Regards.
    Jerome

    Simenon, Maigret and Paris: Two Recent Books
    9/21/03 –

    Simenon, Maigret and Paris:

    Two Recent Books

     
    A review of Michel Lemoine's Paris Chez Simenon (2000), and Michel Carly's Maigret traversées de Paris (2003)
    by Peter Foord.


    Joe Richards' photo tour of Maigret's Paris today
    9/25/03 –

    In Maigret's Footsteps in Montmartre

    A Photo Tour of Maigret's Paris Today

     
    to accompany the text

    In the Footsteps of
    Chief Superintendent Jules Maigret in Montmartre

    Joe Richards

    2003

    Great writers who never won the Nobel
    10/02/03 – There's a rather good article by Peter Shard entitled "Great writers who never won the Nobel," at smh.com.au, www.iol.co.za, and elsewhere, in which Simenon is mentioned — "Popularity and a sense of humour have in the past almost seemed to bar a writer from the prize ...and for sheer popularity, Georges Simenon in his non-crime novels was a master of concision and unjustifiably under-rated."

    Roddy

    Maigret's Murder?
    10/02/03 – I've been collecting Maigrets since 1975. I thought I read about Maigret's murder and Mme Maigret solving it. Was I dreaming? If not, what is the title of the story?
    Thank you for an amazing site.
    Arleen Wolf


    Maigret doesn't die in any of the stories. But his wife gets "top billing" in "Madame Maigret's Own Case"...

    ST

    Simenon's visit to Paris, in Picture Post 1952
    10/03/03 –

     

    Picture Post
    Hulton's National Weekly
    London
    12 April 1952
    Vol 55 - N° 2
    pp 42-43

    Simenon Unmasks Himself

     

    Photographed by

    Inge Moerath

     

    Simenon statue in Liège
    10/03/03 –


    Postcard of Simenon's statue in Liège...
    Jerome

    Maigret actor?
    10/03/03 – What an amazing site ;-) Can someone please help me with a quiz question?
    It is:

    "I didn't have a life as an actor after I put on his trilby and struck that match against a wall" - which actor's words about which character he became famous for playing on TV?
    Now the obvious answer to me is Rupert Davies, but this quiz setter is renowned for setting trick questions, so I'm wondering if it's Jean Richard, or one of the other Maigrets. Any ideas from you would be very welcome,
    Many Thanks,
    Jane Davey

    I think you must be right - striking the match on the wall was the trademark opening of the Rupert Davies series. And the quote obviously means what apparently actually happened - I think I may have read it somewhere - that from that point Davies "became Maigret" in everyone's eyes, and couldn't really do anything else. I've never seen those tv episodes myself...
    ST

    Settings of "Simenon Unmasks Himself" photos
    10/03/03 – The stairs that Simenon is climbing in the photo in "Simenon Unmasks Himself" look to be those that lead down to the little park at the end of the Ile de la Cité near the center of the Pont Neuf. That is to say near the Police Judiciaire HQ on the Quai des Orfevres. The reason I recognized them so quickly is that I went down the same stairs (actually the ones in the background) myself about ten days ago. The other stairs, where the tramp was living, are just on the other side of the Pont Neuf and were probably the same ones that I climbed to get back to street level after walking under the Pont Neuf. It seems that not much has changed in the past 51 years.
    Regards
    Joe

    France 2's Maigret series - thumbs down
    10/04/03 –
    Bonjour,
    En tant qu'admirateur de Georges Simenon et de son personnage Maigret, j'ai lu la plupart des romans avec le célèbre commissaire...
    Evidemment, je regarde sur la chaine française "France 2" tous les épisodes de la série "Maigret" avec Bruno Cremer.
    Cette série produite par la société de production "Dune" prend beaucoup de libertés avec les récits originaux.
    Les adapatations télévisuelles ne sont pas fidèles et le personnage de Maigret.
    Bon acteur, Bruno Cremer ressemble peut être au personnage original mais ce qu'il dit, ce qu'il fait, bref son comportement, sa conduite ne sont pas fidèle à l'image qu'en avait donné Simenon.
    Mais il y a pire, l'atmosphère, les personnages, les intrigues et même quelquefois le dénouement de l'histoire ne sont pas conformes aux romans...
    Désespérant !
    Jean-Paul Corlin
    auteur du site : Le Commissaire Jules Maigret
    Bonjour,
    As an admirer of Georges Simenon and his character Maigret, I have read most of the famous commissioner's novels.
    And of course I always watch the Maigret series with Bruno Cremer on the French television channel "France 2".
    This series, produced by "Dune," takes a lot of liberties with the original stories.
    The television adaptations are not true to the character of Maigret.
    A good actor, Bruno Cremer possibly resembles the original character somewhat, but what he says, what he does, in short, his behavior - his conduct - is not true to Simenon's image.
    Worse still, the atmosphere, characters, plots, and sometimes even the outcomes of the stories do not conform to the novels...
    In despair,
    Jean-Paul Corlin
    author of the site: Le Commissaire Jules Maigret

    [translation]

    Simenon Bibliography?
    10/04/03 – Your bibliography is very useful but where can I find a complete list (presumably in French) of all Simenon publications?

    Bryan Homer

    Online by Claude Menguy and Pierre Deligny at: www.ulg.ac.be/libnet/simenon/bibsim.htm

    Lemmy Caution
    10/05/03 –
    I expressed my surprise in July at the comment in a review of the film, Maigret Voit Rouge (1963), that "Maigret was the equal of Lemmy Caution and Sherlock Holmes." I'd never heard of Lemmy Caution. I just noticed that one of the other two films in Brelan d'As (which includes Michel Simon as Maigret in this version of Le Témoignage de l'enfant de choeur) is a Lemmy Caution film. Here's a little more on Caution, who was apparently still popular in the movies in France in the 60s:

    In the late 1930s Peter Cheney [1896-1951] became successful through his detective stories, featuring such characters as Lemmy Caution and Slim Callaghan. Caution, as played by Eddie Constantine, became the hero of Jean Luc Godard's 1965 film, "Alphaville". One reviewer commented, "The casting of Eddie Constantine was inspired, as he had established the character of the hard-boiled dick Lemmy Caution in a series of French movies based on Peter Cheyney's novels. With his trench-coat, fedora, cigarette, and craggy face, Constantine recalls a poor-man's Humphrey Bogart, nonchalantly shooting everything in sight." Expatriate American actor/singer Eddie Constantine had made a career in the 1950s and early 60s playing the quick-fisted FBI agent in French adaptations of the novels: La Mome vert-de-gris / Poison Ivy (1952), Cet homme est dangereux / This Man is Dangerous (1953), Les femmes s'en balancent (1954), etc. The films were self-consciously tongue-in-cheek and increasingly verged on parody.
    Lemmy Caution titles:   This Man is Dangerous (1936),   Poison Ivy (1937),   Dames Don't Care (1937),   Can Ladies Kill? (1938),   Don't Get Me Wrong (1939),   You'd Be Surprised (1940),   Your Deal, My Lovely (1941),   Never a Dull Moment (1942),   You Can Always Duck (1942),   I'll Say She Does (1945).

    ST

    no period after Mme
    10/07/03 – there is no period after Mme

    Eva Hurst

    Thanks - I've tried to clean them up (and the Mlles too). Please let me know where, if you spot any remaining.
    ST

    gracias
    10/07/03 – gracias por tener algo de george simenon e buscado mucho sobre él y recien hoy lo encuentro muchas gracias

    [Thanks - I've been looking for something on Georges Simenon and today I found it.]
    Vicky Ponce

    Scenes of Simenon's Liège
    10/09/03 –

    Commissioner Maigret Bookshop


    A bookshop near the Saint-Pholien church in Liège - "At the sign of Commissioner Maigret"

    Bavière Hospital


    Bavière Hospital, where Simenon's mother died.
    (No. 7 on Joe's small map of Liège)

    Chapel of the Bavière Hospital


    Chapel of the Bavière Hospital, dedicated to Saint Augustine

    Pont des Arches


    Sur les traces de Georges Simenon
    Pont des Arches
    Ce pont, le plus ancien de Liège, a donné son nom au tout premier roman de Simenon. En fait, le titre renvoie à l'enseigne fictive de la pharmacie Germain aujourd'hui détruite. This, the oldest bridge in Liège, was used for the name of Simenon's very first novel. The title actually refers to the fictitious sign over the Germain chemist shop, which has now been pulled down.
    In 'Le pendu de St-Pholien,' the body was put in the Meuse river near this bridge.

    The 'Pont des Arches,'
    taken from the Outremeuse part of the city, with the city center in the background.

