giovedì 10 gennaio 2019

SIMENON SIMENON. A NEW LIFE AFTER 1934…

Some hints about why Simenon kept on with Maigret 

SIMENON SIMENON. UNA NUOVA VITA DOPO IL 1934... 
Qualche ipotesi sul perché Simenon abbia continuato con Maigret 
SIMENON SIMENON. UNE NOUVELLE VIE APRES 1934... 
Quelques raisons pour lesquelles Simenon a continué avec Maigret 


January 19, 1934. The readers of the newspaper Le Jour could read an announcement on the next issue (that is to say for February 20) of a new Maigret's investigation. The announcement was accompanied by a text written by Simenon, in which he explained why he had resumed his character, after having abandoned him by putting him in retirement in the novel Lock No. 1. The novelist had been solicited by the newspaper editor, and by many letters from readers who had been disappointed by the Chief Inspector's setting aside, and Simenon accepted to write a new adventure for Maigret, but he swore it would be the very last one.  
What if Simenon had kept his word? If Maigret had made his investigations only in the Fayard novels, what would have happened? What would the readers have lost thus?  
Would Simenon himself have lost something? Of course the novelist had enough resources – and he proved it afterwards – to write other things than detective novels. His notoriety could well have done without Maigret and settle on his other works. At most he would have lost a kind of "life companion", to whom he could give some of his own aspirations, his own feelings, and if he kept his character, maybe it was because, as he told it, he could thus write "relaxing" novels between two "romans durs". But it was also because he could use a Maigret novel to deal with certain topics he didn't succeed to treat in the other novels. 
It was Simenon's own relationship with Maigret that explained why he never abandoned his character: at the beginning, the Chief Inspector was a 45-year man described by a young author in his thirties, with a certain distance, yet an attachment for the character was already to be felt. However at that time nothing was decided and the novelist had other heroes in reserve to be set on stage if necessary… It was only when success was established that he decided for Maigret, and even so… In fact you had to wait until the Presses de la Cité period to see the author getting closer to his character: Simenon had then reached his forties and thus he could use his own life experience to describe Maigret. Therefore he could consider his Chief Inspector from another point of view, and give to him more from himself: his fondness for "little people", his appetite for life, good food and light in the Parisian early morning… 
If Maigret had stop living after 1934, what would he and the readers have lost? First the character would have remained this monolithic block he was in the Fayard period. At that time he was certainly an endearing character, already atypicaland fascinating enough to be successful after these nineteen novels. In these pre-war novels the character's essence was already present: his way of leading an investigation, his empathy, but a number of details were still missing, that would later on refine him and give him depth and humanity; on one hand his own characteristics, his way of feeling life, of enjoying every sensations, odours and colours; on the other hand, his entourage: Mme Maigret would take an increasingly important place, above all in the Presses de la Cité period, but also Maigret's relationship with his collaborators and other characters, like Dr Pardon, would deepen. Thus the readers would more and more care about the Chief Inspector, who seemed to get out of the novel and become a flesh and blood being… 

by Simenon-Simenon 

Nessun commento: