giovedì 18 aprile 2019


Some thoughts about "Maigret's Memoirs" 

Alcuni riflessioni su "Le memorie di Maigret" 
Quelques réflexions à propos de "Les Mémoires de Maigret"

Memory. A topic that occurred most often in Simenon's works, as well as in the interviews he gave. There are also, besides the "romans durs" and the Maigret novels, various autobiographical texts: Intimate Memoirs, Les Trois crimes de mes amis, Je me souviens, When I was Old, Letter to my mother and all the Dictées. 
Yet today we want to speak about Maigret's Memoirs, that is to say the memories that the Chief Inspector would have written, in the literary fiction, once he was in retirement, talking about his profession, his life and above all about the good and less good relations with his creator.  
In this novel, Simenon does ventriloquist, we could say, he gives his voice to Maigret, who is a character he created, and makes him speak as if he was a third party who would express a judgment about the writer. In fact a kind of game that is operating because during so many years of writing Maigret has taken the consistency of an almost real character, and not only in the collective imagination of the readers, but maybe also in Simenon's mind.  
The novel begins with an encounter between the novelist and the Chief Inspector at the Quai des Orfèvres. "Young Sim" explains to Maigret that he his more interested in the atmosphere and the ambiance in the Police judiciaire than in the methods used by the policemen. Then the novelist begins to follow the Chief Inspector in his daily activities. The visit lasts for days, Simenon and Maigret also begin to exchange non-professional, more personal information, as if a kind of confidence had been established between the two men. 
In fact it's a game of mirrors, in which it's interesting to see how Simenon tells about himself through Maigret's filter. It's a biography in which Maigret speaks about Simenon, yet in reality it's Simenon who makes him tell about himself… a kind of game in which Simenon describes himself. It's very interesting because under the surface of the narration, another narration is flowing that tells us about the way Simenon believes or wishes that people would talk about himself.  
And we must say that he is rather indulgent. If Maigret's testimony sometimes seems critical and resentful about the way the novelist described him, deep down there is a kind of comprehension that ends by justifying or at least approving the novelist's choices.  
It is a game of mirrors in which the risk is often run to be disorientated, above all if you want to follow at the same time what Maigret tells and what Simenon implies in this collection of memories. A reference to memories that the Chief Inspector is writing and the novelist is dictating, as if Maigret were a medium for the novelist to look at himself, analyse himself, through a ricochet system like for example the topic about truth. 
Simenon makes Maigret protest because sometimes the truth of his investigations is misrepresented. And Simenon replies that, in order that truth can be perceived as such by the readers, it must be transformed and become so really true, truer than truth would have been if told such and simply as it were.  
Thus these memories of Maigret tell in reality much about Simenon himself. Or rather about Simenon as he wanted to appear. 

by Simenon-Simenon 

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alex1999 ha detto...