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Maigret Forum

Please feel free to participate in this Forum... Over fifteen years of earlier Forums can be read in the Archives, where you can find answers to many Maigret/Simenon questions. You can search the archives with the site search form at the top and bottom of this page.
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Maigret-of-the-Month lists

( Newest entries first )

re: Wartime Maigret...
12/10/14 – The archive has been really helpful and informed me a great deal. Obviously, as with David Drake's timeline, there will be some poetic licence, but I really would like to know what Simenon was thinking. It is too easy to use the timeless argument. He could have added to Maigret's allure, difficult I know, by adding some wartime heroics as would have befitted him. Instead, nothing happened. That just seems a shame and begs the question of his relationships with the occupiers...


re: Wartime Maigret...
12/08/14 – Checking the archives, I find that Peter Foord documented the WWII references in the Maigrets and other Simenon novels and stories in his (11/15/04) Forum article, Maigret and World War II. (And at the bottom of that article are links to earlier discussions on this topic...)


re: Wartime Maigret...
12/08/14 – While the timeline may be fuzzy and the details hazy in the Maigret series, I seem to recall elements that let us know the war goes or has gone on. Indeed, Bill Alder comments in his book, Maigret, Simenon and France: Social Dimensions of the Novels and Stories (2012), that "Maigret chez le ministre" [MIN] (1954) refers explicitly to the occupation and resistance and the postwar political climate, thereby suggesting a contemporary setting for the narrative.” Were I to reread his chapter 5, I’d expect to find war connections and influences discussed in some depth.

David Simmons

re: Wartime Maigret...
12/08/14 – I get Vladmir's point but why did Simenon decide this? There was no real need as his Maigret novels are timeless anyway. What was he trying to avoid? Even his roman durs skirt around the issue, why would he not come out and show a political side. Most of us would agree that Maigret would be a war hero if given the chance. Why wasn't he? Opinion on Simenon's war record is mixed, so did he feel uncomfortable making Maigret anti-Nazi?


re: Wartime Maigret...
12/06/14 – My comment to Jon's question is... as you probably will soon find out, Simenon was careful to avoid 'dating' his Maigrets .. you will find no actual people or events in there that tie the story to a specific time period ... anywhere from 20's to 80's. And this what makes Maigret books, as we say, 'timeless classics'.


Simenon Concert in Germany
12/06/14 – There will be a musical performance about Simenon at the Institut Francais in Köln, Germany, on Sunday, December 7 - More info here: Institut Français...


Wartime Maigret...
12/02/14 – I am writing an essay for a crime anthology. I decided to look at Maigret during the war and it is part fact part fiction. I am using his hard novels to look at how he might have behaved as a policeman in occupied Paris and at the Maigret novels to point the other way. Did Maigret reflect Simenon the hard novel writer or the detective writer? I have followed the thread about the war years, just wondered if anyone had anything new to offer.

Jon Wilkins

re: Maigret in a hospital?
12/03/14 – About Marilee's question on Maigret in a hospital and a sick girl... perhaps Les vacances de Maigret [VAC] - it's Madame Maigret who is hospitalized, and in the next room is Hélène Godreau, Dr. Bellamy's young sister-in-law...

Best regards

Maigret in a hospital?
12/02/14 – Hello. I am a Simenon admirer, too, and have found your wonderful website to be - well, it's a rabbit hole that I've happily fallen into many, many times. And I really appreciate the short story translations you did.

I have a Maigret question. Over the years, I've managed to collect virtually all the stories. Some of them are very old / falling apart, but I have them. I do not read French, unfortunately, so I'm stuck finding English translations.

Anyway - I came across a reference somewhere about a Maigret novel set in a hospital. The person who mentioned it said it was one of the best Maigrets. I wrote down the title, - and promptly lost it. I was wondering if you know it.

Basically - Maigret is in a hospital and there is a sick girl? I think that's it. If those few words bring a title to mind, please let me know. Thank you!

And thank you for the website, and taking the time to read this. Take care.

-Marilee Hanson

The only Maigret that comes to mind that's "set in a hospital" is Le fou de Bergerac, The Madman of Bergerac, and it's Maigret himself who's the patient...


Rupert Davies episodes?
11/26/14 – Firstly thank you for your excellent site. I've followed the Maigret section for many years.

Do you think there is any possibility of the Rupert Davies TV episodes becoming available?

Of course I've written to the BEEB, signed the petition and kept up a scan of the internet.

The Rupert Davies version was a particular favourite of mine, and I have fond memories of them from when I was young. I've only been able to find a couple of poor quality copies of episodes that are not really watchable.

Best wishes,
Mark Davis

re: Loustal
11/23/14 – This Loustal exhibit looks quite interesting. It is always interesting to see how others imagine Maigret and the environment he lived, worked in. Come to think of it, the Maigret novels I read come with no illustrations, maybe just one on the title page.


11/22/14 –


... dedicating my book...

...the finished product: Maigret going into a bar


re: re: The Sounds of Maigret...
11/17/14 – Thank you very much, David, for your compliments, which make me very happy. I'm delighted to share my passion for Maigret with all Maigretphiles, and, by my modest studies, to contribute to a better knowledge of Simenon's world.

As for the question about my search for citations, well, in fact, yes, each time I start a new study, I reread the whole Maigret corpus... But I have to say that, since the time I began to "frequent" Simenon, and above all, the Maigret corpus, I'm beginning to be familiar enough with it to have a pretty good idea of where I'm likely to find this or that quote in the text, so that I don't have to search so extensively...

Merci beaucoup David pour ces compliments, qui me font très plaisir. Je suis très contente de pouvoir partager ma passion de Maigret avec tous les maigretphiles, et, par mes modestes études, contribuer à mieux faire connaître le monde de Simenon.