    Regards,
    Jerome

    Torrence
    10/11/03 – Having just started reading the Maigret books during the past year and am enjoying disappearing into the atmosphere of them. I much prefer the stories set in Paris itself as Simenon clearly has no love for the rural French, portraying them as narrow, insular, suspicious, tending towards cliques etc.
    My question concerns Fat Torrence. This detective is killed off in Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett, written in 1931. Despite this the character continues to appear in later stories.
    Would anyone care to guess why this should be? Is it an oversight on the author's behalf, or did he just not think that kind of detail was important?

    Interested to know,
    Keith Marr

    Torrence
    10/11/03 – It seems that Simenon simply forgot that he had killed off Torrence in Pietr-le-Letton, but it certainly must have been pointed out to him often enough. In Chapter 8 of Maigret's Memoirs, Maigret explains briefly, after being handed a list of "inconsistencies" by his wife,
    "The name Torrence comes next on the list, big noisy Torrence (I believe that somewhere or other Simenon makes him die in place of another inspector who was in fact killed by my side in a Champs-Elysées hotel).
    ... he had a terrific appetite for life, together with a business sense that was hardly compatible with the existence of an official.
    He left us to establish a private detective agency [Les dossiers de l'agence O (1943)], a highly respectable agency, I hasten to add, for that is not always the case. And for a long time he kept on coming to the Quai to ask for our help, or for information, or merely to breathe the atmosphere of the place again.
    He has a big American car, which stops from time to time in front of our door, and each time he is accompanied by a pretty woman, always a different one, whom he introduces with unvarying sincerity as his fiancée."
    ST

    Videos in French
    10/11/03 – I've seen some of the Cremer episodes on the French channel TV5, in French with French subtitles, which is great if your French isn't that good! I checked Amazon.fr and they have Cremer videos, though it doesn't say if they have subtitles, but it says

    Détails de l'édition :
    •   Format SECAM (France seulement)
    •   Coffret
    •   Secam
    •   ASIN : B00005JAW9
    — Does this mean the videos can't be viewed in other countries? Seems rather silly....
    Mark

    Yes, unless you have a special multi-format video player, that's what it means.
    ST

    Videos in French
    10/11/03 – There are three major TV broadcasting systems in the world, NTSC (Americas and Japan), PAL (most of Europe and many other areas, and SECAM (Middle East, ex-USSR, and France). All of these have subsystems. In France, the full name is SECAM-L and this system is only used there. All surrounding coutries in Europe use variations of PAL. PAL and SECAM, being a little less old, are a little sharper.
    I think the main reason that France developed its own version of SECAM had to do with the fact there are a large number of French speakers just over many of its borders who could watch French TV without paying the yearly tax for this if France used PAL. By going to its own system France forced these people to (for a few years anyway) cross the border and buy a TV set in France – which would be subject to customs duties when brought in to their own country. That way France made a little something out of it from those who were willing to go to the trouble to do this.
    With multi-system TV's that's not a problem any longer but not all multi system sets can receive French SECAM even though they can get all the other SECAM subsystems. The USSR went to SECAM for political reasons. They didn't want their citizens to watch anything from the outside. Of course with satelite and cable TV, this is more or less meaningless today.

    Regards,
    Joe

    Pal/Secam
    10/12/03 – Just to add a technical point to the Secam/Pal topic... I believe that only the color coding is different, and that you can watch a Secam tape on a Pal recorder but it will be in black & white. The reverse is true.

    Regards,
    Jerome

    The House of Anxiety
    10/14/03 – Greetings! I discovered this site this morning and I have been very much enjoying it, particularly The House of Anxiety. I've noticed what seem to be a couple of typos:

    Part I vi:
    There would have been a magnificent balminess to it all had not one felt that at the bottom, under these incredible appearances, a tragedy was being played out.
    Should "balminess" be "barminess"? I can't tell without the French, but the context suggests that to me.

    Part II i:

    "The was the third time he'd ignored his instincts!" raged Maigret.
    should, perhaps, be: "That was the third time he'd ignored his instincts!" raged Maigret.

    But please don't think that these two minor points have detracted from my enjoyment of reading The House of Anxiety; please convey my appreciation to the translator.
    Is there an online copy of the French text available?

    atb,
    Sam Trounson


    Thanks, Sam! You're right about both typos. I've now changed the obscure "a magnificent barminess" to "something delightfully loony" for 'une magnifique loufoquerie.'
    There's no on-line version of La maison de l'inquiétude, but I notice that while it's apparently out of print, they're still offering it at Chapitre and AuchanDirect for about 13€.
    ST

    Where to buy La maison de l'inquiétude
    10/14/03 – Regarding Sam Trounson's question, Amazon.fr still has for sale:

    "Simenon avant Simenon. Maigret entre en scène"
    Éditeur : Presses de la Cité (2 juin 1999)
    Format : Poche - 699 pages
    ISBN : 2258052319

    It contains the five "pre-Simenon 'Maigret'" novels, one of which is "La maison de l'inquiétude." They offer it in 6 to 7 days at 15.93 euros.

    Regards,
    Jerome

    Simenon's Liège: more information
    10/17/03 –

    Joe Richards and Jérôme Devémy have provided some photographs of locations associated with Georges Simenon, and here is some additional information to go with certain items.

    Pont des Arches

    "Au Pont des Arches" was the first novel that Simenon wrote. This was in 1920 when he was working for the daily newspaper the Gazette de Liége and aged seventeen. The sub-title of the novel is "Petit roman humoristique de mœurs liégoises" (A short humorous novel of Liégeois ways of life) and its main gist is a proposed money-making scheme for the mass-production of purgative pills for pigeons! The main title reflects the name of the bridge Le Pont des Arches which spans the river Meuse between the Rue Léopold (where Simenon was born) and the district of Outremeuse. At the time of writing this novel there was a clothes shop at 48 Rue Léopold that was called Au Pont des Arches. He based the main location of the novel on a real chemist shop, the Pharmacie Germain at 13 Rue-du-Pont-des-Arches, a short side street that can still be found on the left where the Rue Léopold joins the bridge. Unfortunately this shop was demolished in the early 1970s and at present (September/October 2003) it is an active building site.

    Simenon found a printer who would print his novel providing the author could guarantee to sell three hundred copies by subscription. This was achieved and in 1921 the printer, Imprimerie Bénard, ran off fifteen hundred copies under the author's pseudonym of Georges Sim. This paperback book measures 21 × 14 centimetres, has 96 pages and is illustrated with black and white drawings by four of Simenon's friends, Luc Lafnet (who also illustrated the cover), Jeph Lambert, Ernest Forgeur and Joseph Coulon. All were part of the group of former students who called themselves La Caque (In the Maigret novel Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien — The Crime of Inspector Maigret / Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets — Simenon has a similar group who call themselves Les Compagnons de l'Apocalypse — The Companions of the Apocalypse).

    The novel "Au Pont des Arches" has not been translated into English, but the French text has been reprinted. One of the most useful reprints is by the publishers Presses de la Cité, 1991 (ISBN 2-258-03401-9), a paperback, which also includes two other works that Simenon wrote soon after, the novel "Jehan Pinaguet" and an essay "Les Ridicules" in which he pokes fun at some of his friends and himself.


    The cover of the first edition of "Au Pont des Arches", 1921.


    A photograph of the Pharmacie Germain (about 1960) showing the advertisement on the side of the building indicating some of the items available, including 'Products for Pigeons, Poultry, Dogs, Cats and all Animals.'

    Bavière Hospital / Church of Saint Nicholas

    Unfortunately there is an error of identification with one of Jérôme's photographs. The building that was labelled Saint-Nicholas Church [now corrected] is in fact the Chapel of the Bavière Hospital which is dedicated to Saint Augustine and is located along the Rue des Bonnes Villes. The Church of Saint Nicholas (Joe's photograph number 14) is to be found in the Rue Fosse-aux-Raines that runs from the Place de l'Yser to the Rue Jean-d'Outremeuse.

    The Simenon family as a whole, grandparents, parents, uncles and aunts, as well as young Georges attended this church.


    A different photographic view of the Bavière Hospital showing its extent along the Rue des Bonnes Villes. The Chapel is at the far end.


    A photograph of the Chapel looking back along the Hospital building. Simenon knew this establishment as a boy and in December 1970 his mother, who had died in this hospital aged 90, received her funeral service in this chapel.

