Georges Simenon

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Simenon, Georges

Simenon, Georges (zhôrzh sēmənôNˈ), 1903–89, Belgian novelist. One of the most prolific of modern authors, he is best known for the more than 75 stories he wrote featuring the intuitive French police detective Inspector Maigret. He also wrote more than 110 psychological novels, which he called romans durs (hard novels), including The House by the Canal (1933), Dirty Snow (1948), The Door (1962), and The Cat (1976), as well as many articles, short stories, and novellas.


See his autobiographical novel, Pedigree (1948, tr. 1963, 2010) and his Intimate Memoirs (1981, tr. 1984); study by L. Becker (1977); biographies by F. Bresler (1985) and P. Assouline (1998).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Simenon, Georges


Born Feb. 13, 1903, in Liège, Belgium. French writer. Member of the Royal Academy of French Language and Literature (Brussels) since 1951.

Simenon began publishing in 1919. His novel The Strange Case of Peter the Lett (1931) was the first in a series of now world-famous detective novels and novellas centered on the police inspector Maigret. In these works, including Maigret Travels (1958; Russian translation, 1967) and Maigret and the Tramp (1963; Russian translation, 1966), attention is devoted not so much to the crimes themselves as to investigation of human character and of the causes of the crimes. Simenon depicts the tragic fate of people in the contemporary bourgeois world, their isolation, and their painful efforts to find a way out of their predicament; he also portrays the disintegration of the bourgeois family. These themes are found in the sociopsychological novels Four Days of a Poor Man (1949; Russian translation, 1968), The President (1958; Russian translation, I960), and The Prison (1968; Russian translation, 1968) and in Simenon’s 200th novel, the anniversary work There Are Still Hazelnut Trees (1969). Simenon has also written the autobiographical I Remember (1945), Pedigree (1948), and Letter to My Mother (1974).


Oeuvres complètes [Romans et nouvelles], vols. 1-40. Edited by G. Sigaux. [Lausanne-Paris, 1967–70.] (In progress.)
Oeuvres complètes [Maigret], vols. I-XXV. Edited by G. Sigaux. Lausanne-Paris, 1967–70. (In progress.)
Quant j’étais vieux [vols. 1–3]. Paris [1970–72].
In Russian translation:
Zheltyipes [Romany]. Moscow, 1960.
Neizvestnye ν dome: Povesti i rasskazy. Moscow, 1966.
Pervoe delo Megre. (B-kaprikliuchenii, vol. 12.) Moscow, 1968.


Shraiber, E. “Zh. Simenon i ego ‘trudnye’ romany.” Neva, 1968, no. 10.
Modestova, N. A. Komissar Megre i ego avtor. [Kiev] 1973.
Lacassin, F., and G. Sigaux. Simenon. Paris [1973]. (Contains bibliography.)
Menguy, C. Bibliographie des éditions originales de Georges Simenon. [Brussels] 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Her decision to take student boarders into the Simenon home as a way of supplementing her husband's meager earnings effectively reduced Desire to the status of an inmate whose needs became secondary to those of the paying boarders and awakened a deep resentment in Georges Simenon against his mother, even though he profited from the presence of the foreign students in the Simenon home, learned their language, and used them as the basis of characters in his novels (Bresler 18-20; Assouline 10-11).
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It is as if Davis, who has rendered into English the writings of Jean-Paul Sartre, Georges Simenon, Michel Foucault and others, has brought to her own stories the sensitive, vigilant eye of the translator.
He has worked with writers as varied as Georges Simenon and Cocteau and composers such as Sauguet, Messaien, and Marius Constant.
In France, Georges Simenon created Inspector Jules Maigret, one of the best-known detectives since Sherlock Holmes.
The first series reflected its wide-reaching approach to the UK's arts scene with programmes on artist David Hockney, comedian Ken Dodd, the Carry On films, Maigret creator Georges Simenon and American comedy star Woody Allen.