Quant à sa question à propos de ma recherche des citations, eh bien, si, à chaque fois que je commence une nouvelle étude, je relis tout le corpus maigretien… Mais il faut dire que, depuis le temps que je « pratique » Simenon et surtout le corpus des Maigret, je commence à le connaître assez et à savoir à peu près où j’ai des chances de trouver telle ou telle citation dans le texte, ce qui fait que je n’ai pas besoin de le parcourir in extenso…

Best regards,

re: The Sounds of Maigret...
11/16/14 –Here we get to enjoy yet another remarkable piece by Murielle Wenger. Her knowledge is immense and her memory fantastic. What I’d loved to know is how she locates all those perfect quotations, for it’s hard to imagine thumbing through the 103 Maigret works. Thanks to her for doing the work for the rest of us and to you, too, Steve, for translating and putting these things under our noses.

David Simmons

The Sounds of Maigret...
11/15/14 –

The Sounds of Maigret

by Murielle Wenger

" get back into the atmosphere of the street, to hunt about in corners, to go into local bistros and listen to people..." (Maigret et l'inspecteur Malgracieux [mal])

original French

After the world of colors and that of odors, the time has come to study Maigret's relationship to sounds. While we recognize that he works primarily with his vision, and that he permeates himself with the atmosphere of odors, the world of sounds has its share of importance as well.

Sounds play a dual role in the text. On the one hand, they're used by the author to elaborate a setting, to show the subtleties. Particular sounds of the street, familiar echoes of home...

But Maigret also utilizes sounds as part of his detective work – it's often someone's tone of voice that reveals to him their state of mind, that refines his perception of their feelings. And it's also the sounds that may have been heard at the scene of a crime, by witnesses interviewed during the course of an investigation... the sound of a departing car, shots fired, a door opening or closing, a falling body, or the sound of footsteps... Sounds are also a sign, the acoustic symbol of an object, whose nature is thus clarified. And further, hearing is the sense Maigret uses to supplement the others when they can't be called on, as the sound of an object that must be guessed at because of the darkness of night, or something outside, heard through a window, or sounds heard from behind closed doors. Sounds are used by Maigret as tools in his understanding of the world around him, in search of truths which might otherwise elude him...

Let's enter into the world of Maigret's sounds, and try to find the ways his author uses to describe them, how he animates this world and makes it come alive.

1. An effective sound-track
2. Cries, tears, murmurs and laughter...
3. Footsteps
4. The mooing of cows and stamping of horses
5. The din of vehicles
6. The melody of the elements
7. All in music
8. The objects of everyday sound
9. Tobacco crackling, gun shots, and telephones ringing...
10. A policeman listening
11. The Chief Inspector's silences

  1. An effective sound-track

    When Maigret goes to a place, the visual scene set by the author is complemented auditorily. Simenon knows well how to bring a setting alive with an auditory description, often as clearly as by a visual one. And when we speak of the famous "Simenon atmosphere", no doubt we are not simply thinking of the scenery, but also adding a full symphony, a sort of "sound-track", something scenario writers attempting cinema or television adaptations must find very useful.

    Thus, at the time of the "first appearance" of Maigret at the beginning of the corpus (Pietr le Letton [LET]), when he goes to the Gare du Nord to await the arrival of Pietr, Simenon describes the station platforms in the storm, and then the arrival of the train... "The yellow speck of the train's headlamp appeared in the distance. Then came the usual hubbub, with porters shouting and passengers tramping and jostling their way towards the station exit."

    Here, a morning in Sancerre (Monsieur Gallet, décédé [GAL])... "In all the greenery outside the window there was a confused murmuring made up of birdsong, rustling leaves, the buzzing of flies and the distant clucking of chickens on the lane, all of it punctuated by the rhythmic blows of the hammer on the anvil in the forge."

    Here, in Le pendu de Saint-Pholien [PHO], a "morning concert of Liège": "For that morning the air was like a tonic that grew more bracing as the sun rose higher into the sky. A delightful cacophony reigned, of people shouting in a Walloon dialect, the shrill clanging of the red and yellow streetcars, and the splashing of the four jets in the monumental Perron Fountain doing its best to be heard over the hubbub of the surrounding Place du Marché." And, still in the same novel, the sound scene of a German brasserie, with "businessmen talking loudly over the tireless efforts of a Viennese orchestra and the clinking of beer mugs." And, in La tête d'un homme [TET], at the Coupole... "Four waiters were all shouting at once, accompanied by the clatter of plates and tinkling of glasses. Snatches of different languages broke in on all sides."

    In Le chien jaune [JAU], here is the soundscape of the evening after the attack on Mostaguen, while silence reigns in the hotel, and Maigret smokes placidly, watching Emma and Dr. Michoux... "The clock in the Old Town sounded the hours and the half-hours. On the pavement, the shuffling footsteps and talking died away. Then there was nothing but the monotonous moan of the wind and the sound of the rain beating on the windows."

    In La nuit du carrefour [NUI], early morning after an long interrogation at the PJ... "Footsteps sounded in the corridors. Telephones ringing. Voices calling. Doors banging. The charwomen's brooms."...

    complete text here

re: A Little Publishing Mystery...
10/25/14 – When I was a practising librarian, I recall two weekly/monthly/quarterly lists of new French books - I forget the names but one was put out by publishers and the other by the BNF.

Major public and university libraries will have these - unless they discarded the parts for the annual whole. In any case I think (but can't be sure) that the month of publication was included in the record.

The online BNF catalogue shows
Auteur(s) : Simenon, Georges (1903-1989)
Titre(s) : Maigret et son mort [Texte imprimé] / Georges Simenon
Publication : Paris : les Presses de la Cité, 1948
Impression : Impr. de G. Dumont
Description matérielle : 1 vol. (251 p.) ; 19 cm
Prix : 165 F
Notice n° : FRBNF32632418

Auteur(s) : Simenon, Georges (1903-1989)
Titre(s) : Georges Simenon. Les Vacances de Maigret [Texte imprimé]
Publication : Paris : Presses de la Cité, 1948
Impression : Bar-sur-Aube : impr. de Lebas
Description matérielle : 1 vol. (191 p.) ; 19 cm
Prix : 165 fr.
Notice n° : FRBNF32632541

The record numbers indicate that Maigret et son mort came before Les vacances de Maigret, but only if the numbers match the order of deposit.

