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Speaking of Maigret...|
6/13/17 Here's one for the "Speaking of Maigret" page...
"We could go back to Vientian, tell everyone Inspector Maigret and his faithful lieutenant have solved yet another dastardly crime, and know deep down that we haven't..."
from: Disco for the Departed (2011) by Colin Cotterill (Dr. Siri Paiborn Mystery) p. 202 - Soho Press
Thanks for your great site,
Penguin Maigret - The Flemish House|
The Flemish House is a novel about borders. A key passage early in the book interrogates the notion of such boundaries, but also declares them “unmistakable” in their force:
But how exactly could you tell that you were at the border? Was it the transition to Belgian-style houses with their ugly brown brickwork, their freestone doorsteps and their windows decorated with copper pots?
The most obvious border here is political – the line between France and Belgium. The Flemish house itself lies midway between the outskirts of the village of Givet and a border checkpoint and thereby marks a zone of transition, a place no longer France but not quite Belgium. Simenon was well-qualified to write about such liminal matters, of course. Given his Belgian background, his status as the quintessential chronicler of 20th-century French life is an interesting paradox, but hardly an unprecedented one in a society that also adopted Van Gogh and Chopin.
Stranded in that cartographic no-man’s land, the Peeters family also suffers from a pronounced cultural isolation. The grumblings of the French are mostly petty – “They don’t think the same way as we do,” “They consider themselves a cut above,” and so on – but at times escalate into something more sinister. These insinuations and whisperings are oddly reminiscent of the anti-Semitic rhetoric of the early Thirties – a discourse with which Simenon would have been quite familiar, even if he did not mean to evoke it.
Anna Peeters has recruited Maigret because her brother is under suspicion for the disappearance and possible murder of a French girl from Givet. She sees Maigret as a neutral party, one whose position as an outsider she can exploit to form a kind of coalition against the locals. Yet Maigret himself has little interest in the case, and only the incompetence of local officials leads him to continue investigating. About the Peeterses he feels the same subdued horror he always feels at the grubby lives of the bourgeoisie – the ugliness of their homes, the muted respectability of their manners, the petty meanness of their ethics.
So why does he stay?...
Maigret in Chinese|
梅格雷Thanks to DONG, Linlu of the Department of Foreign Literature, Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, in Beijing, for supplying us with a dozen more Chinese language Maigret titles! You can view them here...
La femme rousse|
5/21/17 I wonder if you can help... I have seen some Simenon bibliographies which list , as a Maigret novel, a 1933 publication entitled La Rousse/The Redhead. However I have been unable to find further details and am wondering whether this text exists or not. Any ideas would be most welcome.
This is La femme rousse , one of the "proto-Maigrets" or "precursors of Maigret", written under the pseudonym Georges Sim. You can read about it here in Murielle's Maigret-of-the-Month - Oct. 24, 2012.
Real turning globe|
5/14/17 The globe at bottom of this Forum is fun. We happen to have the same globe in real life. Do not let the palm confuse you about its location - it is in West Vancouver, Canada just few steps from the ocean. The massive stone globe is floating on water coming under pressure from below, and can be easily rotated - with one finger - in any direction.
The Police Stations of Maigret's Paris|
In the Paris of Simenon's novels, along with the streets, there are institutions, offices and buildings... and the novelist has made a conscious selection among these places, to construct his own vision of the capital, favoring certain neighborhoods. This is particularly true in the Maigrets. We've already discussed the streets, as well as the cafes and similar places.
Today we'll examine a locale which is inevitably part of Maigret's world, the neighborhood police station. We know that even if only rarely, Maigret sometimes needs the assistance of inspectors and Chief Inspectors of a district station, and he visits or telephones for information.
Among the numerous stations in the arrondissements and those in the districts, Simenon has made his choices, and has only mentioned, or sometimes described, a few of them, those, of course, that Maigret encounters in the course of his investigations. With the assistance of Michel Lemoine's irreplaceable Paris chez Simenon, we'll consider some of these, referring to it for most of the details.
Police stations are mentioned in 29 novels and two short stories. These mentions can be anecdotal, as when the novelist simply writes, for example, that Maigret received a call from some district station or another, without providing more details on it location. Sometimes the location of a station (Simenon doesn't seem to make any distinction between a commissariat and a poste de police, the former being the more administratively important of the two designations) is specified by the name of its street. And in some cases, he presents a brief description of the premises. Michel Lemoine reports that sometimes Simenon's locations are somewhat fanciful, a product of "novelistic license"...
