sabato 8 febbraio 2020
SIMENON SIMENON "REPORT". TAKING MAIGRET'S FIRST CASE IN FOR QUESTIONING
The Guardian - 04/02/2020 - Sam Jordison - Georges Simenon’s Pietr the Latvian is over-written and features some very discomfiting attitudes – but still holds up under interrogation
Pietr the Latvian wasn’t the first book that Georges Simenon wrote. He’d managed more than 100 pulp fiction novels before this one under a number of pseudonyms. Strictly speaking, Pietr the Latvian wasn’t even the first Maigret novel to be published. It was the fifth. Originally, Arthème Fayard put the story out in instalments in the magazine Ric et Rac between July and October 1930. By the time it was published in novel form in May 1931, the prolific author had already pumped out four other Maigrets. But those are technicalities. The thing that matters is that this was the first story Simenon thought good enough to bear his own name – and the first to star one of the most enduring characters in 20th-century literature. It heralds the coming of a genius.
Simenon himself was so confident in his creation that he celebrated his arrival with a huge party. More than 1,000 people attended a cabaret in Montparnasse, dressed as gangsters and prostitutes. There were famous writers (including Colette and Francis Carco), painters and politicians. The club was decorated with pictures of corpses and handcuffs. There were film cameras and dozens of journalists – who helped make the evening a publicity coup. Simenon became famous. Soon, the first Maigret films were being made, André Gide was avidly reading the novels and demanding to meet their creator, and Simenon’s income had grown exponentially. Literary history was being made.
Hindsight makes it all seem inevitable. And when you read Pietr the Latvian you can certainly recognise plenty of the character traits that would make Maigret so enduring. He is big, strong, heavy, a “rock” on which “all would shatter”. He is endearingly keen for the stove in his office to be as hot as possible, pitifully aware of its absence when he is out and about...>>>
Pubblicato da Maurizio Testa alle 09:17