Investigating Simenon

Patriarchy, Sex and Politics in the Fiction


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About the Book

For nearly a century, the work of Belgian crime writer and psychological novelist Georges Simenon, creator of Chief Inspector Maigret, has captivated readers worldwide. This investigation situates Simenon’s work in its historical context and interprets it as a reaction to shifting gender relations in Western society. Simenon’s compelling narratives capture the anxieties of men whose patriarchal position was under threat in an era of insurgent feminist movements. These concerns are also evident in Simenon’s pervasive preoccupation with sexuality, as well as his political stance that stems from his petit-bourgeois upbringing. This groundbreaking study includes interwoven commentary on all 191 novels Simenon published under his own name, including several that have never been translated into English, as well as a number of short stories and several pseudonymous works.

About the Author(s)

Russell Campbell is an adjunct professor of film at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He is an award-winning scholar and documentary filmmaker.

Bibliographic Details

Russell Campbell

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 288
Bibliographic Info: appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8999-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4827-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi
Preface 1
Introduction 5

Character Types
1. The Incredible Shrinking Man 19
2. Virago Intacta 41
3. Fever Pitch 52
4. The Devil’s Fiancée 73
5. Return of the Wolf Man 91

6. Laurel and Hardy 117

A Fictional World
7. Marital Malaise 125
8. The Irruption of Eros 142
9. Beyond the Pale 162
10. The Body Politic 182
11. Colossus 206

Conclusion: Envoi 226
Appendix: Simenon Translation Titles 231
Chapter Notes 249
Bibliography 267
Index 277