    Simenon's Birthplace at 24 Rue Léopold

    When I was photographing the façade of this house, I became aware that someone was looking out of the right-hand window on the second floor where the author was born. In fact it is Simenon himself — that is a life size photographic cutout that probably will be there whilst the commemorations last. This "appearance" can be seen in Joe's photograph number 9: a view of the entire house.

    Peter Foord
    UK

    Simenon in Magazine Littéraire - 1975
    10/17/03 –

    Magazine Littéraire
    December, 1975 — N° 107
    pp 20-27

    "Holding his characters
    at arm's length
    was exhausting
    "


    Simenon interviewed by Francis Lacassin

     original French

    BBC 7 Maigret broadcasts
    10/18/03 – Once again I missed the start of these re-broadcasts – could anyone loan me a tape of "Maigret in Montmartre", and "Maigret has Scruples"?

    Martin Cooke

    More Maigret Music
    10/20/03 –
    I was checking to see if the Petitgirard album was for sale at Fnac.com and I found another one by Paul Misraki: 'Musiques originales de films / vol. 3' – it contains the music from the film 'Maigret tend un piege'. Perhaps someone has the music available?

    There's a fairly detailed description of the film (in French) at Le site Paulette DUBOST - Filmographie cinéma - années 1940-1959.

    Regards,
    Jerome

    Extracts of the Maigret music by Petitgirard
    10/22/03 – The composer for the French Maigret TV movie has a website at www.petitgirard.com/page-fr/extraits.htm, where, at the bottom of the page, you can find three extracts of the music of the current Maigret series with Bruno Cremer. One is the generic series music and two are for two of the films, MAIGRET ET LA FENÊTRE OUVERTE (P.Granier-Deferre) and MAIGRET ET LE PORT DES BRUMES" (C.Nemès). The disk is due in December 2003 with "Play-Time," from EMI.

    Regards,
    Jerome

    Simenon DVD
    10/24-25/03 – While searching for documents with Simenon (like the Simenon CD interviews), I found the following references to a DVD on the web (at www.bpi.fr/7/simenon.html:

    Projection du DVD "Georges Simenon" publié chez Gallimard - Collection : Les Grands entretiens de Bernard Pivot - Bernard Pivot et Nicolas Ribowski, 1981, Couleur, 1 h 15.
    À l'occasion de la publication des Mémoires intimes suivis du Livre de Marie-Jo, Georges Simenon reçoit Bernard Pivot chez lui en Suisse. L'écrivain parle de lui-même, dévoile des aspects secrets de sa vie. Il évoque également sa méthode de travail et aborde Maigret : sa psychologie, son évolution, et les rapports qu'il entretient avec son personnage.
    The "Georges Simenon" DVD, published by Gallimard - Collection: The Great interviews of Bernard Pivot - Bernard Pivot and Nicolas Ribowski, 1981, Color, 1:15.
    On the occasion of the publication of Intimate Memoirs followed by Marie-Jo's Book, Georges Simenon received Bernard Pivot at home in Switzerland. The writer speaks about himself, and unveils secret aspects of his life. He also describes his method of work and takes up Maigret: his psychology, his evolution, and his relationship with his character.

    I'll see if I can find out what he says about Maigret!
    I've found this DVD on the Gallimard website but Amazon.fr & Fnac do not sell it. The content seems interesting:

    GEORGES SIMENON. Entretien avec Bernard Pivot [2003]. DVD/Zone 2 - Format 16:9 compatible 4:3 - Couleur - PAL - Durée totale : 1 h 41 mn sous couv. ill., 135 x 185 mm. Hors série DVD, Gallimard -memo. GEORGES SIMENON. Interview with Bernard Pivot [2003]. DVD/Zone 2 - Format 16:9 compatible 4:3 - Color - PAL - Total length: 1:41, ill. cover, 135 x 185 mm. Special DVD, Gallimard.
    Résumé
    En 1981, après le suicide de sa fille Marie-Jo, Georges Simenon écrit Mémoires intimes (Presses de la Cité). Bernard Pivot, à l'occasion de la sortie de ce livre, retrouve Georges Simenon dans sa maison de Lausanne et lui consacre plus d'une heure d'entretien.
    Avec une grande simplicité, une sincérité brutale, Georges Simenon parle de sa vie, de son oeuvre, de son travail d'écrivain ; Bernard Pivot l'aide à exprimer son désarroi devant l'amour, la mort et l'absence de sa fille. Cette émission réalisée par Nicolas Robowski est un document exceptionnel, une rencontre qui laisse sans souffle le spectateur.
    En introduction à ce DVD, Bernard Pivot, en mars 2003, évoque le souvenir qu'il a gardé de cette rencontre. En s'inspirant de l'Album Pléiade, écrit par Pierre Hebey, Jean-Claude Lubtchansky nous donne aussi en complément quelques points de repère dans la vie de Georges Simenon.
    Summary:
    In 1981, after the suicide of his daughter Marie-Jo, Georges Simenon wrote Intimate Memoirs (Presses de la Cité). Bernard Pivot, on the occasion of the publication, visited Simenon at home in Lausanne and devoted more than an hour to this interview.
    With great simplicity and brutal sincerity, Georges Simenon speaks of his life, his work, his career as a writer; Bernard Pivot helps him express his dismay at his daughter's death and absence, his love for her. This broadcast by Nicolas Robowski is an exceptional document, a meeting that leaves the viewer breathless.
    In his introduction to this DVD, Bernard Pivot, in March 2003, evokes his memory of this meeting. Inspired by the Album Pleiade, written by Pierre Hebey, Jean-Claude Lubtchansky complements the text with a few landmarks in the life of Georges Simenon.

    Interesting web site, TV film
    10/25/03 –
    At www.0faute.com/simenon.htm they have some interesting information on Simenon.
    At www.0faute.com/seriestv.htm they list the TV series and at the bottom talk about some Canadian TV films.
    At www.emissions.ca/a/cv.asp?Artisan=3730 there's a list of TV movies made by Robert Choquette, who made some Maigrets for Canadian TV. This means that we have at least one more TV Maigret actor to add to the list! Perhaps a Canadian reader of this site can give us some information about those movies made during the 1950s ?

    Regards,
    Jerome

    Maigret and the BBC: Rupert Davies Series
    10/25/03 – I am delighted to learn that the Rupert Davies series still exists. Well done the archivists. I trust the BBC reconsiders the price at some stage. My pocket-money won't stretch to Pounds sterling 94 an episode. A Christmas release would be nice. Then we could all hear that music and watch Maigret strike a match on a wall, light his pipe ...

    Kind Regards
    Don Greenfield
    Wellington, New Zealand

    Penguin Maigret - odd price?

    10/26/03 – Congratulations on a fine web site!

    I have a copy of "Maigret Afraid" published in Penguin in 1965 (not a reprint). The cover is identical to the one you have displayed except that the price is shown as 5/6. Any explanation?

    Regards
    Stuart Radmore

    L'originale de Simenon
    10/27/03 –


    reportée sine die - 11/03/03

    Simenon (at 57) in Paris Match - 1960
    10/29/03 –

    Paris Match   (N° 594)
    August 27, 1960, p 52-55

     

    Simenon:

    Millions flow from his pen

    Reporter: Michel Clerc

    Photos:   Izis

    original French

    This is the article Simenon mentions at the beginning of "When I was Old":

    /Monday, June 27, 1960
    Spent yesterday, a typical Sunday, with a Match photographer. He's here for four days, after which he will be joined by a journalist for what they call a feature story. It's the fourth that Match has published in seven or eight years about me and my family.

    The other three Match articles he refers to are apparently May 10-17, 1952, November 26, 1955, and October 19, 1957; about one every three years, not counting minor articles.

    Simenon was much more impressed with the photographer, Izis, than the writer, Michel Clerc:

    /Saturday, July 2, 1960
    The Match photographer, who lived four or five days in the bosom of my family, had not known me before he came but left as an old friend. The writer, theoretically more "cultured," but who managed to ask hundreds of impertinent questions, came to do his work, no more, and add an article, a victim, to his collection.

    Clerc's article is, in fact, everything Simenon said he disliked about magazine articles written about him. The title is about his earnings, which always irked him, and the bulk of the story is dedicated to fostering "the myth," as Simenon calls it, the formulaic set of clichés that journalists seem to love about Simenon – his making coffee alone in the kitchen, the yellow envelope... No real interest, nothing new, just "look at this weird writer who makes all this money."

    He liked Izis and his work enough to include some of the Match interview photos to illustrate "When I was Old," published ten years later.

