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  Georges Joseph Christian Simenon  


born Liège, Belgium, February 13, 1903;
died September 4, 1989, Lausanne, Switzerland.

[The Date of Georges Simenon's Birth]

Selected biographies, bibliographies and critical works.

Bernd Fischer's "Bibliography of Works about Simenon 1939-2007"
MS Word (40 mb) PDF (14 mb)

Britannica article
Publications dedicated to Simenon
Simenon Festivals and Expos
Magazine Biographies
Texts and Articles
Selected critical works

Simenon in the Encyclopædia Britannica

©Jerry Bauer
Simenon, Georges (Joseph Christian) (b. Feb. 13, 1903, Liège, Belg. – d. Sept. 4, 1989, Lausanne, Switz.), Belgian-French novelist whose prolific output surpassed that of any of his contemporaries, and who was perhaps the most widely published author of the 20th century.
Simenon began working on a local newspaper at age 16, and at 19 he went to Paris determined to be successful. Typing some 80 pages each day, he wrote, between 1923 and 1933, more than 200 books of pulp fiction under 16 different pseudonyms, the sales of which soon made him a millionaire. The first novel to appear under his own name was Pietr-le-Letton (1931; The Case of Peter the Lett), in which he introduced the imperturbable, pipe-smoking Parisian police inspector Jules Maigret to fiction. Simenon went on to write about 80 more detective novels featuring Inspector Maigret, as well as about 130 psychological novels. His total literary output consisted of about 425 books that were translated into some 50 languages and which sold more than 600 million copies worldwide. In 1967 the publication of Simenon's complete works began in France and Italy. Simenon's Inspector Maigret is one of the best-known characters in detective fiction. Unlike those fictional detectives who rely on their immense deductive powers, Maigret solved murders using mainly his psychological intuition and a patiently sought, compassionate understanding of the perpetrator's motives and emotional makeup. Besides psychological novels and detective stories, Simenon's other books include short-story collections and autobiographical works.
Simenon's central theme is the isolated existence of the neurotic, abnormal individual. Employing a style of rigorous simplicity, he evokes a prevailing atmosphere of neurotic tensions with sharp economy. Simenon lived in the United States for more than a decade from 1945, and later in France and Switzerland.
Encyclopædia Britannica, 1993


Publications dedicated to Simenon

Two annual publications are dedicated
to the study of Simenon and his works:

  (Travaux du Centre d'études Georges Simenon)  
since 1989
Centre d'études Georges Simenon
Université de Liège


Cahiers Simenon

since 1987
Les Amis de Georges Simenon


Simenon Festivals and Expos

ParisSimenon ExpositionJan 1982
Washington, DCThe Simenon Festival '87May - Nov 1987
LiègeTout Simenon ExpoJun 26 - Oct 31, 1993
Montreal Montreal Simenon Exhibition Jul 4 - Aug 27, 1995
Manosque Simenon m'était conté Mar 25 - 31, 2000
LiègeSimenon - Un siècle!Feb 14 to Sep 30, 2003
CharlevilleGeorges Simenon, le mystère humainNov 15 to Dec 7, 2003
Sables d’Olonne7ème Festival Simenon:
"Simenon et l'Europe"
Jun 11 - 25, 2005

...Genève, Bruxelles, Québec...

Centre d'action culturelle de la communauté d'expression française (CACEF)

Communauté française de Belgique à Paris

Fonds Simenon de l'Université de Liège

Simenon Exposition

Paris, January 1982

  • Introduction: Francis de Lulle, Director, Communauté française de Belgique à Paris (1-2)
  • Etapes d'une vie et d'une carrière: Christine Swings, Liège (3-16)
  • Un roman en sept jours; Le cas Simenon: Claudine Gothot-Mersch, Bruxelles (17-25)
  • Simenon au cinéma: Claude Gauteur, Paris (26-36)
  • Itinéraire de l'exposition (37-48)

The Simenon Festival '87

  (A Celebration in Film, Food and Food for Thought)  

May — November 1987

Washington, D.C.


cover drawing of Georges Simenon by Bernard Buffet,
from the Collections Fonds Simenon,
Université de Liège

A Note from the DirectorWilliam Claire
A Belgian Appreciation of Georges SimenonHerman Dehennin,
Belgian Ambassador to the U.S.
ReminiscencesHelen Wolff
The Maigret StoriesEdward L. Galligan,
The South Atlantic Quarterly
The Simenon Center at Drew University
[Special Collections at Drew University Library]
Anne M. Hamilton
Copies of the Simenon Festival '87 special program
may still be available from William Claire,
Voyages Books and Art
4705 Butterworth Pl. N.W.
Washington, DC, 20016
Phone 202-244-9636
$8.00 plus $3.00 shipping.
A member of Delaware Bibliofiles, WABA


Simenon et le roman policier

July 4 - August 27, 1995 Montreal Simenon Exhibition

click to enlarge



Magazine Biographies

Magazine Littéraire
December, 1975 — N° 107
pp 30-32


The key to the heart

Francis Lacassin

original French

Paris Match Sept. 21, 1989

26-page photo-essay farewell to Simenon,
who died September 4, 1989.

Photo pages and text:

L'Énigme Simenon

English translation:

The Simenon Enigma

Le Vif / L'Express
February 7-13, 2003
N° 2692, pp 40-51, 89

The Simenon Phenomenon
...100 years

Elisabeth Mertens, Ghislain Cotton, Louis Danvers

French original

A cover-story collection of articles celebrating the 100th anniversary of Simenon's birth, from Le Vif / L'Express. The special perspective of a magazine from Belgium, his native land.

Simenon ...a century!
Searcher of souls
The 10 Simenons to read
From the page to the screen
Studies on the man with the pipe
Simenon on stage
Searching for Simenon

L'Express International
week of February 13-19, 2003
N° 2693, pp 8-11

He would have been 100 on February 13, the greatest of novelists and one of the most read in the world. Why does he remain impossible to ignore, classic, immortal? Examine

Simenon, the book tree

Michel Grisolia

original French

La Libre MATCH
February 19, 2003
N° 75, pp 16-29

A hundred years ago, a little Georges was born. But it was Simenon, the author of the immense work and the controversial life, who left his mark on our minds forever...


Jean-Baptiste Baronian
Jérôme Bègle


original French

Celebrating the centenniel of Georges Simenon's birth.
25 photos – essay by Jean-Baptiste Baronian, interview with Bernard de Fallois by Jérôme Bègle.
La Libre Match is published in Belgium, an association of the Belgian La Libre and Paris Match.

Simenon Memorial Issue - Le Soir Illustré - 1989

photo: Giancarlo Botti    
Le Soir Illustré
September 14, 1989
N° 2986, pp 4-20

Album of a prodigious life

All Simenon

his women - his children - his novels - his travels - his happiness - his grief - his end - his legacy

original French

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

This Belgian issue has a lot in it... different sorts of articles from the usual, and as usual the home-town view of the son of Liège makes for interesting reading...


Articles and Texts


Selected biographies, bibliographies and critical works


"In the latter years of Georges Simenon's prolific writing life, when he had already published close to 400 novels, Alfred Hitchcock was said to have telephoned, only to be told by Simenon's secretary that he couldn't be disturbed because he had just begun a new novel. Hitchcock, knowing that Simenon was capable of writing one novel — or two or three — every month, replied: That's all right, I'll wait."

Excerpted from Deirdre Bair's review of
Simenon, a Biography by Pierre Assouline, The New York Times.
[found at The Razz Site]


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