In two novels we find stations which are not properly within the confines of Parisian districts... Charenton in L'écluse no 1 (where Maigret has a conversation with Gassin), and Neuilly in Maigret et la Grande Perche (where Maigret has Guillaume Serre interrogated by the local commissioner). As for the others, we find, unsurprisingly, that the stations most frequently encountered in the saga are those of the IXe and XVIIIe arrondissements -- on the one hand because they're in investigations which take place around Montmartre, one of the areas most frequented by Maigret in the course of his work, and on the other, because they're within the province of Inspector Lognon, who is often encountered in these locations...
three Maigret short stories|
5/13/17 I will keep this brief, but first thank you very much for the website and information about the Maigret stories and other information.
Very best regards,
They're all at "The Other Maigrets", about the Maigrets unavailable in English translations:
re: Maigret DVDs with French subtitles?|
5/04/17 Just a note for Cathy that DVDs purchased in Europe will not play directly on American players. You will need an unlocked or zone-free player, which could be a problem. A much more practical way is to play the DVD on your computer and use your TV as a second monitor. A bit confusing but easy to figure out if you have the user manuals for the TV and computer. That is what I did. Enjoy watching Maigret.
Maigret DVDs with French subtitles?|
5/03/17 I love Simenon, I'm trying to learn French via Maigret and I was really hoping it was possible to find French Maigret movies/TV series with FRENCH subtitles, so I can read in French what (the hell) they are saying in French. My French is still really bad. I have yet to find any and just thought it was worth a shot trying here. Whereas English films often have English subtitles to facilitate watching by Deaf people, I suspect that the French haven't caught on to that idea.
Easter weekend: Place des Vosges|
re: Maigret in Korean|
매그레Thanks to Jérôme and Murielle for coming up with the title list of the Korean Maigrets... or at least the projected titles for the 75 novels, since it appears only the first 19 were actually published. You can view the list of 75 on the Maigret in Korean page, and all 19 Korean covers at the bottom of this page at Murielle's site.
Maigret in Korean|
4/8/17 Inspired by Matthew's submission of the Welsh translation of On ne tue pas les pauvres types, I surfed the web and located a page offering a number of Korean Maigret editions (Open Books 2011). (I'm hoping one of our Korean-speaking visitors can send me an email with the titles in Korean characters and romanizations... and perhaps a link to other titles?)
Maigret in Welsh|
4/7/17 Here's some more detailed information of the Welsh translation of ‘On ne tue pas les pauvres types’ (3/24/2017):
It's in a volume of a selection of short stories translated into Welsh from French, German, Italian, Irish and Breton, Storïau Tramor II [Overseas Stories II], edited by Bobi Jones, publishers Gwasg Gomer (Llandysul, 1975). The volume finishes with 'Does neb yn lladd trueiniaid' [On ne tue pas les pauvres types] translated by Robat Glyn Powell pp. 127-158.
They were a series of translations of short stories into Welsh – nine volumes – I think they all had a similar envelope & stamp theme – so it makes quite a nice set, if rather a dull cover for an individual volume.
The twenty years of the Forum!|
In January, 2016, Steve began the year by recalling that his site was celebrating its twentieth year of existence. A longevity exceptional enough for celebration... And especially since today, April 7, 2017, we can celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the first message posted on the forum of this site!
A forum that, in addition to the numerous other sections created by Steve, has become, over the years, the meeting place for all Maigret enthusiasts, for the exchange of their information and knowledge of the world of the Chief Inspector. And all the more when Steve came up with the idea of proposing a monthly series on the novels featuring our favorite hero, Maigret of the Month, which became a salient feature of the site.
What an evolution from the first messages on the forum to what we find today! From the earliest questions, almost timid, from neophytes at the beginning, to the informative and scholarly messages of today's contributors!
Steve's first message, April 7, 1997, asked about the original title of the novel translated as Maigret on Home Ground. We'd bet that rereading such a quesion today would bring a smile to the face of our webmaster, who since then has developed an expert knowledge of the world of Maigret, and who, in the course of these twenty years, has made of his site the Maigret reference of the net...