    ST

    Salon du Livre de Montréal
    10/30/03 – Crime comes to fair - Tribute to Simenon. Salon du Livre takes place Nov. 13-17.
    The Salon du Livre de Montréal pays tribute to mystery writing during its five-day stay at Place Bonaventure, beginning Nov. 13. The salon's main tribute is to the late Belgian detective novelist Georges Simenon... from The Gazette

    New Simenon exhibition
    10/31/03 – News (in French) of a new Simenon exhibition. The Liege exhibition, "Simenon...un Siecle" ends on 9 Novemeber...

    Roddy

    Site Maigret : évolutions (4)
    11/01/03 –
    Bonjour à tous et toutes,
    De nombreuses modifications ont été apportées au site depuis mon dernier mail.
    Tout d'abord, pour les curieux (et il y en a, j'en suis sûr), j'ai terminé la page consacrée au webmaster que je suis et l'ai agrémentée d'une photo ainsi que d'une fiche ... particulière, vous verrez. jy.depoix.free.fr/le_webmaster.htm.
    De plus, j'ai continué à mettre à jour les pages interactives (pétition, votes, livre d'or) et j'ai rédigé un nouveau billet d'humeur visible en cliquant sur ce lien : (jy.depoix.free.fr/humeur_octobre03.htm).
    J'espère en fin d'année pouvoir fêter le premier anniversaire du site tel que vous le connaissez en franchissant la barre des 15 000 visiteurs et des 100 premiers votants à la pétition ! Encore un petit effort ...
    Enfin, je viens de mettre en ligne une nouvelle page, accessible depuis le menu défilant, intitulée "la boutique" et qui répertorie les produits plus ou moins dérivés de la série avec des liens vers des sites de vente en ligne. jy.depoix.free.fr/commisse.htm (cliquez sur "LA BOUTIQUE")
    Pas de news concernant les épisodes à venir, le dernier connu étant "Maigret en meublé". En revanche, j'ai appris que le CD de la B.O. de la série voit sa date de sortie une nouvelle fois repoussée courant février 2004. Patience ... voici son contenu : jy.depoix.free.fr/les_cds.htm.
    Je vous souhaite à tous et à toutes de bien terminer cette année 2003 !
    Hello one and all,
    Numerous modifications have been made to the site since my last mail.
    First of all, for the curious (and there are some, I'm sure), I've finished a page about the webmaster – me – and supplemented it with a photo as well as a dossier... special, you'll see: jy.depoix.free.fr/le_webmaster.htm.
    Furthermore, I continue to keep up to date the interactive pages (petition, votes, visitor's book) and I've added a new 'editorial' you can access by clicking this link: jy.depoix.free.fr/humeur_octobre03.htm.
    I hope at end of this year to be able to celebrate the first anniversary of the site by passing the 15,000 visitor mark and the first 100 signers of the petition! Still a little work...
    And finally, I've just put up a new page, accessible from the scrolling menu, called "the boutique" which lists products more or less connected to the series, with links to on-line sale sites, at: jy.depoix.free.fr/commisse.htm (click on "La Boutique")
    No news concerning upcoming episodes, the last known being "Maigret en meublé". On the other hand, I've learned that the CD of the soundtrack has a new projected release date of February 2004. Patience... here are the contents: jy.depoix.free.fr/les_cds.htm.
    I wish you all a good finish to this year 2003!

    [translation]

    Cordialement,
    Jacques-Yves Depoix
    Bruno Cremer est Maigret

    Simenon Exhibition at Saint-Luc, Liège
    11/02/03 – The exhibition that Roddy Campbell has indicated (10/31/03) is one of some ten smaller exhibitions that have been organised in Liège during 2003. Each one represented a different theme based on Simenon's life and/or work and were held in various locations in Liège and its suburbs. They have been held at different dates throughout the year and were open during various lengths of time from three days to four months. Certain exhibitions have been repeated in different locations.
    The present exhibition was originally on show in March of this year at Chaudfontaine, a suburb of Liège, as part of the many commemorations of the Simenon Centenary. It has been set up again, this time at the Institut Supérieur des Beaux-Arts Saint-Luc (the Art College Saint-Luc) in the former Caserne Fonck. This was the one time barracks in the Boulevard de la Constitution, in the district of Outremeuse, where Simenon completed his military service during 1922.

    The entrance to the former Caserne Fonck (the Barracks) located in the Boulevard de la Constitution, District of Outremeuse, Liège. It now houses the Art College Saint-Luc. (photo: Peter Foord)


    The exhibition, which opened on the 25th of October and runs until the 6th of December (closed on Sunday and Monday), has as its theme "Simenon et l'Image" (Simenon and the Image). It consists of original documents related to adaptations of the author's work through illustrations in newspapers, magazines, cartoon strips and film posters from the 1930s to the present day, alongside original art work produced by art students from the College Saint-Luc based on Simenon's work. Carried out in a variety of techniques and media, the current students' ideas make a very interesting addition and interpretation to those of the previous generations.
    Peter Foord
    UK

    L'originale de Simenon - sale cancelled
    11/03/03 – Arts & culture a le regret de vous informer que la vente de l'ensemble des éditions originales de Georges Simenon, des années 20 à nos jours, prévue le mercredi 5 novembre 2003 à 14 heures, à l'hôtel Drouot de Paris, est reportée sine die. En vous priant de nous excuser.

    Maigret/Gambon videos
    11/05/03 – I received a mail-order catalogue this morning offering both series of the Michael Gambon Maigret TV series on two double videos for 34.9 UK pounds. The blurb claims they were filmed on location in France but I recall that the exteriors were made in Hungary (or somewhere in eastern Europe). The suppliers are Music & Memories, PO Box 99, St Austell, Cornwall, UK PL25 3YD. They have a web site at www.goodmusic.co.uk.
    David McBrien


    Seems like they're cheaper at Choices Direct = £25.49 for the set.

    11/07/03 – And there are usually some sets of these for sale on eBay.co.uk. Today, for example, there's a first series starting at £8.99 and a second series for £6.99...
    Roddy

    Your magnificent Maigret site
    11/08/03 – I have just found your site and have just skimmed it – needs much, much, more time to get into.
    I am busy learning French, rather late in life, and one of my goals is to read a Maigret novel without a dictionary (look, no hands kind of thing). The novels are full of references that I don't quite understand – the time, place and society etc and I think your website will help me clear up some difficulties.
    It is wonderful!

    Brian Anthony

    Thanks, Brian – Welcome aboard!

    Missing Maigret actors?
    11/10/03 –

    Was Henri Norbert a television Maigret?

    As Jerome has pointed out, in addition to those listed on the Maigret Films & TV page, there's another actor who portrayed Maigret, on Canadian television in 1956 (and 1964?), in at least three episodes with screenplays written by Robert Choquette:

    1956: Monsieur Gallet décédé
    Cast: Andrée Basilières, Gaétan Labrèche, Henri Norbert, Jean Rafa, Christiane Ranger.
    Directed by Jean Faucher. Screenplay by Robert Choquette.

    1956: La nuit du carrefour
    Cast: Lucille Cousineau, Henry Deyglun, Jan Doat, Paul Dupuis, Christofer Ellis, Paul Gauthier, Jacques Godin, Madame Hands, G. Jaunac, Henri Norbert, Jean-Claude Robillard, Lise Roy.
    Directed by Jean Faucher. Screenplay by Robert Choquette.

    1956: Maigret en vacances [Les vacances de Maigret]
    Cast: Pierre Boucher, Teddy Burns-Goulet, Marcel Cabay, Roger Garceau, Paul Gauthier, Roger Joubert, Nathalie Naubert, Henri Norbert, Rose Rey-Duzil.
    Directed by Jean Faucher. Screenplay by Robert Choquette.

    These are listed on pages linked from www.emissions.ca's page on Robert Choquette, and show the director (Jean Faucher) and (some of) the cast. The only cast member listed for all three shows is Henri Norbert, so, possibly, he portrayed Maigret.

    1964: Maigret et la grande perche

    This 1964 Canadian television show, along with the three from 1956 above, is listed on the RITV site (Les Rencontres Internationales de Télévision de Reims), but without cast members. In the four RITV listings, Choquette is cited as the director (réalisateur).
    Jacques-Yves Depoix, on the "other television series" page of his France-2 site, lists "L. Norbert (Canada)" as a Maigret.

    Was Kees Bruce a television Maigret?

