Maigret, a great pending subject of the Spanish reader | Elementary Blog


As a good creation of one of the most excessive and great characters that has given the history of literature, Jules Maigret is also a complex character, almost untouchable, full of sharp edges and interpretations and radically unique. Protagonist of 75 of the 194 novels by George Simenon and 28 of the 157 short stories and nouvelles, adapted more than 30 times to the cinema and with the second longest series of the history of the television, the figures of Maigret overwhelm. His novels have sold tens of millions of copies around the world.

Who is this good man? Well, a French policeman with an undeniable influence on the black criminal literature that came after him. A gentleman of about 1.80 and slow movements, not clumsy; he is not a deductive genius, he is not very violent, he is not a magician of inquiry; he always puts himself in the place of the victim because if he knows her he will know the reason and if he arrives there he will be close to discovering the truth; he is not very intelligent, not stupid, but very patient; He is reserved and serious and has no sense of humor; Excellent gourment, smokes in a pipe, drinks beer and plum liquor prepared by his wife, Louise, a brilliant Alsatian who completes the cozy home universe of the curator; he lives in Boulevard Richard-Lenoir (then retires to the countryside) and from there he walks to his work Quai des Orfevres; He considers that his mission is not a great thing, that his profession is really a way of approaching the human being.

So you could define a man tempted by the dark side in The night of the crossroads, Lost in Maigret in New York, bright in Maigret tends a trap or The dead of Maigret, a character that lasts until the end of the series in a way that would already like others who have not starred or a tenth of stories.

In the past Quais du Polar took advantage of the 30 years of the death of Simenon and the 90 of the first appearance of Maigret to pay homage and discover, along the way, that the character is even more complex than we think. The illustrator Loustal, who has made the covers of the Tout Maigret edited by Omnibus (a jewel) told how he realized that it was better to leave a face not very marked when drawing it, that it is the people who see if it stays in their imagination with that drawing or with Jean Gabin, Bruno Cremer or Rowan Atkinson. Betrand Tavernier, irredentist fan of Maigret, asked to always go beyond the investigation: "Maigret is not a policeman, he is a novelist. If there is anything that is worth of him, it is the look. It has gravity, strength, is massive, "the French director told a tribute.

Cover of Tout Simenon illustrated by Loustal.
Cover of Tout Simenon illustrated by Loustal.

Maigret is not Simenon, although in the biographical exhibition that the Belgian author made of his life in the form of small nuances and situations it is deduced that there is something of him beyond the pipe. Let each one look for his Maigret, learn from his way of seeing life, immerse himself in his particular wisdom.

For those who do not read the simple, non-simple French of this international Belgian, Acantilado has been producing two novels a year with effort and care since 2012. One is from the so-called novels hard (I refuse to say 'literary', as if those of the curator were not), the other always with Maigret in front. They do not follow an order. "The chronological criterion does not convince me at all because what we want to do is to understand to the reader which writer was Simenon. The quality is always extraordinary, but there are texts with a special narrative value. Now, it is costing us that the Spanish reader realizes ", counted to this newspaper Sandra Ollo, responsible for its publication. It is true that it costs, but I do not understand why. They are fun, deep books, for lovers of the genre and for those who are not. Paco Camarasa said that Simenon is our great unfinished business as readers. That this post to begin to remedy it.

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