In my own bibliographic adventures unrelated to Maigret I have found that publishers' announcements in books are not always a reliable guide to order of publication (and occasionally titles appear which were never published at all).

Ward Saylor

A Little Publishing Mystery...
10/25/14 –

Death before vacation?
or, The mystery of the first Presses de la Cité Maigrets...

Here's a little publishing mystery I submit to the wisdom of Simenophiles, Maigretphiles and other Simenologues ...

It is well known that among the first Maigret novels written by Simenon for Presses de la Cité after Maigret se fâche [FAC] and Maigret à New York [NEW], are, in the order of writing, Les Vacances de Maigret [VAC] and Maigret et son mort [MOR].

The novel Les vacances de Maigret was written from November 11-20, 1947, in Tucson, and Maigret et son mort from December 8-17 of the same year, in the same location. And we learn from the bibliographies that the first of these went to press on June 14, 1948, while the second was published in May of that year. Based on which I've assumed, until now, that Maigret et son mort appeared before Les vacances de Maigret.

Now I've discovered that on the bookjacket of the original edition of Les vacances de Maigret, there is an announcement for Maigret et son mort, "appearing soon", clearly as if it had not yet been published.


As I do not have at hand a copy of the original edition of Maigret et son mort, I can't determine whether it mentions the appearance – prior or forthcoming - of Les vacances de Maigret...

Furthermore, on both the cover of La première enquête de Maigret [PRE] and that of Mon ami Maigret [AMI], the next two novels to appear, the order in which the novels are mentioned suggest that Maigret et son mort appeared before Les vacances de Maigret...

I've tried to investigate further, and I've found that in the collection published at the end of the '60s, in which each volume is numbered, Maigret et son mort is number 12, while Les vacances de Maigret is number 13. This seems to confirm that Maigret et son mort was published before Les vacances de Maigret. But how to be sure? Is there a Simenologue with some document attesting to the facts, notwithstanding the cover notices appearing above?

Le mort avant les vacances ?
ou le mystère des premiers Maigret aux Presses de la Cité…

Voici une petite énigme éditoriale que je soumets à la sagacité des simenophiles, maigretphiles et autres simenologues…

Chacun sait que, parmi les premiers romans Maigret écrits par Simenon pour les Presses de la Cité, se trouvent, dans l'ordre de rédaction, après Maigret se fâche et Maigret à New York, Les vacances de Maigret et Maigret et son mort.

Le roman Les vacances de Maigret a été rédigé du 11 au 20 novembre 1947, à Tucson, et Maigret et son mort du 8 au 17 décembre de la même année, au même endroit. On apprend aussi par les bibliographies que le premier de ces deux romans a un achevé d'imprimer au 14 juin 1948, tandis que le second a un achevé d'imprimer de mai 1948. J'en avais donc déduit, jusqu'à présent, que Maigret et son mort avait paru avant Les vacances de Maigret.

Or, j'ai découvert que sur la jaquette de couverture de l'édition originale de Les vacances de Maigret, on trouve l'annonce de la sortie de Maigret et son mort, comme si celui-ci n'avait pas encore paru.

Comme je n'ai pas sous la main d'exemplaire de l'édition originale de Maigret et son mort, je n'ai pas pu contrôler si celui-ci mentionnait la parution – antérieure ou postérieure - de Les vacances de Maigret

Par contre, aussi bien sur la couverture de La première enquête de Maigret que sur celle de Mon ami Maigret, qui sont les deux romans parus ensuite, l'ordre où sont mentionnés les romans semble indiquer que Maigret et son mort ait paru avant Les vacances de Maigret

J'ai essayé de creuser le sujet, et j'ai découvert que dans la collection parue dès la fin des années '60, pour laquelle chaque volume porte un numéro, Maigret et son mort porte le numéro 12, tandis que Les vacances de Maigret porte le numéro 13. Il semble donc bien se confirmer que Maigret et son mort ait paru avant Les vacances de Maigret. Mais comment en être sûr ? Y aurait-il un féru simenologue qui posséderait un document attestant le fait, malgré l'annonce de la couverture mentionnée plus haut ?


re: Simenon / Loustal Exhibition in Paris
10/21/14 – Click on this video link:

to see many more works by Loustal.

(The "Play" arrow is on an image like thisone.)

David Simmons

Chronological Order Of Maigret Novels
10/19/14 – Thank you very much indeed for the list of Maigret novels in chronological order (as opposed to published order).

It’s a magnificent achievement, and something I have been searching for over a number of years: since in fact I bought 10 or 15 of the green and white Penguins for 2/6 and 3/6 in the early 60s!

I would however make one suggestion.

I have previously wandered around this aspect of your site a few times looking at various aspects of Simenon and Maigret but never finding this information: I only found it via a Google search. Apologies if I have missed the link within the site’s menus, but I humbly suggest a clearer link within the site may be required.

Once again though, thanks very much for doing all the work. I’m now off to look at the list more thoroughly.

Bruce Brenchley

The list Bruce is referring to is David Drake's "A Comparison of Simenon's and Drake's Chronologies of Maigret's Life", a chronological arrangement of 43 novels and stories based on calculations of Maigret's age in the texts.
I've added a link to this list among the Maigret checklists, accessible via the Bibliography page.


re: Simenon / Loustal Exhibition in Paris
10/19/14 – Thanks to Jérôme, we get to see some more great Loustals. I’ve always puzzled about why he portrays such a svelte Maigret.

David Simmons

re: Simenon / Loustal Exhibition in Paris
10/18/14 – Here are some photos from the Expo:


Simenon / Loustal Exhibition in Paris
10/7/14 – Oct. 15, 2014 - Feb. 28, 2015 - BILIPO, Paris 5e...