    References to Kees Bruce as Maigret show up in a few places, and I asked about him here two years ago but received no response.
    He's mentioned at 0Faute: "...ainsi que deux autres séries anglaises, une réalisée entre 1964 et 1968 avec Kees Bruce dans le rôle de Maigret et..." ["...as well as two other English series, one between 1964 and 1968 with Kess Bruce in the role of Maigret and..."] which is apparently based on the identical comment at Cinema & Cie (or vice-versa).
    It seems more likely that he was on German television [actually, Dutch, see below], however. There's a listing at a Finnish site which includes the notation, in a list of Maigret portrayers: "Heinz Ruhmann ja Kees Bruce (Saksa)" [Heinz Ruhmann and Kess Bruce (Germany)]".
    And Claude Gauteur, in his D'après Simenon: Simenon & le cinéma, in the prologue, on the very first page, mentions "Kees Bruce in Germany" when commenting on the proliferation of television Maigrets, but apparently doesn't mention him again. His brief appendix on Maigret on television includes a small section on foreign TV based on Peter Haining's Complete Maigret, but no mention of Bruce or Canadian TV.
    Furthermore, Jacques-Yves Depoix, on the "other television series" page of his France-2 site, lists "Kees Brusse (Netherlands) 1964 in 'De Kruideniers'" as a Maigret.

    Was Vladimir Samoylov a cinema/television Maigret?

    Gauteur also suggests a third "missing Maigret" – in this brief citation:

    Tsena Golovy
    1992

    Film (téléfilm?) ukrainien inspiré, semble-t-il (tsena golovy, soit le prix d'un homme), par La Tête d'un homme (Fayard 1931).

    [A Ukrainian film (telefilm?) apparently based on A Man's Head – (tsena golovy = the price of a man) (Fayard 1931)]


    He lists the credits, also shown at ToutSimenon.com, but the roles aren't shown. Vladimir Samojlov [Samoylov][d. 1999] is listed first in the cast list...


    Do you have any information about these?

    ST

    Missing Maigret actors?
    11/11/03 – Roddy Campbell has located, on the imdb (Internet Movie Data Base), a variety of information on Maigret films and the "missing" actors.
    Kees Bruce is apparently Dutch, actually Kees Brusse (confirming Jacques-Yves Depoix's listing), and his 1964 TV film, "De Kruideniers" [The Grocers]. Which Maigret this is based on is not clear, and the title doesn't suggest anything to me.
    There's a listing of Tsena Golovy, with the cast, but no credits (so Vladimir Samojlov's role is still unconfirmed), and one for a second film with Boris Tenine, Maigret i staraya dama (1974), which I've added to the Maigret Films & TV page.
    Thanks, Roddy!

    ST

    Unknown Maigret
    11/11/03 –
    Hi! I'm working on one of the Maigret novels for school, and I was wondering if anyone could help me find information about it. Its French name is Le meurtre d'un étudiant, which translates to "The Murder Of A Student." I've been doing some research, and I can't seem to find any information on it; like plot, themes or symbols. If anyone could help me out, it would be much appreciated.
    Book info: Copyright 1971 by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, Inc. Library Of Congress Catalog Card Number: 73-135358.
    Eric Frosst

    That's a "study" edtion of Maigret et le Tueur (see the last line of the Préface), with a complete French-English vocabulary at the back. In English it's Maigret and the Killer.
    ST

    Maigret en de Kruideniers
    11/11/03 – Would the story of Maigret en de Kruideniers with Kees Brusse be based on Maigret and the Flemish Shop? This shop, on the border between Belgium and France, sold provisions to passing bargemen. It seems to fit, especially considering that the Dutch and the Flemish are very close cousins of a sort so there would be some affinity for the orginal Dutch viewing audience.

    Regards,
    Joe

    Two Simenon articles for the Reviews page
    11/11/03 –
    I am an avid Simenon fan and have been a regular visitor to your superb page since 2000. My first contribution here – two articles:

    1. On the occasion of the Centenary, Simon Caterson of The Australian Age wrote this piece, Maigret and his master.
    2. The second – and more important piece – is a review of Intimate Memoirs by Anthony Burgess, in his (1986) collection of essays "Homage to QWERT YUIOP". If you can locate this book, in a public library or wherever, it would be worth your while, as Burgess is in his own right an important author.
    Sincerely,
    Zubaer Mahboob

    Simenon retires at 70 - in Paris Match 1973
    11/12/03 –

    Paris Match   (N° 1241)
    February 17, 1973, p 8-9

     

    Simenon:

    I'm 70. It's over.
    I'm killing Maigret.

    an exclusive interview by

    Henri-Charles Tauxe

    original French

    The Simenon Centenary Exhibition in Liège
    11/18/03 –

    The Simenon Centenary
    Exhibition in Liège

    compared with the

    1993 Tout Simenon exhibition

    by

    Peter Foord

    Maigret et le clochard
    11/24/03 –


    11/18/03 – Bonjour à tous. I am studying Maigret et le clochard at University, and would like to hear your opinion on whether or not Maigret is a typical policeman.
    Thanks!
    Laura Anna Fitzsimons

    Maigret et le clochard
    11/27/03 – In response to Laura Anna Fitzsimons's question... First of all, Maigret et le clochard is, in my view, one of the best Maigret novels. The story is thrilling, original and well structured (this is not always the case in the Maigret-novels), and the plot is not far-fetched. Literarily, this Maigret-novel can be compared with some of his best 'romans dur'.
    About the question whether or not Maigret is a typical policeman. The answer is very simple, no!
    The most important reason why Maigret is not typical is because Simenon didn’t want him to be like any ordinary detective. To the author, Maigret was an instrument or a tool to get to the psychology of the characters. Often it is not the perpetrator that Maigret is interested in, but the victim and his surroundings. It is not about whodunit but about why the victim was predestined to become the injured party and why the assassin was predestined to become the executor. In that way there are obvious distinctions with other literary detectives like Poirot, Holmes and Lupin, and with real policemen.
    Maigret et le clochard is a perfect example of this typical Simenon-approach.

    Guido de Croock

    Maigret et le clochard
    11/27/03 – If Maigret had been a normal policeman then you would not be reading this website! This site largely exists because Maigret was anything but normal, truly exceptional. I won't repeat what Guido de Croock just said but I want to add a little something to it. Not only was Maigret out of the ordinary, but so were his settings. Paris, where most of the Maigrets play out, is no ordinary city. Simenon, no ordinary writer, was able to describe it so well that you could visualize places which, in some cases, did not even exist. It didn't matter that a certain house on a certain street never existed. Simenon did such a good job of capturing the atmosphere that you had the feeling of being there and watching the events unfold before you rather than just reading about them. For me this creation of such an outstanding background really made the stories seem much more lifelike that the pure fiction that they really were.The settings were so good that they blurred the difference between fact and fiction and made the plots and the people in them come to life. After you finish this story for your classwork, read a few other Maigrets and then come back and tell us what you think. My choices would be Maigret and the Loner, Maigret and the Fortuneteller, Maigret and the Man on the Bench, and the collection of short stories called Maigret's Christmas.

    Regards
    Joe Richards

    Favourites
    11/28/03 –
    While I wouldn't disagree with any of Joe's selections, I would add Maigret en Meublé (Maigret Takes a Room), as a novel which is essential Simenon.
    In it Maigret moves into a furnished room to investigate the shooting of Janvier. In doing so he enters into the everyday lives of a rich array of characters, from the "charmante" landlady (one of Simenon's best female characters), to the Auvergnat proprietors of the local bar, and eventually to the perpetrator of the shooting.
    The novel shows Maigret at his best, fitting in to the lives of ordinary people, observing them and their habits, and eventually reaching the truth.
    I've just finished reading it for the first time, and I've never enjoyed a Maigret more.
    Roddy

    Simenon-Maigret film/video recordings
    11/29/03 –
    Bonjour,
    Je recherche correspondant avec qui échanger des enregistrements de films inspirés de l'oeuvre de Simenon et des épisodes de Maigret avec B. Cremer.
    Les films recherchés sont : Dernier refuge, Brelan d'as, L'aîné des Ferchaux (1962).
    Les épisodes de la série recherchés sont : Maigret et la vieille dame, Maigret et la vente à la bougie, Maigret et le port des brumes, Maigret a peur, Signé Picpus.
    Si échanges non possibles, achat d'enregistrements VHS possibles (15 € l'épisode, 20 € le film).
    Merci d'avance,
    R. Legai
    Bonjour,
    I'm looking for someone with whom to trade recordings of movies inspired by the work of Simenon, and episodes of Maigret with B. Cremer.
    The movies I want are: Dernier refuge, Brelan d'as, L'aîné des Ferchaux (1962).
    Episodes of the series I'm looking for are: Maigret et la vieille dame, Maigret et la vente à la bougie, Maigret et le port des brumes, Maigret a peur, Signé Picpus.
    If you have none to trade, I can sell you VHS recordings at 15€ per episode, 20€ per movie.
    Thanks in advance,
    R. Legai

    Thesis on Simenon
    11/29/03 – I am a rather elderly "surfer" but was so thrilled to find on the Simenon site a mention of the thesis* I had written on the novels of Simenon in the 30s. A great delight to find it is still in the Centre d'études in the University of Liège. I wrote it as a mature student and offered it for reference – not knowing if it would be acceptable. Now I have found the site I shall continue to visit your Forum.