The first years of the forum saw questions of all kinds piling in, but also the flowing of answers, thanks to the sharing of knowledge among enthusiasts and "specialists"... A small collection can give us an idea of the range covered by the forum: Place des Vosges, Louis Thouret's 'yellow' shoes in Maigret et l'homme du banc, the location of the Brasserie Dauphine, Maigret in audio, Inspector Lognon, the mysterious blue bottle in Maigret chez le coroner, the Polish gang, platform buses, Mme Maigret, Maigret in comics, Maigret on television, Maigret during the war, Maigret's Citroëns, Boulevard Richard-Lenoir, fingerprints... to cite but a few of the subjects covered, among the great crowd of topics!
Steve undertook compiling an index of forum subjects, for the years up to 2004. The list is impressive... And perhaps we can wish, on the occasion of these twenty years of the forum, that Steve will one day have the time and energy to update this index and to include all the new themes which have appeared since then... for there have been, since 2005... To give you an overview: references to Maigret in literary works, Liberty Bar in the theater, Rue Tholozé, Maigret and food, Dick Bruna, translation of the novels into English, the "semi-Maigret", which Maigret novel to read first, 36 Quai des Orfèvres, Maigret in Delfzijl, Concarneau, new books on Simenon, various expos... etc., etc.!
So, once again, a big thank-you to Steve for having maintained, and for continuing to maintain this site and forum into the future, representing a huge amount of energy and work... And perhaps to thank him, I could have you reread the pastiche I wrote on the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the forum: Maigret and the April Visitor.
A great thank-you to you, Steve, for your wonderful site!
Maigret Forum - 20 years!|
4/3/17 I just saw that the first message published on the forum was 20 years ago on April 7th 1997:
I want to congratulate you for starting the forum, and maintaining it all those years. It brought to all of us so much information and news on Simenon and Maigret. I have read and re-read some of the Maigret books many times thanks to articles or questions in the forum, reading them with a new curiosity.
I want to thanks all the contributors of the forum who provided us with interesting news and facts about Maigret making this site so lively.
Maigret panel - Rowan Atkinson - John Simenon|
3/30/17 Rowan Atkinson ‘just couldn’t say no’ to stepping into the gumshoes of Michael Gambon, Richard Harris and Rupert Davies to reinvent the French detective for a new generation...
At the BFI Southbank, London, Apr 7, 2017 - 6:00 pm, in NFT1
re: Le Café de la Paix in La Rochelle|
3/26/17 Regarding Vladimir's question about the food at the Café de la Paix, they do serve all kinds of meals: croque-messieurs, omelettes, etc... and coffee, drinks... I had lunch there and it was ok.
Maigret yn y Gymraeg / en gallois|
3/24/17 I’ve found a translation into Welsh of ‘On ne tue pas les pauvres types’ in a collection of stories – I don’t know if that counts as a long short story or a short novel - would you like the details?
Thanks for your website: brilliant, and especially useful now that Penguin are publishing new translations of Simenon’s work under new titles – your bibliography is invaluable in trying try to work out what I’ve already got in the old green Penguins!
Thanks, Matthew! "On ne tue pas les pauvres types" is generally regarded as a short story (see: How Many Maigrets for the relative lengths. And yes, please send us the details!
3/22/17 I have enjoyed your site for years. I still believes it's the best there is.
I have been a huge fan of Simenon, all of his books, for a long time, and I think I have read all of them that were translated to English. I only wish there were more to be translated.
Do you happen to know if the book by Denyse Simenon is available anywhere in English?
Thank you, and continued best wishes,
Thanks, Bill! I don't know of any translation... Anyone else?
re: Le Café de la Paix in La Rochelle|
3/18/17 Nice, such inviting pictures! Very typical of old good Europe. I'm curious... do they serve only coffee and desserts in places like that?
Le Café de la Paix in La Rochelle|
3/12/17 I spent a few days on Île de Ré and in La Rochelle last week, and I visited the Café de la Paix in La Rochelle.
When Simenon lived in Marsilly and Nieul sur Mer in the late '30s, he often went to the Café de la Paix. The story goes that there's still an iron hoop where he used to tether his horse.
Many of his books like Le testament Donadieu, Le Voyageur de la Toussaint, Les fantômes du chapelier and L'évadé have elements from La Rochelle.
