Happy New Year!
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.)
Maigret's Boyhood Friend
Madame Maigret's Four Sisters
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..."
New to Maigret
"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)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?
An excerpt from Kurosawa's Something like an Autobiography:
Four Sisters and Three Nephews
BBC Shop - Maigret: A Man's Head
re: Kurosawa's 'Stray Dogs'
Simenon by Simenon
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.
The worst Maigrets?
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?
Maigret in German / German Simenon Society
"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."
Not "the worst Maigrets"
The Blue Room
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
"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'."
New French Maigret Site
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.
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!
New Maigret Website by Guido de Croock!
Guido de Croock
The Man on the Eiffel Tower
Richard Thomas...and see John H. Dirckx's comments on this title: [12/3/02]
Maigret's Fourth apartment in Paris
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?
Chapter 6...The chapter ends with this...
Taxi?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,Oh, does anyone know Simenon's addresses in Paris besides 21, Place des Vosges?
The Boulevard Richard-Lenoir Address
Another Maigret Reference by Nicolas Freeling
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!
Maigret on TV5
More about TV5
Saturday 8 February 21:30 - 23:00 GMT - Maigret
Sunday 9 February 21:20 - 23:00 GMT - Picpus
Monday 10 February 21:20 - 23:05 GMT - Le voyageur de la Toussaint
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.
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.
Interesting Simenon messages from fr.rec.arts.polar
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (E.Borgers)Here is another one, with a link to a French literary newspaper with an article on Simenon.
From: email@example.com (Catherine Le Cam-Verdier)
Simenon in Concarneau
Simenon on TV5 / wanted notices
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.
TV5 is showing the Bruno Cremers and some of the films
New York City, NY
Maigret's pipe-smoking habits
Maigret et le clochard
A correction for Chez les Flamands
Simenon Expo in Liege
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.
"Maigret et le clochard" question
Maigret - TV5
Welcome Back! / Maigret's tobacco
Aylesbury - UK
Just a little longer...
Maigret et le clochard
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"?
Maigret in Paris
Maigret in Paris
Guido de Croock
Maigret in Paris
Maigret audio books
Sous peine de mort
Simenon in Paris Match - 1955
In six reels of radio confessions
Simenon and alcohol
"For many years roughly from 1935 to 1949 writing and drinking were inseparable for Simenon..."
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.
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.
Simenon in Ciné-Revue - 1957
May 24, 1957, p 33
Simenon's Monsieur Hire
4/21/03 A link to an article about an English-language remake of Simenon's novel, Monsieur Hire.
Harcourt Releases Maigret Titles
4/21/03 I thought you might be interested in the following announcement recently made here at Harcourt:
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
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 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 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.
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.
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.
Releasing in November 2003
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 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 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.
Simenon in Good Housekeeping - 1954
April, 1954, p. 28
By Stephen White
In 30-odd years he's written 300-odd novels. Not a bad score.
Simenon Commemorative Coin
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.)
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.
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.
Simenon in Paris Match - 1952
Paris Match (N° 165)
May 10-17, 1952, p 36-37
On a Liège street corner,
(from Lakeville, CT) in Chapter 12 of his "The Man Who Wasn't Maigret".
Excerpts are here.
4/27/03 Does anyone have any information/value on a mini-statue of Maigret, about 10 inches high, brass or bronze?
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
[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...
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?
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.And a link to the whole interview at Carousel - The Guide to Children's Books.
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...
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.
Simenon in La Pléiade: the revenge of the novelist
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 »
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
La Neige était sale
Les Mémoires de Maigret
La Mort de Belle
Maigret et l'homme du banc
Maigret et les braves gens
Les Anneaux de Bicêtre
Le Petit Saint
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).
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.
Le Livre de Poche
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
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.
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.
Simenon in GEO - 1984
GEO (N° 69)
November 1984, pp 48-64
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.
Simenon on Maigret and Guillaume in Confessions - 1937
Confessions (2nd Year N° 10)
Georges Simenon decides:
On the retirement
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 Maigret's Footsteps
5/19/03 Yes, "adding to it regularly"! - Updated - Part II
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!
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.
