sabato 19 settembre 2020

SIMENON SIMENON VINTAGE "REPORT" - GEORGES SIMENON'S PARIS: FOLLOWING INTHE FOOTSTEPS OFHIS FICTIONALSLEUTH, JULES MAIGRET


France Today - 16/04/2016Thirza Vallois No wonder Georges Simenon set most of the Maigret stories in Paris – 63 out of 75 of them in fact. Because Paris is a compact city, it provides an unrivalled stage for crime fiction, where the investigation can progress at speed. But the Maigret stories also make wonderful guides to the flip-side of pre-gentrified Paris, the Paris of black and white photos, a shabby conglomerate of closely-knit communities, yet alive with the pulse of authenticity. Simenon crisply encapsulates that Paris of neighbourhood bars and bistros, of payphones and platform buses, sparing us neither the gloom of November nor the heat of August. He even takes us past the loge of the concierge into private homes, and gratifies us with the smell of floor polish or the cooking smells of ragoût de moutonblanquette de veau or tripes à la mode de Caen.With a Maigret in hand you can comb every bit of Paris. Be aware, however, that Simenon fiddles with street numbers and place names, throwing in existing ones alongside those he invents, or shifting places around. And to complicate it further, many of the real-life places have since disappeared. He also throws bits of his own life into Maigret’s, the devotion to pipes and beer not least. Maigret’s persona, on the other hand, is largely inspired by real-life Commissaire Guillaume, le grand patron of the Police Judiciaire...>>>

venerdì 18 settembre 2020

SIMENON SIMENON. LA COSE CAMBIANO: ROMANZO CARTACEO, DIGITALE O AUDIO?

 Rivoluzione per i romanzi, dal libro all'ebook fino all'audiolibro

SIMENON SIMENON. CHANGEMENT DE CHOSES: PAPIER, NUMERIQUE OU AUDIO?
Révolution pour les romans, du livre à l'ebook en passant par le livre audio
SIMENON SIMENON. THINGS CHANGE: PAPER, DIGITAL OR AUDIO NOVEL?
Revolution for novels, from the book to the ebook to the audiobook