Penguin Maigret - The Saint-Fiacre Affair|
The Saint-Fiacre Affair (1932) is one of the best early Maigrets. As Proust had shown a few years earlier, memory – even feigned memory, even memory that belongs to someone else – gives a depth and intensity to a narrative that mere invention can seldom match. Although barely 50,000 words, The Saint-Fiacre Affair somehow manages to suggest Proust’s seven-volume magnum opus, if only in the way that eddies of lost time keep pulling the protagonist beneath the surface of the story.
Inspector Maigret has returned to Saint-Fiacre, the village of his childhood, where his father worked as the estate manager of the chateau. This position – intermediary between the working people and the gentry – helps to explain a puzzling aspect of Maigret’s personality. Even as he recoils from the bourgeoisie and identifies with the common man, he nonetheless retains a surprising fondness for a certain kind of aristocracy – the kind grounded in behavior, rather than in rank. (Think of his admiration for Sir Walter in The Carter of La Providence.) The relevant aristocrat here is the Countess of Saint-Fiacre, “a young woman who had personified . . . femininity, grace, [and] nobility” for the young Maigret. After an anonymous letter prophesies her death “during first mass on All Souls’ Day,” Maigret is shaken enough to investigate.
Throughout the novel, the past seeps in unpredictably, uncontrollably, often stopping Maigret in his tracks. Waking on a November morning with “frozen fingertips.” The “smell of candles and incense” in church. The curtains in the confessionals, the communion wafers. An oak table with carved lions. His father’s “little office, near the stables.” The “linen maids” and “day labourers” waiting to get paid. The guests at the chateau during hunting season . . .
Yet The Saint-Fiacre Affair is hardly an exercise in nostalgia. Surrounded by the past, Maigret “ache[s], both emotionally and physically.” If the chateau had once “represented everything inaccessible in the world,” it is now all too accessible, with the crass doctor smoking in the Countess’s bedroom and assorted nobodies tramping through the hallways. At the village cemetery, even Maigret’s father’s gravestone is “blackened.” Maigret seems most disturbed by the revelations about the Countess’s descent into libertinism: “And there she was, a batty old lady who kept gigolos!” Is it because she played a formative role in the creation of his own erotic imagination?
Uncharacteristically for Simenon, there is a happy ending to this tale of crime and cowardice. It comes about through the moral resurrection of Maurice Saint-Fiacre, heir to the estate. A scene around a dinner table is one of the more spectacularly tense in Simenon’s oeuvre, and the behavior of the Count leaves even Maigret impressed:
Maigret felt he was in the presence of an irresistible force. Some individuals, at a given point in their lives, experience a moment of plenitude, a moment in which they are somehow elevated above the rest of humanity, and themselves . . . Maurice de Saint-Fiacre was master of the situation, and he was up to the task.
The end of the novel is peaceful and serene. Early in the book, Maigret had questioned and befriended an altar boy whose humble background and sneaky desires reminded him of his youthful self. At the conclusion, he shares a secret smile with Saint-Fiacre – a fellow aristocrat of the spirit, and one who seems to have restored his faith in the superiority of the chateau.
Simenon, Georges. The Saint-Fiacre Affair. trans. Shaun Whiteside. London: Penguin, 2014.
Death of Dick Bruna|
2/18/17 Dick Bruna, Dutch artist and children's author, who designed numerous covers for the Dutch editions of Maigret and other Simenon novels, has died at 89.
re: Maigret in the 13th arrondissement?|
Simenon, Maigret, and the 13th arrondissement
Maigret in the 13th arrondissement?|
2/17/17 I follow your site and appreciate all the details about Maigret. Is there Maigret or other Simenon novel that takes mainly or has some portions of the 13th arrondissement in Paris?
Maybe featuring or mentioning Buttes aux Cailles, Hopital Pitie Salpertriere, Blvd Arago, or the Gobelins?
Maigret in Polish|
2/17/17 I haven't reported for long time about progress in publishing the complete Maigrets in Polish. Here's what the past 2 years produced:
all the best from Toruń
Maigret of the Month - 2012
Maigret of the Month - 2011
Maigret of the Month - 2010
Maigret of the Month - 2009
Maigret of the Month - 2008
Maigret of the Month - 2007
Maigret of the Month - 2006
Maigret of the Month - 2005
Maigret of the Month - 2004
Search all the Maigret pages at this site