[more information]

When an artist meets a great writer...

Georges Simenon died twenty-five years ago, on Sept. 4, 1989. BILIPO takes this opportunity to honor the creator of Chief Inspector Maigret with a Loustal/Simenon Expo, concurrent with the release by Omnibus of six Maigrets illustrated by Loustal. The expo will present over 70 original works by Loustal, a great admirer of Simenon. A series of meetings will also be held to celebrate the memory of the world's most widely read French language author.

Loustal designed this recent French postage stamp (issued 9/13/2013) honoring Maigret's office at 36 Quai des Orfèvres.

More on Loustal here...


re: Why no more Maigrets?
10/6/14 – The situation Vladimir postulates [10/03/2014] has apparently happened: the website “Historical & Fictional Characters in Sherlockian Pastiches” lists 6 stories in which Maigret either appears or plays an important off-stage role. (

In another way of skinning the cat, Mio Marito Maigret by Barbara Notaro Dietrich, Madam Maigret describes life with her dead husband. (An effort to learn to read Italian is progressing slowly.)

And in yet another twist, Maurizio Testa’s Maigret e il caso Simenon narrates how Maigret investigates Simenon’s life after he has died by interviewing fictional characterizations of people who had interacted with the author in real life. (Fortunately, his Maigret et l’affaire Simenon exists as a French translation.)

David Simmons

re: Why no more Maigrets?
10/3/14 – Would this situation qualify as an exception as described by David? Say a writer creates a totally original character. But this character is a police officer and happens to work in the same department as Maigret. Over the course of an investigation, he often discusses his case with with Maigret and Maigret helps him with advice on how to conduct his investigation. Or, the character does not actually talk with Maigret, but talks with other detectives about how Maigret would have handled his case...


re: Why no more Maigrets?
10/3/14 – I’m sorry this contribution comes in so late after Murielle Wenger‘s great insights [9/9/2014] into why there have been no more Maigrets [8/19/2014]. Here’s a little more on one potential impediment, copyright.

My pastiche, admittedly a naïve but still innocent project, didn’t run up against the copyright question until it was time to publish. Some study of the rules of the road and navigation by an intellectual property rights attorney led me to the answer.

There is an exception to traditional copyright restriction in the European Union’s code that specifically permits imitations. The official translation of French article L122-5 states that “once the [original] work has been disclosed, the [original] author may not prohibit: …4 ° Parody, pastiche and caricature, observing the rules of the genre.” Since the “rules of the genre” are not defined, it’s likely a court would have to weigh in on the matter, should an objection to a new work arise. There is a general consensus, however, that an imitation must be recognizable without any risk of confusion and must not denigrate the original work or its author in any way. In addition, extensive borrowings and commercial exploitation are allowed.

Curiously in US law, there is an extension of the EU’s exception. For imitative works to be permissible, they must also be recognizably “transformational.” A good example of this concept is the way The Wind Done Gone transforms Gone with the Wind.

So, to my understanding, copyright law doe not in fact prevent imitations if others want to develop them.

David Simmons

Maigret’s journeys in France Updated!
10/2/14 – Many of you may remember Guido de Croock's facinating Maigret site, Maigret’s journeys in France, on the web from 2002-06. After it went down, I was able to recover the pages and many of the images via the Internet Archives and reconstuct it on this site -- it seemed too valuable a resource to allow it to simply disappear. Unfortunately, numerous images were missing from the archives, and as the images were a unique and significant element of the site, it was disappointing to be missing so many of them.

Now, however, thanks to the generosity of Jürgen Lull, writing from Germany, most of them have been recovered! Jürgen had made of copy of Guido's site before it went down, and has shared all his images. You can visit it... again!... here: Maigret’s journeys in France.


German, Spanish, Dutch translations?
9/27/14 – As I mentioned a few days ago [9/23/14], I'm working on a study of Maigret chapter translations. I'm hoping to include German, Spanish and Dutch in my survey, along with English, but I need help collecting the chapter titles for these...

Spanish list
German list
Dutch list

If any of you can send any of them to me. I'd greatly appreciate it. Please reply to this Forum.

Thanks in advance!

re: Granada TV - singer?
9/23/14 – Great question, Tom. Who this delightful singer? Other works by her? Really beautiful, pleasant voice.


Granada TV - singer?
9/23/14 – Just discovered your amazing library of Maigret information. I've been watching the Granada TV shows recently with Michael Gambon & wondering whose lovely voice is singing the theme music? The credits don't seem to give her credit.


Anthony Abbot translations?
9/23/14 – I'm working on a study of Maigret chapter translations, and there are two I'm missing - the Anthony Abbot translations of Pietr le letton [The (Strange) Case of Peter the Lett], and Le pendu de Saint-Pholien [The Crime of Inspector Maigret]. Both were published by Covici, Friede (New York), and Hurst & Blackett (London). If someone has a copy of either of these, and could make a list of the chapter titles for me, I'd greatly appreciate it. Please reply to this Forum.

Thanks in advance!

re: Maigret Voyage - Countess P...?
9/18/14 –

Countess Palmieri or Countess Paverini? Readers of Maigret voyage [VOY] may have noticed that the "little countess" of the novel changes her name according to the edition, and even inside the same volume (kudos to Arlene for her discerning reading!). But why does this character appear with two different surnames?

The key to this mystery can be found in a fine publication, produced under the auspices of Les Amis de Georges Simenon, written by Michel Carly and published in 2011 under the title The secrets of the "Maigret"s. I'll summarize for you here the explanation given by Michel Carly...

Maigret voyage was written between the 10th and 17th of August, 1957. It was the first novel written by Simenon after he'd moved to the château at Echandens. In the original text, the countess was named Palmieri. After revision, the text was sent to Presses de la Cité, and 60,000 copies were printed, dated December 2, 1957. Bookseller release was scheduled for March 5, 1958.

