Georges Simenon’s romans durs

This post was intended as a private note, but I just thought it might be of interest to regular or sporadic readers of this blog.

Georges Simenon (1903–1989) was born in Liège, Belgium. He went to work as a reporter at the age of fifteen and in 1923 moved to Paris, where under various pseudonyms he became a highly successful and prolific author of pulp fiction while leading a dazzling social life. In the early 1930s, Simenon emerged as a writer under his own name, gaining renown for his detective stories featuring Inspector Maigret. He also began to write his psychological novels, or romans durs—books in which he displays a sympathetic awareness of the emotional and spiritual pain underlying the routines of daily life. Having written nearly two hundred books under his own name and become the best-selling author in the world, Simenon retired as a novelist in 1973, devoting himself instead to dictating several volumes of memoirs. (New York Review Books).

The books on the lists are: The Man Who Watched Trains Go By; The Strangers in the House; Dirty Snow; Three Bedrooms in Manhattan; Monsieur Monde Vanishes; Red Lights; The Engagement; The Widow; Tropic Moon; Pedigree, and Act of Passion.

To read more about Simenon’s romans durs:

A Measure of the Master: Georges Simenon’s romans durs by John McIntyre.

The Escape Artist: John Banville on Georges Simenon 

Discovering Georges Simenon by Michael Berger

Georges Simenon romans durs (in French)

15 thoughts on “Georges Simenon’s romans durs”

  1. I have a beautiful collected edition of these novels in French and am looking forward to rereading them all in order… Unjustly forgotten, compared to Maigret…

    1. I can’t help but feel envious about your proficiency of the French language, Marina Sofia. Thanks for your comment. Peut-être qu’un jour je peux lire le français aussi.

  2. José Ignacio – This is really very interesting. Not enough people know that Simenon was much more than just Maigret, if I may put it that way.

  3. I project most readers find the romans durs like night and day compared to the Maigret series. This doesn’t mean one can’t like both. My personal preference is for the Maigrets because a remarkable consistency is sustained throughout. The “durs” are just that; they’re tough and heavy and literary.

    1. Thanks for your comment David. Regretfully I have not read enough books by Simenon. Therefore, I’m not qualified to express an opinion. All I can say is that, at this stage, I’m quite interested in reading some romans durs,.And I’m looking forward to reading also some Maigret books.

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