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Le Soir Illustré
September 14, 1989
N° 2986, pp 4-20

All Simenon

Album of a prodigious life

Curious since childhood
Houses with a view
Is communication closer
Three brief encounters
Liège lived in Simenon
The Simenon atmosphere
Jean Richard will make his 92nd
I'm the last Parisian
The Legacy at Liège
The author of the naked man
His handwriting reveals
original French

The Legacy at Liège

In June 1976, Simenon decided to bequeath all his archives, all his personal library, to the University of Liège, or more precisely, to the Center of Simenon Studies, in the shelter of the thick walls of the château of Colonster, Sart-Tilman, under the attentive care of the curator, Christine Swings. He wished that this set of documents – that he had preserved very preciously in spite of his multiple moves – would be maintained in a single location, rather than divided.

What can you see at the Fonds Simenon in the château of Colonster, in Liège? First, all the novels which appeared in French in all the different successive editions. About two hundred different titles, written under the author's name. Next to the novels you can find some very interesting autobiographical works, like "Pedigree", an autobiographical novel with an obvious Liège basis. The Maigrets were always typed directly on the machine, the non-Maigrets written first by hand, then typed. We can discover extremely neat writing, with very little crossing out. And then, the famous yellow envelope on which Simenon wrote the names of his characters, the details of their identities, a certain number of elements that situate their home environment, their occupations, the places they lived.

"The Fonds," specifies the curator, "are intended, by priority, for students, but others are welcome, of course. Always by appointment and solely for reference." And photos?

"They range from Simenon's childhood until his home in Lausanne. We also have photos of his travels."

Most entertaining remain, perhaps, the translations of the novels.

"It's into German that Simenon was most translated..."

Jacqueline Remits

translation: Stephen Trussel
Honolulu - January 2006

Le Soir Illustré
September 14, 1989
N° 2986, pp 4-20

All Simenon

Album of a prodigious life

Curious since childhood
Houses with a view
Is communication closer
Three brief encounters
Liège lived in Simenon
The Simenon atmosphere
Jean Richard will make his 92nd
I'm the last Parisian
The Legacy at Liège
The author of the naked man
His handwriting reveals
original French


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