Simenon, Georges

Tagged: Author

(1903-1989) Belgian-born author, in France 1925-1945 and 1955-1957, famous over his enormously prolific career mainly for the seventy-five or so Maigret novels about a Paris-based police inspector, and also for what he called romans durs: savagely intense studies of men – women hardly feature as protagonists in his work – who have been driven to and beyond their psychological limits, and who break. Of these novels, La neige était sale (1948; trans Louise Varese as The Snow Was Black 1950; new trans John Petrie as The Stain in the Snow 1953), which is set in an unnamed country rigid with Paranoia under Nazi rule during World War Two, edges towards the fantastic. Of Simenon's huge 1920s output under pseudonyms, several tales as by Georges Sim are of sf interest, some of which – including Les Nains des Cataractes ["The Dwarves of the Waterfalls"] (1928), Le Secret des Lamas ["The Secret of the Lamas"] (1928) and Le Sous-Marin Dans la Forêt ["The Submarine in the Forest"] (1929) – involve Underground worlds, Lost Races, Monsters and Apes as Human themes. Simenon himself showed little interest in his 1920s work, though it has begun to draw some critical attention in France. More titles of genre relevance may yet be unearthed. [JC]

Georges Joseph Christian Simenon

born Liège, Belgium: 13 February 1903

died Lausanne, Switzerland: 4 September 1989

works (highly selected)

  • Le Roi des Glaces ["The King of the Ice"] (Paris: Jules Tallandier, 1927) as by Georges Sim [in the publisher's Library of Great Adventures series: pb/]
  • Les Voleurs de Navires ["The Thieves from the Ship"] (Paris: Jules Tallandier, 1927) as by Georges Sim [in the publisher's Library of Great Adventures series: pb/]
  • Les Nains des Cataractes ["The Dwarves of the Waterfalls"] (Paris: Jules Tallandier, 1928) as by Georges Sim [in the publisher's Library of Great Adventures series: pb/]
  • Le Secret des Lamas ["The Secret of the Lamas"] (Paris: Jules Tallandier, 1928) as by Georges Sim [in the publisher's Library of Great Adventures series: pb/]
  • L'Île des Hommes Roux ["The Island of the Red-Haired Men"] (Paris: Jules Tallandier, 1929) as by Georges Sim [in the publisher's Library of Great Adventures series: pb/]
  • Le Roi du Pacifique ["The King of the Pacific"] (Paris: Jules Tallandier, 1929) as by Georges Sim [in the publisher's Library of Great Adventures series: pb/]
  • Le Sous-Marin Dans la Forêt ["The Submarine in the Forest"] (Paris: Jules Tallandier, 1929) as by Georges Sim [in the publisher's Library of Great Adventures series: pb/]
  • Le gorille Roi ["The Gorilla King"] (Paris: Jules Tallandier, 1929) as by Georges Sim [in the publisher's Library of Great Adventures series: pb/]
  • Marie-Mystère ["Mary Mystery"] (Paris: Presses de la Cité, 1931) as by Georges Sim [pb/]
  • La Fiancée du Diable ["The Devil's Fiancee"] as by Georges Sim (Paris: Presses de la Cité, 1932) [pb/]
  • La neige était sale (Paris: Presses de la Cité, 1948) [hb/nonpictorial]
    • The Snow Was Black (New York: Prentice-Hall, 1950) [trans by Louise Varèse of the above: hb/Sutorius]
    • The Stain in the Snow (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1953) [new trans by John Petrie of the above: hb/uncredited]

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