Una volta si diceva: "Basta che leggi, qualsiasi cosa ma per favore leggi!". Uno sprone che insegnanti e genitori indirizzavano a chi non aveva propensione alla lettura. Oggi, parafrasando, potremmo dire "Basta che leggi, come non importa, magari ascoltali i libri, ma per favore leggi!".
Già perché, e non da oggi, oltre che leggerli, sia in cartaceo che in digitale, i libri si possono anche ascoltare, sul proprio smartphone, sul computer, sul tablet...
Non da oggi, perché il libro elettronico data la sua comparsa sul mercato nei primi degli anni '90 e l'audiolibro circola già dagli anni '60, sia pure allora avendo come supporto le cassette-audio e non i digitali mp3.
In questo campo le polemiche non mancano. Da una parte gli ultrà della tradizione asseriscono che l'unico vero modo per poter davvero apprezzare un romanzo é quello di leggerlo in un libro cartaceo, stampato in tipografia, rivendicando anche il concorso del valore, non solo iconico, dell'oggetto libro insieme al piacere di sfogliarne le pagine. E, alla vista del successo di ebook e audiolibri, fanno previsioni catastrofiche, in taluni casi, addirittura sulla fine della letteratura.
I sostenitori degli ebook invece magnificano il fatto di poter portarsi ovunque decine e decine di libri in un device, quasi tascabile, che pesa poco più di cento grammi. Di poter comprare libri senza porsi il problema di dove stivare decine e decine di libri in una casa magari già zeppa di volumi su librerie, mensole, scrivanie, comodini, tavoli, scaffali vari...E poi si può leggere senza fonti di luce, grazie alla sua illuminazione autonoma, ma anche senza occhiali, potendo variare la grandezza dei caratteri, avendo sempre attivo il segnalibro di dove si è interrotta la lettura ed altre meraviglie.
L'audiolibro viene dai detrattori identificato come "il libro dei pigri", di chi non vuole faticare a leggere....! In realtà in tutte le situazioni in cui non si può leggere, mentre si guida durante un viaggio o uno spostamento, mentre si va in bici, o si cammina, quando si è impegnati a fare qualcosa con le mani, smartphone, cuffiette e si è trasportati nel mondo raccontato dal romanzo. C'é chi magnifica anche l'addormentarsi con la seducente voce di un attore che vi legge una storia...
Insomma le polemiche tra nuovi e vecchi metodi di fruire dei romanzi non si placheranno tanto facilmente, ma abbiamo fatto questa veloce analisi per arrivare la nostro Simenon che mette d'accordo tutti e ci permette di gustarci le sue opere sia su carta, che su ebook, che su audiolibro. E ci sorge spontanea una domanda, cosa ne avrebbe pensato Simenon? 
Questo significa chiedersi anche che cosa pensasse lo scrittore dell'innovazione tecnologica. Rimaniamo nel campo della scrittura iniziamo dalla macchina per scrivere che proprio tra gli anni '20 e i '30 ebbe, con le Remington Rand, una vera diffusione commerciale.  
Simenon passò dalla penna alla macchina senza remore. Un altro esempio è la dotazione tecnologica che lo scrittore volle per la grande villa di Epalinges che lui stesso aveva progettato, con telefoni intercomunicanti in tutte le stanze, insonorizzazione degli ambienti, sala operatoria, celle frigorifere, etc...  E in ultimo una scoperta della terza età quando, avendo smesso di scrivere, a settant'anni iniziò ad utilizzare il registratore per incidere pensieri, ricordi, riflessioni che poi verranno poi sbobinati dalla sua casa editrice (Presses de la Cité) e raccolti in volumi che passeranno alla storia come Les Dictées.
Personalmente abbiamo provato sia il cartaceo, che il digitale che l'audio e intanto dobbiamo confessare che a nostro avviso la soluzione più pratica e fruibile è l'ebook. Non che i libri non ci piacciano, anzi!... ma le nostre condizioni, sia pure privilegiate, vivendo in due in una casa grande su due piani, non ci consentono di stipare altri volumi (e poi incombe l'eredità della corposa biblioteca di mio padre!). Insomma l'ebook mi consente di comprare quei tre, quattro libri al mese senza patemi d'animo. 
Mi piace viaggiare in autostrada con un audiolibro che mia fa compagnia e mi piace l'idea che il tempo passato in auto non sia sprecato, ma una piacevole occasione per scoprire nuove storie e nuovi autori. 
Comunque nonostante queste mie preferenze a casa ho tutti i Simenon (Maigret compresi) in cartaceo, alcuni titoli in varie edizioni e in lingua originale, edizioni degli anni '30 e quindi quasi tutti i romanzi simenoniani li ho letti su libri. Poi però molte riletture le ho fatte su ebook ed alcune le ho riscoperte su audiolibro. 
E crediamo che Simenon ne sarebbe stato contento, dal momento che la grande diffusione delle sue opere, ancor oggi, si basa proprio sulla capacità di aver unito quella che viene definita letteratura bassa a quella alta e aver usato tutti i mezzi per parlare ad un pubblico il più vasto possibile.

giovedì 17 settembre 2020

SIMENON SIMENON. NO NEED FOR CHRONOLOGY?

Why Simenon didn't worry about a chronological description of Maigret's biography 

 

SIMENON SIMENON. NON C'È BISOGNO DI CRONOLOGIA?

Perché Simenon non si è preoccupato di descrivere cronologicamente la biografia di Maigret

SIMENON SIMENON. PAS BESOIN D'UNE CHRONOLOGIE?

Pourquoi Simenon ne s'est pas préoccupé de décrire chronologiquement la biographie de Maigret 



Some years ago, there had been on this blog a discussion about this topic: the chronological order for the writing of the Maigret novels doesn't follow the chronological order of Maigret's life and career. At the time, one of the answers had been proposed in French and Italian, and today we propose an English version, which has been slightly modified and adapted.  