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:
The Yellow Dog
The Bar on the Seine
My Friend Maigret
A Man's Head
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...)
as % of total
|Ceux du Grand Café||9,732||2,174||22.34|
|L'improbable Monsieur Owen||9,799||2,296||23.43|
|Menaces de mort||9,464||2,366||25.00|
|Death Threats (English)||9,852||2,104||21.36|
|La Maison de l'inquiétude||30,838||4,681||15.18|
|Maigret's Memoirs (English)||35,529||4,842||13.60|
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:
as % of total
|First Men (Howard Fast)||11,186||2,126||19.01|
|The Martian Shop (Howard Fast)||8,496||2,147||25.27|
|Science fiction et préhistoire (François Bordes)||6,199||1,911||30.83|
|L'affaire Ewanchuk... (Gilles Renaud)||3,347||1,162||34.72|
|Au coin d'une rue de Liège... (Philippe de Baleine)||1,849||872||47.16|
|On a Liège street corner... (Philippe de Baleine)||1,907||836||43.84|
Another of the notorious Simenon myths he "complains" about in "When I was old" may be rearing its head.
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?
Simenon (at 73) in Paris Match - 1976
Paris Match (N° 1440)
December 31, 1976, p 54-56
An exclusive interview
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
Paris Match (N° 445)
October 19, 1957. p 98-109
by Guillaume Hanoteauphotos: Pierre Vals
|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.
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.
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
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)...
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.
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?
A New Maigret Pastiche
Maigret in Antwerpby
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.
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?'
'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:
Terror of Terre Haute
"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."
"...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?"
Pictures of Paris
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.
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
And suddenly, standing up with such an abrupt movement that the sergeant jumped,
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.
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.
Simenon sale totals 282,425 euros at Sotheby's in Paris
|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.
|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.
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?
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...]
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.
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.)
Simenon (at 64) in Lui 1967
Lui (N° 42)
June 1967. p 7-34
Tête-à-Tête with SimenonA rambling conversation
with the father of Maigret
interview : Jacques Lanzmann
Maigret's Journeys in France
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.
Book on Paris places of Maigret's cases
|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?
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...
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.
Simenon: The Unknown Man
There's a new article in the "Guardian" books area on Simenon by Peter Lennon - "The Unknown Man".
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):
N° 1511, pp 15-17
Tuesday, July 23, 1963
Maigret Sees Red
a film by Gilles Grangier
told in pictures by Gilles Durieux
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.
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.
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...
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.
Full Crime Scene 2003 press release is here
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!
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?
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.
Maigret in Greek
|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.
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.
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.
Maigret in Chinese
|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].)
7/16/03 Bon jour. Could anyone tell me the name of the photographer of the photo on the cover of Carly's book?
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.)
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...?
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?"At the very beginning of Maigret Hesitates [Maigret hésite], M receives an anonymous letter, which includes:
"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..."
'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]
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
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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
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...
Simenon son in Chorion Poirot push
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.
Maigret et l'homme du banc
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:|
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.
The mystery of the 13 Maigrets
or: What happened to Rupert Davies?
|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?
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.
|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.
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
L'Homme qui regardait passer les trains
| 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.
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!
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!)
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!
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?
Another "pipe gun" caricature of Simenon
Identify this Simenon?
8/13/03 I've just discovered your Simenon Site, and will begin to visit it often.
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....
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.
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.
L'Auberge aux Noyés - The Inn of the Drowned
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
A Walking Tour of Simenon's LiegeJoe Richards' April visit to Liege, illustrated by 30 photos.
Joe's tour of Liege
8/22/03 Thanks, Joe. Great pictures, good background.
A Walking Tour of Simenon's Liège
8/24/03 Just a few points related to Joe Richards' pictorial account of this tour.
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.
|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.
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.
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....
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."...
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..."...
Otto Braun, born at Bremen, a former banker from Stuttgart, pronounced Jewish type....
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....
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....
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]
Maigret in Magazine Littéraire - 1975
December, 1975 N° 107
The key to the heart
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.
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!
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.
From the Archives:
Maigret and the Vanished 52 Rupert Davies BBC Episodes
Wellington, New Zealand
Correspondence with the BBC
TO BBC:All is not lost as there appears to be a Maigret afficianado at the BBC!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
|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.
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..."
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:
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:
Simenon, Maigret and Paris: Two Recent Books
Simenon, Maigret and Paris:
Two Recent Books
Joe Richards' photo tour of Maigret's Paris today
In Maigret's Footsteps in Montmartre
A Photo Tour of Maigret's Paris Today
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."
|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.
Maigret doesn't die in any of the stories. But his wife gets "top billing" in "Madame Maigret's Own Case"...
