simenon's centenary

4 February 2003

georges simenon’s birth set him up well for a career as a mystery novelist:

The life of Georges Simenon began with a lie. He was born, during a rainstorm in Liège, 10 minutes into Friday February 13, 1903, but his superstitious mother insisted the birth was registered for the more auspicious Thursday. So, for 86 years until his death in Switzerland, he lit candles annually to a fiction and, in three months’ time, his centenary will be celebrated one day early.

i haven’t read any of the maigret books for years. i know i enjoyed those i did read but i’ve been put off them in recent times since i heard the rumours of how fast he wrote the books. it sounds as if the claims of writing books in 24 hours are false but the claims of writing many of his books in eleven days are true. my friend maigret and maigret in court are supposed to be among the best mystery novels of all time and though i’ve found other “best of genre” lists to be full of rubbish i’d like to check those two out. (i’ve actually got a copy of mon ami maigret but i don’t think my french is ever likely to be up to reading it.)