One can argue that Maigret isn't the first character for which his creator would first write some events in his life, and afterwards write other novels in which he would tell his infancies or youth, or beginnings in his career, and so on. Maurice Leblanc's Arsène Lupin could be an example for that. But with Simenon, there were other things that came into play.  

"One thing that irritated me sometimes was that he was mingling dates, placing at the beginning of my career investigations that had taken place later on, and vice-versa. […] I even intended […] to establish […] a timeline of the main cases I had been involved in. – Why not? Simenon answered to me. That's an excellent idea. Thus we'll be able to correct my books for the next edition. And he added without irony: - But, my old Maigret, you'll have to be kind enough to do the job by yourself, for I never dared to reread myself." (Maigret's Memoirs) 

This last sentence is a good illustration of what Simenon's writing is: fast, without backtracking, a minimal correction as a kind of "cleaning up", and, once the book had been published, the author didn't reread it. Which, beside, didn't prevent the fact that, although the novelist asserted that he forgot his characters once the book was finished, he had a rather good memory of what he had written: to be convinced of it, you have only to see the multiple examples of reminiscences from a novel to the other that you can find throughout the Maigret saga.  

Thus, if Simenon didn’t reread his books, he had no reason to worry about the internal chronology of them. Moreover, he didn't plan his Maigret novels as a (chrono)logical sequence that had to go over his character's whole life, with a beginning and an ending. He didn't act as Balzac, who wrote his Comédie humaine such in a way that characters would come back from a novel to the other, nor or as Zola, who intended to write the entire story of the Rougon-Macquart family. And we might say that Simenon didn’t really intend to make a saga with the Maigret novels as a whole: it's because there are such many novels that we can speak afterwards of a saga, and it's the long writing period (more that 40 years!) that permitted the character's development.  

When Simenon "entered a novel", he wasn't telling himself that his purpose was to write Maigret's next investigation; rather his writing started from an idea, a sensation, a memory, a situation in which he wanted to immerge a character, and at the beginning he wasn't always sure that he was going to write a Maigret or another novel. It's especially true for the Presses de la Cité novels, where we know some novels for which Simenon had in mind to write a roman dur, and then he couldn't "find the right tone", and so he decided to deal with the subject in a Maigret novel. Simenon wrote instinctively, and he didn't build his works according to an architectural project such as Proust did in his Recherche. Even if, of course, he perfectly knew what kind of literature he intended to write.  

But Simenon essentially wrote because he really felt the need of writing, an almost physical need to write down his questioning about life. And every time he began to write a new novel, it was not the requirements of a pre-established project that he responded to, but rather an almost vital need to express his feelings... 

 

Murielle Wenger 

mercoledì 16 settembre 2020

SIMENON SIMENON. LES MAISONS DE SIMENON

 

En février 1974, Simenon s'installe dans sa petite maison rose au 12 de l'avenue des Figuiers, où il finira ses jours en 1989.

Da febbraio 1974, Simenon s'installa nella sua piccola casa rosa al numero 12 dell'avenue Figuiers, dove finirà i suoi giorni nel 1989.

In February 1974, Simenon moved into his little pink house at 12 avenue des Figuiers, where he ended his days in 1989.

martedì 15 settembre 2020

SIMENON SIMENON. QUELQUES SEMAINES À VOUVANT

Août-septembre 1940 : un livre et un événement déterminant  

SIMENON SIMENON. ALCUNE SETTIMANE A VOUVANT

Agosto-settembre 1940: un libro e un evento decisivo

SIMENON SIMENON. SOME WEEKS IN VOUVANT

August-September 1940: a book and a decisive event 


 

