lunedì 28 agosto 2017


What did Simenon himself say about why he stopped as a novelist? 

Ce qu’a dit Simenon lui-même sur les raisons pour lesquelles il a cessé d'être un romancier
Cosa ha detto Simenon a sé stesso sulle ragioni per cui ha terminato di essere un romanziere 

Once the author decided to permanently stop writing novels, he arranged an official announcement in the Swiss publication 24 Heures under the headlineSimenon: “I will write no more.” Paris Match rerun of that revealing interview, which is still available on line, allows some explanatory translated extractions of his own words. As you will readily discover, his explanations don’t all match that others questioned, speculated, or concluded. 
Simenon begins with I’m going to tell you what happened to me and then provides a detailed account of how he had recently started another novel, but 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. That same dayhaving made the decision to no longer write novelshe put his house on the market and, within 48 hours, bought a new place to live. He continuesThis is the first time I’ve spoken about it. From now on, I am ’without profession on my passport. In fact, I have a horror of the term ‘man of letters.’ I am only a novelist and as such I will no longer write novels. He goes on to list the many components that factored into his decision: (1) On his physical health. He explains how, for almost a full year, attacks of painful vertigo prevented writingHowever, to write my novels, I have to be in one hundred percent great shape. […] Therefore, I made the decision to stop. (2) On his psychological state. I realized that for fifty-five years I have lived in the skin of my characters. […Now, all of a sudden, I want to live a life of my own. []  I became the slave of my characters. […Now, I no longer permit them to impose their presence on me. [] I have reentered my own skin, my own life, and I no longer have the strength to create characters. (3) On making a fresh start. It's part of my personality that, when I break away from someone or something, I don't go back there, I never think about it again, it's terminated… (4) On contemplating his mortality. I always needed more strength to write my novels[If I had continued, I would have killed myself in two or three years… (5) On relieving his exhaustion. After fifty-five years of that work, one can get fatigued. […] I reacted in the sense of a certain self-guarding of myself (6) On his absolute disinterest. I am completely detached from my work. It’s no longer mine(7) On a possible relapse. When asked if the offer of a Nobel Prize in Literature would draw him back to writing novels, his long-winded answer was likely a no: At forty-five, I would have accepted. A few years ago, the Germans and Americans were working to get me nominated.  I cut that short. I wouldn't have accepted it, no matter what. 8On his new direction. I’m drawing a line in order to reposition myself. I want to be sitting down in an armchair, not looking at anything, telling myself stories I will immediately forget… I know I will not bore myself at all. I am here to spend time with so many things. 
Notably, nowhere in this interview does Simenon mention influences related to his wife Denise’s exodus or his mother Henriette’s death, both being events that probably factored into his decision. 
David P Simmons 

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