Thursday, May 21, 2009

Maigret, c'est moi

In an earlier post I argued that novelist Georges Simenon modeled the methods of his signature character, Inspector Maigret, on those of a novelist. A corroborating passage turned up today in an excellent biography of the writer:

"...Maigret and Simenon did have a parallel understanding of their principal activities. They saw police work and writing as uncomplicated crafts. Both had an aptitude for living the lives of others and for immersing themselves in a milieu. The policeman felt uncomfortable between cases, the novelist when he was between books.

"...Maigret reasons as Simenon writes. Both tend to have more sympathy for the perpetrator than for the victim. The investigator often says that he knows the murderer only by getting to know the victim well, and the novelist builds his tale in exactly the same way. In the investigation itself, as in the writing that engenders it, atmosphere, milieu, and characters are more important than plot, clue and suspense."


Tulkinghorn said...

Simenon, with his attention to character, would have (had he been alive during the early years of the 21st century) seen through the lying Bushitler and his puppeteer Cheney, that's for sure.

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