À la fin août 1940, les Allemands entrent à La Rochelle. La famille Simenon ne se sent plus en sécurité dans leur maison de Nieul : « Nous sommes partis tous ensemble à la recherche d'un gîte dans la forêt de Vouvant, en Vendée proche, où nous avons trouvé à louer une fermette », raconte le romancier dans ses Mémoires intimes. Malgré la tristesse d'avoir dû quitter Nieul, la première approche de Vouvant est positive : « Cette forêt m'avait enchanté. […] elle était frémissante et colorée avec ses arbres de toutes les essences » (ibid.), et Simenon, qui cherche « du calme, du repos, à l'abri si possible de tout ce qui s'agite et de la guerre » (il y avait quelques semaines à peine qu'il avait terminé sa tâche épuisante au centre d'accueil des réfugiés belges), trouve ce qui lui faut à Vouvant. Un endroit où l'on dort dans des lits « très hauts, avec deux ou trois matelas de plumes dans lesquels on enfonçait », où il peut passer du temps avec son fils Marc, âgé de 16 mois, pour qui il cuisine « des gâteaux secs de toutes sortes », et qu'il emmène au marché du village, à travers la forêt et les prés. 

Dans le grenier de la ferme, le romancier installe sa machine à écrire et y écrit La Vérité sur Bébé Donge, « un roman sans guerre, sans fracas, sinon sans drame, plein de soleil et de jardins harmonieux ». Le roman débute en effet dans un jardin ensoleillé, où guette le drame : une femme tente d'empoisonner son mari, et celui-ci, dans une longue introspection, finit par comprendre qu'elle a agi ainsi parce qu'il n'avait pas compris l'amour qu'elle éprouvait pour lui. Ce sera le seul roman écrit à Vouvant, car au bout de quelques semaines, les Simenon vont s'installer à Fontenay-le-Comte. 

Vouvant est aussi pour Simenon le théâtre d'un événement déterminant. Un jour, alors que Marc et son père sont dans la forêt, l'enfant demande un bâton. Simenon taille une branche, le couteau glisse et le bâton vient lui heurter violemment la poitrine. Il craint de s'être cassé une côte, et comme la douleur persiste, il décide d'aller se faire radiographier à Fontenay. Le radiologue diagnostique un problème cardiaque grave, et conseille à son patient de mener une vie modérée : ne plus boire, ne plus fumer, ne plus écrire, ne plus… Le monde s'effondre pour Simenon ; d'après le médecin, il lui reste deux ans à vivre, et le romancier décide alors d'écrire dans un cahier ses souvenirs d'enfance, afin de pouvoir raconter à Marc l'histoire de sa famille et de ses ancêtres : « En deux ans, j'avais le temps, même si je n'écrivais qu'un quart d'heure par jour » (Mémoires intimes). 

En réalité, le diagnostic du radiologue était erroné, et Simenon consulta un autre médecin, qui le rassura. Les chercheurs simenoniens ont décortiqué cette légende, et on sait aujourd'hui, d'une part que cette période d'angoisse que traversa le romancier dura moins longtemps que ce qu'il prétendit par la suite : « Simenon a bien vécu comme un homme en sursis. Seulement, le doute, l'angoisse, l'attente n'ont pas duré deux ans, comme il le prétend, mais deux semaines. », note Pierre Assouline. D'autre part, Simenon avait déjà en tête auparavant un projet de mémoire sur son enfance. D'ailleurs, il ne commença le cahier de Pedigree qu'en décembre, après son installation à Fontenay : « Sur la première page, j'avais dessiné un arbre robuste et chaque branche portait le nom d'un [des] aïeux Simenon ». 

Quoi qu'il en soit, le souvenir de cet événement s'est mêlé dans l'esprit du romancier à son désir de raconter ses origines, le tout a été noyé dans sa mémoire, comme a été engloutie la fermette de Vouvant lorsqu'on a construit un barrage dans la région… 

 

