Maigret, Simenon and France

Social Dimensions of the Novels and Stories


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About the Book

Georges Simenon (1903–1989) was a phenomenally successful author of crime fiction. His 75 Maigret novels and 28 Maigret short stories were published between 1931 and 1972 to great international acclaim (he is the only non-anglophone crime writer to have achieved such renown). His Maigret stories are regarded by many as having established a new direction in crime fiction, emphasizing social and psychological portraiture rather than focussing on a puzzle to be solved or on “action.” This book examines the importance of social class and social change in the Maigret stories, giving a particular emphasis to the early formative novels and the development of plot, characterization and setting. The author seeks to establish the extent to which Simenon’s portrait of French society is historically accurate and the nature of the influence of the author’s own class position and ideology on his fiction.

About the Author(s)

Bill Alder is an associate lecturer in French with the Open University in the United Kingdom. He has published articles in English and French on Maigret, Simenon and crime fiction, in American, British and Belgian journals. He lives in the United Kingdom.

Bibliographic Details

Bill Alder
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 220
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7054-9
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0106-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  vi
Foreword by Stephen Knight  1
Preface  5
Introduction  9
Chapter 1
The Fayard Maigret Novels: Narratives, Contexts,
Settings and Themes, 1931  21
Chapter 2
The Fayard Maigret Novels: Narratives, Contexts,
Settings and Themes, 1932  53
Chapter 3
The Fayard Maigret Novels: Simenon’s Perspective  91
Chapter 4
Short Stories and Journalism: Maigret, Simenon and
the Crises of the 1930s  114
Chapter 5
What Maigret Did Next  145
Chapter 6
Conclusions  173
Bibliography  197
Index  20

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Finalist, Edgar Allan Poe Award—Mystery Writers of America
  • “Maigret…proves that Simenon’s version of French society is historically accurate”—Reference & Research Book News.