    My thanks,
    Sheila M.Thomas
    *The Simenon fiction in the 1930's / Sheila M. THOMAS. - Warwick: University of Warwick, 1980. - 111 ff dactyl. – (Mémoire de maîtrise: Lettres: Warwick)

    Maigret Sets a Trap
    11/30/03-12/2/03 –

    Ciné-Révélation
    N° 216, pp 20-25
    May 22, 1958

     

    Maigret tend un piège

    Maigret sets a trap

    Page   1   2   3   4   5   6  
     

    This is a six-page film story-board version of Maigret tend un piège, with my English translation. If (like me) you haven't seen this Jean Gabin Maigret, it should give you a pretty good idea of how the film version compares with (and differs from) the book. For example, to begin with, the setting is Place des Vosges, the Marais, not Montmartre...

    (Here's another, somewhat shorter, story-board Gabin Maigret, Maigret Sees Red).

    Comments on Maigret Sets a Trap
    From the archives...
    12/2/03 – Almost exactly two years ago, Maigret Tend Un Piège showed on BBC TV, and Roddy Campbell and David Cronan commented here on the film and some of the differences:

    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 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

    Since I haven't seen the film, it wasn't until I read the story-board version in Ciné-Révélation that I understood a little of what this poster for the U.S. version was about. I still can't figure out where the title, "Woman Bait" comes from — it was originally released in the U.S. under the title "Inspector Maigret" — but until now I'd also been wondering 1) who "she" was, and 2) what her relationship with the three men was — since it didn't match up with the book...

    "One she would terrorize" now clearly refers to Marcel; "One she would tantalize," is Jojo — but I wonder how tantalized he really was; and "One she would trap" apparently refers to Maigret, but I'm not quite sure what this is supposed to mean, other than to attract viewers to the film.

    The scene on the poster of Yvonne and Jojo dancing is one of the stills used in the magazine. Some others of those stills seem to wind up in posters as well, making me wonder if the studios release packages of them for adverstising... and that's what the magazine article was made from.

    Not too long ago, Jean-Paul Carlin was bemoaning here about how far the Bruno Cremer (French) TV Maigret series strayed from the original stories. This one seems to have strayed quite a distance too, but I don't hear any complaints. It might be interesting to try to catalog the differences between the film (or at least this story-board version of it) and the book... Offhand it seems pretty different — time to reread the book!

    ST

    Penguin reissues 6 more Maigrets
    12/4/03 – Found at Penguin new releases:


    The Hotel Majestic

    The Friend of Mme Maigret

    Maigret in Court

    The Man on the Boulevard

    The Madman of Bergerac

    Maigret and the Ghost
    The first six new reissues came out earlier this year.
    Roddy

    This is the first issue of a Penguin Maigret and the Ghost and The Hotel Majestic, as single volume editions. The Friend of Mme Maigret was previously issued by Penguin as Mme Maigret's Friend. The Man on the Boulevard was previously issued by Penguin in the 13th Simenon Omnibus, as Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard. The Madman of Bergerac was previously issued in a Penguin with Liberty Bar as Maigret Travels South.

    Maigret tend un piège - Comparing the plots of the book and the movie
    12/8/03 – (Don't read this if you don't want to know the story - it gives away the ending.)
    Although my first impression (from reading the storyboard version above) was that the film was very different from the book, after rereading it, I found it's actually more a question of detail and emphasis, as can be seen from this summary of both the movie and the novel:

    For several months a serial killer had been stabbing women to death in a single Paris district, lacerating their clothing but not sexually assaulting them. Maigret, assisted by a detective from the district, sets a trap – staging a fake arrest for the newspapers to goad the killer into action, while secretly placing agents throughout the district. The killer falls into the trap – he makes an attempt but is foiled, and though he escapes, he leaves a button from his suit in the hand of the unharmed intended victim, one of Maigret's women agents. Maigret is led to the apartment of the killer, Marcel, an architect, where he also meets Yvonne, the man's wife. He later meets the man's doting and overly protective widowed mother who lives in the same district as the killings, above the butcher shop that had belonged to her husband. While the killer is being questioned, another, similar murder takes place. Maigret, sure that it was done by the mother or wife to make Marcel appear innocent, confronts them, and the wife confesses to this final killing.
    In the film, the district was changed (from Montmartre to Le Marais), as well as the district detective (from Lognon to Lagrume), but the major shift is in the role of the killer's wife, who has only a minor part in the book, but a central role in the film. In the film, it's her suspicious activity that alerts the local inspector, who follows her, and learns of her affair with a gigolo. Maigret interviews the gigolo, returns to the killer's home and meets her again, and she comes to visit him at his home one evening unannounced. None of this occurs in the book. The finale of the film also involves the butcher's wife (Mauricette), who had been the killer's father's mistress. She doesn't appear in the book either.
    The book includes the content of Maigret's meeting with a psychiatrist (Dr. Tissot), at Dr. Pardon's house, where the psychology of the killer is discussed. While this doesn't appear in the film, Maigret's concern with the psychology of the madman is central to the story.

    A Maigret quote from Chapter 6:

    "For, like some of his illustrious predecessors, [Maigret] maintained that if a criminal were intelligent, he would not need to kill anyone."

    Car il prétendait, comme certains de ses illustres devanciers, que, si les crimniels étaient intelligents, ils n'auraient pas besoin de tuer.

    ST

    Missing images?
    12/8/03 –

    See any of these around? I'd rather you didn't. Please let me know if there are places on the site where the images are missing. Thanks!
    ST

    Simenon's thoughts about TV - in Tele-magazine 1957
    12/8/03 –

    Télé magazine
    December 15 - 21, 1957
    3rd year - N° 112
    pp 11-13

    GEORGES SIMENON:

    If I were 25, I'd be writing for television

    original French

    Maigret and the Small Screen
    12/8/03 –
    In the television series magazine Génération Séries N° 43 - July-August-September 2003, Jean-Jacques Schleret has a large article (pp 32-49), Maigret et l'étrange lucarne [Maigret and the Small Screen], about the various television presentations of Maigret, including lists of all the series episodes of Rupert Davies, Gino Cervi, Jean Richard, Bruno Cremer and Michael Gambon.
    Among the varied information about Maigret on TV, he gives a hint as to what may have caused the confusion about the existence of a German television series with Heinz Rühmann, which Hans Kiesl identified in the Forum of January 5 and 19, 2001: Simenon had retained the non-English foreign rights to the Rupert Davies BBC series, and it was aired in Germany in 1965-66 as Kommissar Maigret.
    Schleret doesn't add any more about the Canadian series than we already know, namely that there were four shows, three in 1956 and one in 1964, starring L. Norbert (apparently actually Henri Norbert). He also confirms that the number of Jean Richard episodes was 88.
    The issue is available for sale online at the Génération Séries site.

    The Mystery of the destroyed Maigret Series
    12/8/03 – In Schleret's article, he quotes Simenon's Intimate Memoirs (Ch. 56), about the BBC contract for the Rupert Davies series, the same quote reported here by Don Greenfield in January, 2000:

    "There is just one clause that D. probably did not read any more than I did, and which I was to become aware of only ten or twelve years later. It provided that, at the expiration of the contract, all prints and negatives were to be destroyed in the presence of a bailiff, so that today there is no trace left of these fifty-two Maigrets.
    I sold the rights to the films in Germany and in most of the countries of Europe and Latin America. I personally handled the contracts for those countries, and the German royalties, in the final analysis, were as great as, or greater than, what I got from Great Britain."