Meanwhile, there was a prepublication serial release in the newspaper Figaro, from February 18 to March 15, 1958. However, on February 24, the Figaro received a letter from an indignant reader, one Roger Palmieri, a lawyer at the Paris Court of Appeals, who believed that the honor of his name had been "tarnished" by association with the character of the countess, whose existence, in M. Palmieri's words, "proves terribly complicated and unedifying". In short, the lawyer called for Figaro to remove his name from the columns of the newspaper – and from Simenon's novel. The Figaro did so, and in the edition of February 27, we read, "an unwitting homonym has resulted in Georges Simenon's modification of the name of one of his characters, who will henceforth become the Countess Paverini."

But since the novel had appeared in bookstores on March 5, as the volumes had been printed well before this incident (with the colophon of December 2, as we recall), the name appearing therein was Palmieri. Further indignation from the lawyer Palmieri, who summoned Simenon to appear, on March 27, before the Civil Court of the Seine, which ordered the publisher and the author to replace the name Palmieri with Paverini in the next edition of Maigret voyage, and thankfully that was the end of it...

But the fact remains that we will find, in successive editions of the novel, one surname or the other for the countess. I don't have a copy of the novel in the original edition, but if someone happens to have one, this can be verified. On the other hand, in my 1971 edition, the countess has the name Paverini, and, on page 17, we find, "Paverini… P as in Paul, a as in Arthur, v as in Victor, e as in... Paverini, yes...", and on page 67, "Countess Paverini… Like "pave", r, as in Robert, i, Ignace, n, Naomi and another i at the end". In the 1982 edition, we find again the name Palmieri, on page 17: "Palmieri… P as in Paul, a as in Arthur, l as in Leon, m as in... Palmieri, yes...", but on page 45, as Arlene noted, once again Paverini, while on page 67, once more Palmieri, the text mentioned by Arlene. Probably when restoring the name to the original, the name Paverini sometimes eluded the proofreader. And we find that the Rencontre edition retains the name Paverini, while in the Tout Maigret edition, published by Omnibus, the original name, Palmieri, appears throughout the text...

original edition

1971 edition

1982 edition

Comtesse Palmieri ou comtesse Paverini ? Les lecteurs de Maigret voyage auront pu constater que la "petite comtesse" du roman change de nom au gré des éditions, voire à l'intérieur d'un même volume (bravo à Arlene pour sa lecture attentive et perspicace !). Pourquoi ce double patronyme attribué à ce personnage ?

La clé de l'énigme est à découvrir dans la belle publication, éditée par les soins des Amis de Georges Simenon, signée Michel Carly et publiée en 2011 sous le titre Les secrets des «Maigret». Je vous résume ici l'anecdote racontée par Michel Carly.

Maigret voyage a été écrit du 10 au 17 août 1957. C'est le premier roman rédigé par Simenon installé au château d'Echandens. Dans le texte original, la comtesse porte le nom de Palmieri. Après révision, le texte est envoyé aux Presses de la Cité, et un tirage de 60 000 volumes est effectué, avec un achevé d'imprimer au 2 décembre 1957. La parution est prévue pour le 5 mars 1958 en librairie.

Entretemps, une prépublication a lieu dans le journal le Figaro, du 18 février au 15 mars 1958. Or, le 24 février, le Figaro reçoit une lettre d'un lecteur indigné, un certain Roger Palmieri, avocat à la cour d'appel de Paris, qui estime que l'honneur de son nom est "sali" à travers le personnage de la comtesse, dont l'existence, selon les termes de Me Palmieri, "se révèle terriblement compliquée et peu édifiante". Bref, l'avocat demande au Figaro que son nom disparaisse des colonnes du journal – et du roman de Simenon. Le Figaro s'exécute, et, dans l'édition du 27 février, on peut lire: "une homonymie involontaire oblige Georges Simenon à modifier le nom de l'un de ses personnages qui, à partir de ce jour, devient la comtesse Paverini."

Mais, lorsque le roman paraît en librairie le 5 mars, comme les volumes ont été imprimés bien avant cette histoire (achevé d'imprimer du 2 décembre, on le rappelle), le nom qui y est mentionné est Palmieri. Nouvelle indignation de Me Palmieri, qui assigne Simenon à comparaître, le 27 mars, devant le tribunal civil de la Seine. On ordonne à l'éditeur et à l'écrivain de remplacer le nom de Palmieri par celui de Paverini dans la prochaine édition de Maigret voyage, et l'affaire s'arrête heureusement là…

Il n'en reste pas moins que l'on va trouver, dans les éditions successives des romans, un patronyme ou l'autre pour la comtesse. Je ne possède pas le roman dans sa parution originale, mais si quelqu'un a la chance d'en avoir un, il pourra vérifier la chose. Par contre, dans mon édition de 1971, la comtesse porte le nom de Paverini, et, à la page 17, on trouve: "Paverini… P comme Paul, a comme Arthur, v comme Victor, e comme…Paverini, oui…", et à la page 67: "La comtesse Paverini… Comme pavé, r, comme Robert, i, Ignace, n, Noémi et encore un i à la fin…". Dans l'édition de 1982, on retrouve le nom de Palmieri: page 17: "Palmieri… P comme Paul, a comme Arthur, l comme Léon, m comme… Palmieri, oui…", mais la page 45, comme le dit Arlene, a encore Paverini, alors que la page 67 a de nouveau Palmieri, avec le texte mentionné par Arlene. Probablement que, lors du rétablissement du nom de la version originale, le nom de Paverini a échappé parfois au correcteur… Notons que l'édition Rencontre a encore le nom de Paverini, alors que l'édition Tout Maigret publiée par Omnibus a rétabli le nom original de Palmieri, partout dans le texte…


Maigret Voyage - Countess P...?
9/17/14 – I am reading (with my French dictionary at my side) the Presses de la Cite edition of Maigret Voyage. The name of an important character changes throughout the book. At first she is called the Countess Palmieri, but on page 45 she seems to be the Countess Paverini.On page 67 she is again Palmieri. And so this goes. I found an English translation (Maigret and the Millionaires) which has the character Countess Paverini. It even deleted the passage where le Commissaire had to explain over a bad telephone connection "La comtesse Palmieri...Comme palmier...palmier...Les arbres de la Promenade des Anglais..."