Murielle Wenger 

lunedì 14 settembre 2020

SIMENON SIMENON "REPORT". A SIMPLICIDADE DE NARRAR EM SIMENON




















DVD Magazine
- 11/09/2020
Eron Duarte FagundesO belga Georges Simenon foi um ficcionista prolífico. E sempre manteve em todos os seus escritos uma estatura elevada da arte de escrever. Tinha no sangue a genética de narrar: as frases lhe fluíam e eram habitualmente orações simples, em construção e sintaxe, como se estivesse conversando na rua, mas sem os plebeísmos constrangedores de algumas ruas. Era uma rua de linguagem muito particular de Simenon.
Maigret e o ladrão preguiçoso (Maigret et le voleur paresseux; 1961) é outro de seus belos textos em que os fatos promanam diretamente do modo de escrever. Escreve como quem brinca e depois pensa. Um crime no famoso Bois de Boulogne, o cenário de vagabundos e meretrizes onde também se passa um filme do francês Robert Bresson, vai surpreender e acordar o inspetor Maigret, que dorme ao lado da esposa. Confunde o barulho do telefone com o barulho dum despertador na infância. “A coisa remontava a um tempo distante, à infância, quando ele era menino de coro e ajudava na missa das seis da manhã.” De questionário para questionário, entrevistando diversas personagens com o olho percuciente dum inspetor de polícia, Maigret tenta chegar ao criminoso e às motivações...>>>

domenica 13 settembre 2020

LES MAXIMES DE MAIGRET - LE MASSIME DI MAIGRET- THE MAXIMS OF MAIGRET

 


Pas de conclusions hâtives ! Et surtout pas de déductions ! » 

(Le Chien Jaune)

"Nessuna conclusione affrettata! E soprattutto nessuna deduzione!" 

(Il Cane Giallo)

No hasty conclusions! And especially no deductions!” 

(The Yellow Dog)

sabato 12 settembre 2020

SIMENON SIMENON REPORT - ENQUÊTE Á PARIS, SUR LES TRACES DU COMMISSAIRE MAIGRET


QUE FARE Á PARIS09/09/2020 - EQUIPEParis s’éveille dans la fraîcheur d’un petit matin blafard. Et la brume qui s’accroche à la Seine voile la silhouette de la « tour pointue » du 36, quai des Orfèvres (1er). Nous avons rendez-vous ici, au siège de la Police judiciaire (PJ), avec l’un de ses illustres pensionnaires : le commissaire Jules Maigret. Au fond de la cour pavée, le vieil escalier en bois est « humide et glacé » (Maigret et le fantôme, 1964). Et c’est un couloir exigu et poussiéreux qui nous conduit au « terrier » du commissaire. Le bureau que l'on trouve est vide, habité seulement par l’odeur de tabac froid et le poêle encore chaud. La fenêtre par laquelle Maigret aime regarder le fleuve est grande ouverte. Un rayon de soleil se fraye un passage parmi les nuages pour venir caresser le pont Saint-Michel (6e), son préféré. Sur sa table, des « demis » vides et des restes de sandwiches témoignent d’une longue nuit, peut-être même d’un interrogatoire qui s’est éternisé. On nous apprend dans la salle des inspecteurs qu’hier soir un corps...>>>

venerdì 11 settembre 2020

SIMENON SIMENON "VINTAGE". FAMILY AGAINST FAMILY, CLASS AGAINST CLASS

A sociological analysis of the novel "Maigret and the old Lady" 

SIMENON SIMENON. FAMIGLIA CONTRO FAMIGLIA, CLASSE CONTRO CLASSE 
Un' analisi sociologica del romanzo "Maigret e la vecchia signora"  
SIMENON SIMENON. FAMILLE CONTRE FAMILLE, CLASSE CONTRE CLASSE 
Une analyse sociologique du roman "Maigret et la vieille dame"