    This puzzles me, because if the rights were sold all over Europe and Latin America, and (at least) the German series was produced, why was it that Simenon wrote "today there is no trace left of them"? (BBC has apparently been able to locate some copies.) At least as puzzling is why someone would have written a clause like that into the contract to begin with.
    ST

    Maigret Sets a Trap
    12/10/03 –
    In this story, one of the murders took place on rue Etex. That was corrrect until just very recently, but now it has been changed. The lower part of the street is still rue Etex, but the part running between the cemetery of Montmarte and the Bretonneau hospital, where the murder took place, now has a new name, rue de la Barrière Blanche. This is a very recent change. It is not mentioned in Paris Chez Simenon which was copyright in 2000. My Michelin map 10, which I recently bought, has the new name but map 11 (the same map, 10 is a folded sheet and 11 is a book, same scale) shows the old name.
    Four Metro stations were mentioned as defining the area of the five murders. That's not quite correct. If you only use the four mentioned (Lamarck, Abbesses, Blanche, and Clichy) this murder falls outside of those boundaries. You would have to include La Fourche to correct this.
    The victim was Monique Juteaux, a dressmaker. She was returning to her apartment on the Blvd des Batignoles after visiting a friend who lived on Ave de St-Ouen. Given that, why was she walking along the rue Etex? Had she stayed on St-Ouen she would have gone straight home. St-Ouen becomes Ave de Clichy and this later intersects Blvd des Batignoles. Rue Etex leads to rue Joseph de Maistre, rue Caulaincourt, rue Lepic, and other well known areas to Maigret. It's rather the opposite direction from where she lived and no reason for doing this was mentioned in the story. Also, she could have taken the Metro.

    Joe Richards

    la Barrière Blanche
    12/13/03 – Does anyone know the story of this? In French la Barrière Blanche means "the white barrier," but not only was it a nickname for the Montmartre cemetery (the reason that section of the street was renamed?), it was the original name of the nearby place Blanche - place de la Barrière Blanche. It seems to have had some significance in the Revolution, but there were also (chalk?) quarries near the cemetery...
    The rue Etex was apparently named for the 19th C. artist, Antoine Etex (1808-1888), a sculptor, painter and architect, who, among other things, sculpted the two groups "Peace" and "War", at each side of the Arc de Triomphe.

    ST
    Maigret Sits it Out
    12/14/03 –
    At long last I have managed to find, and order, a copy of this book (containing The Lock at Charenton and Maigret Returns) at a reasonable price and so will be able to complete my reading of all the Maigret stories. Do you have any idea why Penguin, who last published this in 1952, has not reprinted it since? It is easily the rarest of the Maigret titles and is always expensive when it does appear - there must be many other Maigret fans who have been waiting as long as me to obtain a copy. I have a copy of a French paperback of L'Ecluse No.1 (not rare) but my French is not up to reading it in the original.
    David McBrien

    Reissued Penguins
    12/14/03 –

    Was very interested to discover your web page with the Maigret covers over the years. Do you know how many Maigret books Penguin are reissuing this year, and would any of those classic Penguins with Rupert Davies on the cover be available anywhere but second-hand book shops or on the net?
    Regards
    Anthony Green

    Montmartre cemetery / La Barrière Blanche
    12/15/03 – The cemetery was laid out in 1798 under the Directoire (one of the administrations following the Revolution of 1789). It occupies the site of the former gypsum mining area, which was active in the late 18th century and was one of the main industries of Montmartre, then a village, where many of the quarrymen lived. Gypsum, which is basically sulphate of lime, when processed is known as "plaster of Paris". The gypsum was loaded into horse drawn carts and then taken to be processed through the nearby area which came to be known as La Place Blanche, on account of the white dust that was thrown up covering everything. La Barrière Blanche was the limit of the quarrying area.
    The Rue Etex between the Rue Carpeau and the Rue Joseph de Maistre has now been named the Rue de la Barrière Blanche. Several of the streets near the cemetery are named after artists. Antoine Etex (1808-1888), principally known as a sculptor, an example of whose work is to be found on the Arc de Triomphe. On the West façade facing the Avenue de la Grande Armée are two stone relief panels by Etex. On the right is the Resistance of the French to the invading armies in 1814, and on the left the Blessings of Peace (1815).
    Etex is not buried in Montmartre cemetery but in the cemetery of Montparnasse.

    Peter Foord
    UK

    Simenon on TV - in 1958 - in Télé magazine
    12/16/03 –

    Télé magazine
    February 2 - 8, 1958
    4th year - N° 119
    pp 7-9

    Simenon guides TV
    in the footsteps of
    Commissioner Maigret

    original French

    Maigret's Journeys in France
    12/17/03 –


    www.maigret-in-france.net
    Guido de Croock

    Simenon biographer dies
    12/19/03 –

    The well-known lawyer, Fenton Bresler, died on Sunday aged 74. He wrote for many of the national papers on matters relating to the law. But in the 80s he wrote a biography of Georges Simenon called 'The Mystery of Georges Simenon' (published by Heinemann in 1983) in which he claimed that the author had slept with 10,000 women.
    There's an obit of Bresler on the Daily Telegraph website, and another at The Guardian.
    Regards,
    Anthony Green

    A Simenon postcard
    12/19/03 –

    Vladimir Samoilov as
    12/20/03 –
    In the November Forum, Missing Maigret actors? you ask for confirmation - Was Vladimir Samoilov a cinema Maigret?
    The answer is "Yes!" as can be seen on this Russian site, Tsena Golovy [La tete d'un homme], Vladimir Samoilov plays Comissaire Maigret! But it also says there and in a number of other sites about cinema in Russian that Tsena Golovy was a co-production of UK / France / Russia / Germany / Ukraine, not simply Russian as in the [now corrected] listing on the Films page of your excellent site.
    This photo shows Vladimir Samoilov (but not as Maigret).
    George, a Maigret fan

    Simenon / Maigret magazine articles posted in 2003
    12/23/03 –
    Here (in chronological order) are the 22 magazine articles (spanning over 50 years) that were posted to this site in 2003, 20 of which were translated from the French. (Whew !) Click on a cover to reach the article. Which was your favorite?

    1937

    On the retirement of Maigret
    1952

    Simenon Unmasks Himself
    1952

    On a Liège street corner...
    1954

    Interesting People: Georges Simenon
    1955

    Simenon Confesses
    1956

    For the Ballets of Paris...
    1957

    An exclusive article by Georges Simenon
    1957

    Simenon in Maigret's Trap
    1957

    If I were 25 I'd be writing for television
    1958

    Simenon guides TV
    in the footsteps...
    1958

    Maigret sets a trap
    1960

    Simenon: Millions flow from his pen
    1963

    Maigret Sees Red
    1967

    Tête-à-Tête with Simenon
    1970

    Simenon surrounded by his 13 Maigrets
    1973

    Simenon: I'm 70. It's over. I'm killing Maigret
    1975

    Maigret or: The key to the heart
    1975

    Holding his characters at arm's length...
    1976

    What I think about 'the Killer of the Oise'
    1978

    Attacked by his wife thirteen years after...
    1984

    The World of Georges Simenon
    1989

    Simenon by Simenon

    Simenon bronze medal
    12/24/03 –

    I recently acquired a bronze medal featuring an image of a pipe-smoking Georges Simenon. Beneath the image are the words "CERCLE DU BIBLIOPHILE". It is about 2 1/8 inches diameter (5 1/2 cm) and 1/8 inch thick (3.5mm). The reverse side of the medal is blank. Can you tell me anything about it, what year it was produced and for what reason, is it a common item?
    Regards,
    Bob Kerr

    I've seen a couple offered on eBay in the past few years. Here's a description:
    This was reserved in the '60s for the first subscribers to a SIMENON collection of a famous Swiss publishing house, Cercle du Bibliophile. As Simenon was opposed to its distribution, since his authorization had not been requested, it was withdrawn, and very few copies are found. (In a gray velvet case.)
    Anyone know any more about this?
    ST



    12/25/03 –

     

    MERRY

     

    !