Why is this?

Arlene Blade in Tobago

Complete Maigret Radio Dramas on DVD
9/15/14 – The complete English Language Maigret dramas including the Canadian Maigret, Budd Knap, is being offered on one DVD here, on eBay UK.

Also on the disc is a spoken word story.

Martin Cooke

Weekend in Paris
9/10/14 (8/26/14) –

I spent this past weekend in Paris, and as I do each time I visit, I've taken a photo of the Quai des Orfèvres. At this time there's a lot of construction going on in the city, with reconstruction projects (since Les Halles was demolished they're builing a large shopping center there), and renovation projects... numerous monuments, such as the Panthéon, Ritz Hotel, the column at Place Vendôme, and others, including the Prefecture of Police and the "Pointed Tower" of the Quai des Orfèvres, are hidden behind scaffolding, covered with tarpaulins adorned with enormous advertising images, some with photographs of the monuments they're hiding. Such is the case at the Quai des Orfèvres, resulting in this unusual photograph... We hope that the renovation will preserve its unique and characteristic allure, while awaiting the decision as to what will be done with this building, since the Judicial Police will move, probably in 2017. Will they take this oppurtunity to create a police museum on the venerable site? That is still unknown, but if it actually happens, we can only hope that they'll reserve a room in honor of Chief Inspector Maigret...

J'étais ce week-end à Paris, et comme j'en ai l'habitude chaque fois que je m'y rends, j'ai pris une photographie du Quai des Orfèvres. En ce moment, la ville est pleine de chantiers, avec des projets de reconstruction (les Halles ont été démolies et on y construit un grand centre commercial), et des projets de rénovation: de nombreux monuments, comme le Panthéon, l'Hôtel Ritz et la colonne sur la place Vendôme, et d'autres, dont la Préfecture de Police et la "Tour Pointue" du Quai des Orfèvres, sont cachés derrière les échafaudages, couverts eux-mêmes par des bâches ornées soit d'énormes images publicitaires, soit de photographies des monuments qu'elles cachent. Tel est le cas au Quai des Orfèvres, et le résultat de la photo lui donne un aspect pour le moins insolite... Espérons que la rénovation lui conservera son allure unique et caractéristique, en attendant que l'on décide ce que l'on fera de ce bâtiment, puisque les services de Police Judiciaire vont déménager, probablement en 2017. Est-ce qu'on en profitera pour faire des antiques locaux un musée de la police ? On n'en sait rien, mais, si tel devrait être le cas, on espère qu'une salle y sera prévue en l'honneur du commissaire Maigret...


re: Maigret Titles
9/10/14 (8/26/14) – In response to Vladimir's remarks about the title of the Maigret novels [8/25/2014], may I suggest referring the analysis which I made on this site, Maigret Entitled...., and also this one on my site, Maigret... à juste titre....


No response?
9/10/14 – If you sent mail to this Forum and your comments weren't posted or you received no response, please try again. Apparently an email problem here resulted in a number of messages not arriving...


re: Why no more Maigrets?
9/9/14 (8/20/14) – Here are a few short answers to Frank's question [8/19/2014].

First of all, the character Maigret, like Simenon's work, is something "protected", in the sense "copyright", and thus one can't simply create new Maigret investigations and publish them. Thus on the one hand Simenon's work is "closed", as it cannot be extended, but at the same time it is "open", since for the rights-holders (and John Simenon, in particular, who controls the legacy), it is still possible to discuss adaptations, including cinema, theater and television.

And then, who else but Simenon himself could continue his character Maigret, his creature and his creation, and who else could "get inside him", and feel him as he did. (We may recall here Hergé, who stipulated that after his death, his character Tintin, also mythical, could not be continued by another artist).

Finally, the admiration aroused by the character Maigret has not prevented numerous writers from imagining further adventures, and pastiches of the Chief Inspector's investigations abound, particularly on the internet. And here the prevailing rule is as follows – as long as these texts are clearly expressed as homage to Simenon and his character, and as long as the authors do not seek substantial rights impinging on the Simenon estate, they are generally "allowed", recognizing that "Maigret" is a "protected name" and that nothing can be published on the character without permission from the copyright owners.

In summary: the number of Simenon's Maigret investigations (75 novels, 28 short stories) is sufficiently great as to not require enlargement, and constitutes a corpus significant enough for numerous avenues of research... which doesn't stop the Chief Inspector's fans from proposing new investigations – but only for pleasure... "just for fun", as our English speaking friends say!

Voici quelques petits éléments de réponse à la question de Frank [8/19/2014].

D'abord, le personnage de Maigret, comme l'œuvre de Simenon, est quelque chose de "protégé", au sens "copyright" du terme, et dans cette idée, on ne peut pas inventer de nouvelles enquêtes de Maigret et les publier pour toucher des droits. L'œuvre de Simenon est donc à la fois "fermée", "close" parce que non prolongeable, mais à la fois elle est aussi ouverte, parce que, avec les ayants-droits (et John Simenon, en particulier, qui s'occupe de la gestion de l'héritage), il est toujours possible de discuter d'une adaptation de cette œuvre, au cinéma, au théâtre ou à la télévision.

