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I remember...

by Murielle Wenger

original French

...it's nearly the end of 2005... I've recently rediscovered the world of Maigret, thanks to DVDs of the Jean Richard series, a lovely memory from my childhood. And as I've just made my first steps into the world of the web, I go looking for sites about my favorite Chief Inspector. And that's how I discover a site in English, wonderfully filled with information about Maigret, his world, and Simenon. The site is managed by Steve Trussel, and it provides a very active Forum, where internet Maigretphiles come, not only to post questions, but also to provide valuable information. I visit regularly, and one day, "titillated" by a question about an orthographic detail (Porquerollité, 12/23/05, Oz Childs), I gather my courage in both hands and present my own response...

How things developed from there is what I've attempted to reconstruct by going back through the Forum archives to find my own contributions... not in any sense to revel in my accomplishments, but simply to show how a simple interest can quickly develop into a consuming passion.

It was in May, 2006 that for the first time I dared to enter into some "friendly competition" with Peter Foord by presenting my first contribution to a Maigret of the month, one of the most original features Steve created. Now things have been set into motion... getting into it, I reread the entire Maigret saga, and begin my first purchases of reference books on the world of Simenon and Maigret, and soon I want to display my little studies to the world, for I've discovered that the saga is, really, a universe that I want to decipher. First there was "Maigret and his collaborators", then a study on the titles of the chapters of the novels, followed by a first pastiche ("Murder in a minor key"). And then a study of Maigret's wardrobe, and one about his pipe... and all that between August and December of that same year, 2006!

In other words, I'd "caught the bug", and it was never going to go away... From Maigret of the month to various studies, through small contributions in response to questions from users, I began to be part of the the regular team of active users of the site: Jérôme and his marvellous photos, the late Peter Foord, David Derrick, David Simmons, Joe, Roddy, Mattias, Keith, Vladimir, Ward, John Dirckx, and more recently, Berthold Deutschmann, Arlene Blade and Andrew Walser, to mention only those names appearing most often... but also so many others (Jane, Viola, Ian, etc…), who come from time to time to add their little stones to the huge building this site has become...

Steve has created a page in the "texts" section with a chronological index of the articles appearing on the site. If you're curious enough to take a look, you'll see that from the year 2006, it's my name which appears most often, and is, in fact, pervasive... In all modesty, I can say that I'm not a little proud of this position, because I hope that in my way, I've contributed to make this extraordinary site one of the major references for those who want to know Maigret's world...

And I ask myself, how would I have lived, since 2005, almost 10 years, without knowing Steve's site...?! This site about to celebrate 20 years of existence, an almost exceptional longevity in this world where on the internet, even more than anywhere else, everything changes very quickly, passing rapidly from "fashionable" to "vintage", and then to "has been"... I measure all the more the exceptionality of this time since I know, having co-managed Jacques-Yves Depoix's site since 2008, before taking over full responsiblity since 2011, and having created my own site in 2008, how much energy it takes to maintain an active site, constantly finding new ideas, staying aware of news and current events...

The site finds its strength in the fact that it is a "bible" for those who want to know Maigret's world, thanks to the features Steve has set up, above all, the "Maigret Encyclopedia", but also the sum of magazine articles about Simenon, the bibliographic and cinematographic information, the Maigret of the month, not to mention all the information arriving via the Forum. But it's also an international rendez-vous for Maigretphiles from every country, who find here a place to share their passion... Long live this wonderful site, with the hope that it will one day celebrate 30, 40, or even 50 years!
 

translation: S. Trussel
Honolulu, January 5, 2016

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