    New Italian television Maigret coming in 2004
    12/26/03 –

    According to a Nov. 26 article by Valeria Chiari, at FILMup.com, the Italian actor Sergio Castellitto, 50, currently on the set as actor and director of the film "Non ti muovere" (based on a prize-winning novel by his wife, Margaret Mazzantini), will portray Maigret in a series of six television films scheduled to appear from May, 2004.
    Produced by the Spanish Telecinco, in collaboration with Grundy Italia, PCM and TV3, the series will be filmed in Paris and Prague. The first two episodes will be Maigret Mystified (L'ombra cinese) [L'ombre chinoise] and Maigret Sets a Trap (La trappola di Maigret) [M tend un piège].
    ST

    Site Maigret : évolutions (5) (from the Bruno Cremer site)
    12/26/03 –
    Bonjour à tous et toutes,
    Il y a un an, jour pour jour, naissait le site tel que vous le connaissez. Et moi, je commençai à prendre un peu l'air après des jours de claustration ! :o) Pour l'occasion, j'ai ajouté une petite image animée sur la page d'accueil et puis, pour les fêtes, des bonhommes de neige, des sapins et, si vous êtes patients, vous verrez également la neige tomber !
    Mon dernier mail souhaitait de dépasser la barre des 15 000 visiteurs et des 100 signatures de la pétition ... et c'est à moitié fait ! En effet, le compteur indique bien environ 15 500 visiteurs mais seules 94 signatures pour "Maigret" en DVD.
    Alors, vous me direz : quelle défaite ! Eh bien pas du tout ! La nouvelle vient de tomber : les DVD vont bientôt être commercialisés ! Je n'ai pas encore répercuté l'information sur le site et vous en êtes les premiers informés. J'essaie d'obtenir le maximum de renseignements sur cette édition mais il semble que, comme le reste, tout soit classé "secret-défense" alors ... "wait and see".
    Pour ce qui est des épisodes à venir, il semblerait que "Maigret et M. Lundi" et "Maigret et l'ombre chinoise" tiennent la côte. Quant à "Maigret en meublé", je n'ai pas d'info.
    Des rediffusions sont prévues toute la semaine prochaine à 13h50 sur France 2.
    Je vous souhaite de passer de bonnes fêtes de fin d'année,
    Bonjour one and all,
    It's just one year ago to the day that the site as you know it was born. And as for me, I'm starting to go out a little, after days of confinement! :-) For the occasion I've added a little image to the welcome page, and for the holidays, some snowmen and Christmas trees. And if you're patient, you'll also see some snow falling!
    In my last mail I was hoping to pass the 15,000-visitor mark before the end of the year, and to reach 100 signatures on the petition... and I've just about done it! In fact there have been almost 15,500 visitors... but only 94 signatures for "Maigret" in DVD.
    So, you'll say, "Too bad, you didn't make it!" But no, not at all! The news has just come out– the DVDS are going to be marketed soon! I haven't released this information on the site yet, so you're the first to know. I'm trying to get more information on this, but it seems that, like everything else, it's all marked "top secret" so... wait and see.
    As for which episodes are coming up, it seems like it will be "Maigret and Mr. Monday" and "Maigret Mystified". I don't have any information about "Maigret takes a room" yet.
    Rebroadcasts are scheduled all next week at 1:50 pm on Channel 2.
    Wishing you all happy year-end celebrations,

    [translation]

    Cordialement,
    Jacques-Yves Depoix
    Bruno Cremer est Maigret

    Maigret and Latin America?
    12/26/03 –

    I'm fond of Maigret novels. I just love them. I think he's one of the most superb policemen in modern literature. My question is whether there is any reference in the Maigret literature about Latin America.
    Ricardo A. Pulgar
    Santiago, Chile

    Yes, there are dozens of references to Latin America in the Maigrets, but none of them seem very significant. This list should give you a good idea...
    ST

    Simenon, Maigret, and pipe smoking?
    12/28/03 –
    G'Day,
    Thank you for posting my inquiry regarding the Georges Simenon medal and thanks also for the explanation you have given for its existence. I wonder how such an uncommon item came to be floating around Oz, unloved and unwanted.
    I was originally drawn to Maigret, and Simenon, by my interest in the gentle art of Pipesmoking, and after seeing your positive response to Ricardo A. Pulgar's enquiry regarding references to Latin America in Maigret Literature (above) I would like to pose this question :

    Do you know of any references, or quotes, on the actual practice of smoking the pipe, in the Maigret novels, or comments made by Georges Simenon himself on the subject? I believe he had hundreds of pipes and was reputed to lock himself away with a pound of tobacco when writing a Maigret book.
    I only ask the question because there is in existence a list of pipe-related quotes made by that other detective, Sherlock Holmes, and I would be surprised if Georges Simenon did not cause Maigret to make even more comments to express his love of "The Pipe".
    Best wishes for the New Year,
    Bob Kerr

    Speaking of Maigret... references in literature
    12/29/03 –
    Jérôme Devémy started this thread in November, 2000, and a friend of mine who knew of my Maigret interest just pointed out a new one to me:

    "He took his two courses, a bottle of wine, and some bread to the table, turned on the television, and sat down to dinner. He loved to eat alone, relishing every bite in silence. ... It occurred to him that in matters of taste he was closer to Maigret than to Pepe Carvalho, the protagonist of Montalbán's novels, who stuffed himself with dishes that would have set a shark's belly on fire."
    Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Mantalbano mystery, "The Terra-cotta Dog" (2002)
    (p.42, Penguin edition)
    This brings the total to only eight, but there are certainly many more. Here are the ones we have so far:

    Truman Capote's "Breakfast at Tiffany's"
    Jim Lerher's "A Bus of My Own"
    James Melville's "The Wages of Zen"
    Graham Greene's "The Comedians"
    Charles Exbrayat's "Tout le monde l'aimait"
    Nicholas Freeling's "Tsing Boum" (and another van der Valk mystery)
    one of Reginald Hill's "Dalziel and Pascoe" books
    Andrea Camilleri's "The Terra-cotta Dog"

    Since it took me a while to locate these in the archives, from now on I'll group them together, with a link on the Reference page (renamed from "Statistics" for 2004). Have you any to contribute?

    ST

    Missing Rupert Davies episode?
    12/30/03 –
    I have been searching Maigret sites and find in every case an omission... my all time favourite episode of the Rupert Davies Series (or any other for that matter)! I have entries in my 1962 Diary recording when I watched each episode (and sometimes with the title and sometimes with the cast). The weeks before "my episode" match with site listings but the one for December 10 1962 is stated as "The Amateurs" (No 38). My Diary says the following .. .. .. "The Trap" (based on "Maigret tend un piege") with Sonia Dresdel, Aubrey Woods and Jacqueline Hill...December 10 1962. I would dearly love to see it again. I found the Michael Gambon version of this story acceptable but much inferior and the Jean Gabin film atmospheric but not a patch on the later Rupert Davies version. I would love to hear from anyone with a record like mine...proving that I did not dream up this wonderful adaptation!

    David Wilkins

    Well, I have found some supporting evidence. There is a very abbreviated listing for a Rupert Davies version of "Maigret tend un piège" at Les Romans de Maigret, only shown as "BBC in the 60s" but including the notation: adapt.: Margot Bennett, avec : Rupert Davies (Maigret), Sonie Dresdel (Mme Moncin). The listing of Davies episodes in Génération Series doesn't actually exclude it, since it shows the date of "The Amateurs" as Dec. 17, not Dec 10 as I found it. And they don't list any Davies version of "Maigret tend un piège". Curiously, it's also one of a handful of titles not made by Jean Richard, (nor Bruno Cervi) suggesting that there may have been some licensing issue involved. But the evidence of your diary entry is very convincing...
    ST

    New Years Greetings from Brazil
    12/31/03 –
    Je suis un étudiant de français, je suis brésilen et je viens de lire le livre "Maigret tend un piège" de Georges Simenon, et j'ai vu votre site dans le livre, c'est porquoi je vous écris maintenant pour vous souhaiter UNE BONNE ANNÉE et que l'année de 2004 soit une année de grandes réalisations pour vous.
    À tout à l'heure,
    I am a Brazilian studying French, and I've just read Georges Simenon's "Maigret tend un piège". I saw your site in the book, and that's why I'm writing you now, to wish you a Happy New Year, and that the year 2004 will be a very productive one for you.
    Regards,
    Risôldo Polar

    L'Œil de Simenon exhibition at Jeu du Paume
    12/31/03 – L'Œil de Simenon exhibition began on Tuesday, 23 December and continues until Sunday, 22 February. Except for Mondays and holidays, from 12:00 to 19:00, from 12:00 to 21:30 on Tuesdays and 10:00 to 19:00 on weekends. At the Galeries Nationales du Jeu du Paume, 1. Place de la Concorde, inside the Tuileries, Paris 8. Métro: Concorde. InfoTel.: 01 47 03 12 50.
    Does anyone have any information on the content of the exhibition?

    Roddy

    Patricia Roc, Man on the Eiffel Tower actress, dies at 88
    12/31/03 –

    British cinema actress Patricia Roc, who played the role of Helen Kirby in the Charles Laughton Maigret, The Man on the Eiffel Tower, filmed in Paris in 1949, died yesterday (December 30) at the age of 88 in Locarno, Switzerland.
    Roddy

To current Forum

Forum Archives: 1997-98   1999   2000   2001   2002   2003   2004  
2005   2006   2007   2008   2009   2010   2011   2012   2013   2014  
film and tv '97-'01   Index '97 - '04  


Home  Bibliography  Reference  Forum  Plots  Texts  Simenon  Gallery  Shopping  Film  Links