Ensuite, qui d'autre que Simenon lui-même aurait pu continuer le personnage de Maigret, qui est sa créature et sa création, et personne ne peut comme lui le voir "de l'intérieur", le sentir comme lui l'a senti. (On se rappellera ici comment Hergé a stipulé qu'après sa mort son personnage, mythique lui aussi, de Tintin ne pourrait pas être repris par un autre dessinateur). Enfin, l'admiration qu'a suscitée le personnage de Maigret n'a pas empêché nombre d'écrivains en herbe de lui imaginer de nouvelles aventures, et les pastiches des enquêtes du commissaire abondent, en particulier sur le Net. Et ici, la règle qui prévaut est la suivante: tant que ces textes restent clairement exprimés comme étant des hommages à Simenon et à son personnage, et tant que les auteurs ne cherchent pas à toucher des droits substantiels qui empiéteraient sur ceux des héritiers de Simenon, ces derniers "laissent faire", en principe, tout en rappelant que "Maigret" est une "marque protégée", et que rien ne peut être publié sur le personnage sans l'accord des ayants-droits.

En résumé: le nombre d'enquêtes de Maigret imaginées par Simenon (75 romans, 28 nouvelles) est bien suffisant pour ne pas nécessiter un prolongement, et constitue un corpus assez conséquent pour y trouver bien des éléments de recherche; ce qui n'empêche pas les admirateurs du commissaire de lui proposer de nouvelles enquêtes, mais seulement pour le plaisir… just for fun, comme disent nos amis anglophones !


re: End of Maigret by Simenon
9/8/14 –

Simenon: "I won't write anymore"

First, here's part of Murielle's Maigret of the Month for Maigret and Monsieur Charles [4/21/2010]:

When Simenon, on February 11, 1972, wrote the last word at the bottom of the typescript of this novel [Maigret et Monsieur Charles], he didn't suspect, it is said, and as he said himself, that it was the last novel he would write. In September of that same year, Simenon began his "writing ritual"...

"Monday, September 18, 1972... I went down to my office to prepare the "yellow envelope" for a new novel I'd decided to write. It was 9:00 when I closed myself in. It was a matter of finding the names of my characters, their situations, origins, sometimes their childhood friends, all the notes of which I usually use only a small part. I have a need to know everything about them, so I draw the plan of their houses, sometimes the district where they live... On my big Manila envelope, I wrote the name of my character, which would serve as a title: Victor. A few more names, some notes. What I call my "plots" have never really been that, since I don't imagine the actions and reactions of my heroes except as things go along, chapter by chapter, not discovering the ending until the final page... The next day, I give myself time to think of my starting point, as usual, that is to say, the "click" which will lead my principal character to his finale." (in Intimate Memoirs)

But the novel will not get very far... it is abandoned, and to mark a sort of stage, Simenon also decides to leave the great house at Epalinges: in October, he moved to an apartment building in Lausanne, and had the word "novelist" removed from his passport. He led his personal life (moving into the "little pink house" in 1974) until 1977, when he began his Dictations. He wouldn't take up the pen again until 1980, to write his Intimate Memoirs.

And here's the beginning of the 24 heures inteview with Henri-Charles Tauxe, reprinted in Paris-Match [2/17/1973], "Simenon: I'm 70. It's over. I'm killing Maigret.":

I will tell you how it happened. On September 20, 1972, I went down to my office in Epalinges for the last time. I wrote down the plan of a novel, as I always do, took up my yellow envelope, noted the names of my characters and their telephone numbers, and then I went back upstairs. The following day, I thought, looked at the walls, looked at the objects and pictures around me, and for the thirtieth time in my life, I felt foreign...


End of Maigret by Simenon
9/8/14 – I am curious if Simenon stopped writing Maigret books by plan or it 'just happened'? Was their any public event when the last Maigret was published, some announcement, Simenon's statement, interview? Did he say why?



Maigret of the Month - 2012

JanuaryVente à la bougie - Sale by Auction (1939)
FebruaryLa pipe de Maigret - Maigret's Pipe (1945)
MarchMaigret et l'inspecteur malgracieux - Maigret and the Surly Inspector (1946)
AprilLe témoignage de l'enfant de chœur - The Evidence of the Altar-Boy (1946)
MayLe client le plus obstiné du monde - The Most Obstinate Man in the World (1946)
JuneOn ne tue pas les pauvres types - Death of a Nobody (1946)
JulyMenaces de mort - Death Threats (1942)
AugustTrain de nuit - Night Train (1930)
SeptemberLa jeune fille aux perles - The Girl with the Pearls (1932)
OctoberLa femme rousse - The Redhead (1933)
NovemberLa maison de l'inquiétude) - The House of Anxiety (1930)


Maigret of the Month - 2011

JanuaryUne erreur de Maigret - Maigret's Mistake (1936)
FebruaryL'Amoureux de Madame Maigret - Madame Maigret's Admirer (1939)
MarchLa vieille dame de Bayeux - The Old Lady of Bayeux (1939)
AprilL'Auberge aux noyés - The Drowned Men's Inn (1938)
MayStan le tueus - Stan the Killer (1938)
JuneL'Étoile du Nord - At the Étoile du Nord. (1938)
JulyTempête sur la Manche - Storm in the Channel (1938)
AugustMademoiselle Berthe et son amant - Mademoiselle Berthe and her Lover (1938)
SeptemberLe Notaire du Châteauneuf - The Three Daughters of the Lawyer (1938)
OctoberL'improbable Monsieur Owen - The Unlikely M. Owen (1938)
NovemberCeux du Grand Café - The Group at the Grand Café. (1938)
DecemberL'Homme dans la rue - The Man in the Street (1939)


Maigret of the Month - 2010

JanuaryLa Folle de Maigret - Maigret and the Madwoman (1970)
FebruaryMaigret et l'homme tout seul - Maigret and the Loner (1971)
MarchMaigret et l'indicateur - Maigret and the Informer (1971)
AprilMaigret et Monsieur Charles - Maigret and Monsieur Charles (1972)
MayLa Péniche aux deux pendus - Two Bodies on a Barge (1944)
JuneL'Affaire du Boulevard Beaumarchais - The Mysterious Affair in the Boulevard Beaumarchais (1944)
JulyLa Fenêtre ouverte - The Open Window (1944)
AugustMonsieur Lundi - Mr. Monday (1944)
SeptemberJeumont, 51 minutes d'arrêt - Jeumont, 51 Minutes' Stop! (1944)
OctoberPeine de mort - Death Penalty (1944)
NovemberLes Larmes de bougie - Death of a Woodlande (1944)
DecemberRue Pigalle - In the Rue Pigalle (1944)