 
In 1950, a reviewer of Maigret et la vieille dame noted ‘the extent to which this novel freezes the image of a lost France testified to in Simenon’s novels, a point of reference in the sentimental geography of France’. While it is true that the notion of a sentimental attachment to childhood memories and the loss of innocence is a strong one in the commissaire’s only Etretat inquiry, I will argue below that the novel also realises another powerful theme, that of class conflict. 
In early September, Maigret receives a visit in his office from a certain Madame Valentine Besson, an engaging and formerly colossally wealthy widow from Etretat, who begs him to come to the town to investigate the death of her maid, Rose, poisoned by a night-time drink intended for her employer. Minutes later, he receives the same request from the head of the police judiciaire who has been approached by the minister on behalf of Charles Besson, Valentine’s step-son and député for the Seine-Inférieure constituency including Fécamp and Etretat. On his arrival in Etretat, Maigret encounters the two other members of the Besson family, a second step-son Théo and Valentine’s daughter Arlette, along with Rose’s family, the Trochus, fishing folk from nearby Yport. Maigret will discover that Valentine is not what she seems and that the Besson family has a number of secrets, although it will take a further death before the case is resolved. 
In addition to the police investigation in the strictest sense of discovering who killed Rose and why, Maigret uncovers the underlying opposition between the Bessons and the Trochus based on the conflict between their respective social classes, the bourgeoisie and the working class. Like another Norman bourgeois, Philippe Deligeard in ‘La Vieille dame de Bayeux’, Théo Besson has failed in his business ventures but is nevertheless ‘the biggest snob in the world’. Charles Besson has also been a failure in business but has somehow ‘been elected by some stroke of luck’ and stands to acquire a substantial sum following the death of his mother-in-law. To Maigret, he is a ‘weakling, ill-adjusted to reality’ who is more concerned by the possibility of a political scandal following the death of Rose than by the fact that a young girl has lost her life, and at the end of the story Maigret seems to take pleasure in telling him ‘You can explain it all to your constituents’. Yet, worst of all the Bessons is Valentine who despite (or perhaps because of?) her own humble origins will stop at nothing, including murder, to preserve what remains of her fortune. 
In direct opposition to the Bessons, is Rose’s family, the Trochus: the two older brothers are both crewhands in the Fécamp herring fishing fleet, as had been their father before turning to inshore fishing, a sister works in a café in Le Havre and Rose had become Madame Besson’s servant at the age of fifteen. While the Bessons typify bourgeois dog-eat-dog individualism, with each family member looking out for his or her own interests and not hesitating to make scathing remarks each about the other, the Trochus present a united front of working class solidarity, first at Rose’s funeral, then when questioned by Inspector Castaing and finally during Maigret’s visit to their home. This solidarity is an expression of a certain class consciousness, although this is never verbalised in explicitly political comments. Henri, the eldest brother, refuses to shake Madame Besson’s hand at Rose’s funeral before turning his back on her and the family are united in their belief that the main motivation of the police is to protect the bourgeois Bessons rather than discover who has killed Rose. Despite Maigret’s best efforts to convince them otherwise, when he ends his interview with the Trochus, although he may no longer be an ‘enemy’, he is still, because of the difference in social class, an ‘outsider’. 
This class-consciousness of the Trochus is a realisation of political developments in a post-war France in which the working class had entered onto the political scene in a way not seen since the factory occupations and popular front government of 1936, a phenomenon which extended from the traditional socialist and communist heartlands of the big cities and industrial areas to even the small towns of the Normandy coast, pitting working class fishing communities against the more bourgeois holiday resorts. As Castaing observes after Rose’s funeral: ‘In the villages, mainly those around the châteaux, you still find respectful, humble people who speak of “the master”. There are another sort who put on a tougher air, suspicious, sometimes cantankerous folk.’ Maigret may have been informed that ‘they adore her [Valentine] at Etretat’, but, as Castaing recognises, ‘Yport is not Etretat and Rose […] is dead’. 
So, the antagonism between the two families is less a matter of differing individual personalities than of conflicting social classes, nowhere symbolised more clearly than in the contrast between the vintage calvados in a cut-glass decanter proffered by Valentine to Maigret when he visits her and the home-made cider which Monsieur Trochu grudgingly offers towards the end of the commissaire’s trip to Yport. Finally, Maigret realises what has happened and is forced to take a side: he ‘grabbed [the decanter of calvados] roughly from her hands and threw it violently on the floor’. Justice is done and Madame Besson is arrested but at a terrible price to the Trochus who, in the space of a few days, have lost two children to the avarice and manipulation of Valentine and Théo Besson. 

William Alder