Simenon's visit to Paris, in Picture Post 1952
Simenon statue in Liège
Postcard of Simenon's statue in Liège...
"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,
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...
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.
France 2's Maigret series - thumbs down
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...
auteur du site : Le Commissaire Jules Maigret
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...
author of the site: Le Commissaire Jules Maigret
10/04/03 Your bibliography is very useful but where can I find a complete list (presumably in French) of all Simenon publications?
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).
no period after Mme
10/07/03 there is no period after Mme
10/07/03 gracias por tener algo de george simenon e buscado mucho sobre él y recien hoy lo encuentro muchas gracias
Scenes of Simenon's Liège
Commissioner Maigret Bookshop
Chapel of the Bavière Hospital
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.|
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?
|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,
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)
• ASIN : B00005JAW9
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.
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.
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?
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.
Simenon's Liège: more information
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 murs 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.
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.
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.
Simenon in Magazine Littéraire - 1975
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"?
More Maigret Music
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.
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.
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.
|GEORGES SIMENON. Entretien avec Bernard Pivot . 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 . DVD/Zone 2 - Format 16:9 compatible 4:3 - Color - PAL - Total length: 1:41, ill. cover, 135 x 185 mm. Special DVD, Gallimard.|
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.
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
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 ?
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 ...
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?
L'originale de Simenon
Simenon (at 57) in Paris Match - 1960
Paris Match (N° 594)
August 27, 1960, p 52-55
Millions flow from his pen
Reporter: Michel Clerc
This is the article Simenon mentions at the beginning of "When I was Old":
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:
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.
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...
Site Maigret : évolutions (4)
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!
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.
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.
|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.
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!
Missing Maigret actors?
Was Henri Norbert a television Maigret?
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.
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).
Was Kees Bruce a television Maigret?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
Two Simenon articles for the Reviews page
|I am an avid Simenon fan and have been a regular visitor to your superb page since 2000. My first
contribution here two articles:
Simenon retires at 70 - in Paris Match 1973
Paris Match (N° 1241)
February 17, 1973, p 8-9
I'm 70. It's over.
The Simenon Centenary Exhibition in Liège
The Simenon Centenary
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.
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.
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.
|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.
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).
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,
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.
N° 216, pp 20-25
May 22, 1958
Maigret tend un piège
Maigret sets a trap
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...
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
Times Have Changed
Maigret Tend Un Piège
|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!
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
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.
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.
| 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!
Simenon's thoughts about TV - in Tele-magazine 1957
If I were 25, I'd be writing for television
Maigret and the Small Screen
|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:
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.
"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."
Maigret Sets a Trap
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.
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.
|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.
|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?
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.
Simenon on TV - in 1958 - in Télé magazine
Simenon guides TV
Maigret's Journeys in France
Simenon biographer dies
|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.
A Simenon postcard
|Vladimir Samoilov as|
|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
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?
On the retirement of Maigret
Simenon Unmasks Himself
On a Liège street corner...
Interesting People: Georges Simenon
For the Ballets of Paris...
An exclusive article by Georges Simenon
Simenon in Maigret's Trap
If I were 25 I'd be writing for television
Simenon guides TV
in the footsteps...
Maigret sets a trap
Simenon: Millions flow from his pen
Maigret Sees Red
Tête-à-Tête with Simenon
Simenon surrounded by his 13 Maigrets
Simenon: I'm 70. It's over. I'm killing Maigret
Maigret or: The key to the heart
Holding his characters at arm's length...
What I think about 'the Killer of the Oise'
Attacked by his wife thirteen years after...
The World of Georges Simenon
Simenon by Simenon
Simenon bronze medal
|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?
|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?
New Italian television Maigret coming in 2004
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].
Site Maigret : évolutions (5) (from the Bruno Cremer site)
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,
Maigret and Latin America?
|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
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...
Simenon, Maigret, and pipe smoking?
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".
Speaking of Maigret... references in literature
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."This brings the total to only eight, but there are certainly many more. Here are the ones we have so far:Andrea Camilleri's Inspector Mantalbano mystery, "The Terra-cotta Dog" (2002)
(p.42, Penguin edition)
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"
Missing Rupert Davies episode?
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!
New Years Greetings from Brazil
|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.
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?
Patricia Roc, Man on the Eiffel Tower actress, dies at 88
|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.|
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