Maigret of the Month - 2009

JanuaryMaigret et le clochard - Maigret and the Bum (1963)
FebruaryLa Colère de Maigret - Maigret Loses His Temper (1963)
MarchMaigret et le fantôme - Maigret and the Ghost (1963)
AprilMaigret se défend - Maigret on the Defensive (1964)
MayLa Patience de Maigret - Maigret Bides His Time (1965)
JuneMaigret et l'affaire Nahour - Maigret and the Nahour Case (1966)
JulyLe Voleur de Maigret - Maigret's Pickpocket (1967)
AugustMaigret à Vichy - Maigret in Vichy (1968)
SeptemberMaigret hésite - Maigret Hesitates (1968)
OctoberL'Ami d'enfance de Maigret - Maigret's Boyhood Friend (1968)
NovemberMaigret et le tueur - Maigret and the Killer (1969)
DecemberMaigret et le marchand de vin - Maigret and the Wine Merchant (1970)

Maigret of the Month - 2008

JanuaryMaigret tend un piège - Maigret sets a trap (1955)
FebruaryUn échec de Maigret - Maigret's Failure (1956)
MarchMaigret s'amuse - Maigret's Little Joke (1957)
AprilMaigret voyage - Maigret and the Millionaires (1958)
MayLes Scrupules de Maigret - Maigret Has Scruples (1958)
JuneMaigret et les témoins récalcitrants - Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses (1959)
JulyUne confidence de Maigret - Maigret Has Doubts (1959)
AugustMaigret aux assises - Maigret in Court (1960)
SeptemberMaigret et les vieillards - Maigret in Society (1960)
OctoberMaigret et le voleur paresseux - Maigret and the Lazy Burglar (1961)
NovemberMaigret et les braves gens - Maigret and the Black Sheep (1962)
DecemberMaigret et le client du samedi - Maigret and the Saturday Caller (1962)

Maigret of the Month - 2007

JanuaryMaigret au "Picratt's" - Maigret in Montmartre (1951)
FebruaryMaigret en meublé - Maigret Takes a Room (1951)
MarchMaigret et la grande perche - Maigret and the Burglar's Wife (1951)
AprilMaigret, Lognon et les gangsters - Maigret and the Gangsters (1952)
MayLe Revolver de Maigret - Maigret's Revolver (1952)
JuneMaigret et l'homme du banc - The Man on the Boulevard (1953)
JulyMaigret a peur - Maigret Afraid (1953)
AugustMaigret se trompe - Maigret's Mistake (1953)
SeptemberMaigret à l'école - Maigret Goes to School (1954)
OctoberMaigret et la jeune morte - Maigret and the Young Girl (1954)
NovemberMaigret chez le ministre - Maigret and the Calame Report (1954)
DecemberMaigret et le corps sans tête - Maigret and the Headless Corpse (1955)

Maigret of the Month - 2006

JanuaryL'Inspecteur Cadavre - Maigret's Rival (1944)
FebruaryMaigret se fâche - Maigret in Retirement (1947)
MarchMaigret à New York - Maigret in New York (1947)
AprilLes Vacances de Maigret - No Vacation for Maigret (1948)
MayMaigret et son mort - Maigret's Special Murder (1948)
JuneLa première enquête de Maigret, 1913 - Maigret's First Case (1949)
JulyMon ami Maigret - My Friend Maigret (1949)
AugustMaigret chez le coroner - Maigret at the Coroner's (1949)
SeptemberMaigret et la vieille dame - Maigret and the Old Lady (1950)
OctoberL'Amie de Mme Maigret - Madame Maigret's Own Case (1950)
NovemberLes Mémoires de Maigret - Maigret's Memoirs (1951)
DecemberUn Noël de Maigret - Maigret's Christmas (1951)

Maigret of the Month - 2005

JanuaryL'affaire Saint-Fiacre - Maigret Goes Home (1932)
FebruaryChez les Flamands - The Flemish Shop (1932)
MarchLe port des brumes - Death of a Harbormaster (1932)
AprilLe fou de Bergerac - The Madman of Bergerac (1932)
MayLiberty Bar - Liberty Bar, Maigret on the Riviera (1932)
JuneL'écluse n° 1 - The Lock at Charenton (1933)
JulyMaigret - Maigret Returns (1934)
AugustLes Caves du Majestic - Maigret and the Hotel Majestic (1942)
SeptemberLa Maison du juge - Maigret in Exile (1942)
OctoberCécile est morte - Maigret and the Spinster (1942)
NovemberSigné Picpus - Maigret and the Fortuneteller (1944)
DecemberFélicie est là - Maigret and the Toy Village (1944)

Maigret of the Month - 2004

JanuaryLe chien jaune - The Yellow Dog
FebruaryM. Gallet décédé - Maigret Stonewalled
MarchLa nuit du carrefour - Maigret at the Crossroads
AprilLe charretier de la Providence - Maigret Meets a Milord
MayLa tête d'un homme - A Battle of Nerves
JuneUn crime en Hollande - Maigret in Holland
JulyPietr-le-Letton - Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett
AugustLe pendu de Saint-Pholien - Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets
SeptemberAu rendez-vous des Terre-Neuvas - The Sailor's Rendezvous
OctoberLa danseuse du Gai-Moulin - Maigret at the Gai-Moulin
NovemberLa guinguette à deux sous - Maigret and the Tavern by the Seine
DecemberL'ombre chinoise - Maigret Mystified



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