Masters of the "Humdrum" Mystery: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart and the British Detective Novel, 1920-1961, by Curtis Evans

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McFarland & Company Inc. 2012. Format: Kindle edition. File size: 5870 KB. Print length: 309 pages. ASIN: B008CO9TW6. ISBN: 978-0-7864-7024-2

4aebecd6d4a2f45596965636a41444341587343Book description: In 1972, in an attempt to elevate the stature of the “crime novel,” influential crime writer and critic Julian Symons cast numerous Golden Age detective fiction writers into literary perdition as “Humdrums,” condemning their focus on puzzle plots over stylish writing and explorations of character, setting and theme. This volume explores the works of three prominent British “Humdrums”—Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, and Alfred Walter Stewart—revealing their work to be more complex, as puzzles and as social documents, than Symons allowed. By championing the intrinsic merit of these mystery writers, the study demonstrates that reintegrating the “Humdrums” into mystery genre studies provides a fuller understanding of the Golden Age of detective fiction and its aftermath.

My take: Curtis Evans himself writes in his blog The Passing Tramp, what I believe to be the best possible introduction to his book: I wrote my new book, Masters of the “Humdrum” Mystery: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart and the British Detective Novel, 1920-1961(to be published by McFarland Press in June 2012) in part to give a long overdue reappraisal of these “Humdrum” detection writers as accomplished literary artists.  Not only did they produce a goodly number of fine fair play puzzles, but their clever tales have more intrinsic interest as social documents and even sometimes as literary novels than they have been credited with having. Too often today is the Golden Age of British mystery writing defined exclusively by the four British Crime Queens: Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham and Ngaio Marsh.  While these talented and beloved women crime writers are of great importance to the study of the period, they should not be treated as the period’s sole representatives.  As my study shows, the Humdrums were distinctive writers in their own right, actually quite distinguishable from their accomplished sisters in  crime.  They were, in fact, their own men. My hope is that Masters of the “Humdrum” Mystery will entertain and inform readers but also provide us all with a fuller understanding of the history of the mystery genre during its Golden Age and its aftermath. Read the entire article here.

Julian Symons, in his study Bloody Murder published in 1972, coined the term “humdrum”, in a somehow derogatory sense, to refer to a whole class of early 20th-century British authors, on grounds of their inability to write stylish and to create compelling characters. However he fails to provide a list of authors that should be included under this term. In his view, they have some skill in constructing puzzles, but nothing more. Most of them came late to writing fiction, and few had much talent for it. According to Curtis Evans, Symons insufficiently values the great technical sophistication of the plots in the best works of these authors. And, therefore, he seeks in this book to rehabilitate the reputations of three such novelists: Street, an English army artillerist and intelligence officer who published as “John Rhode” and “Miles Burton”; Crofts, a railroad engineer; and Stewart, a chemistry professor who adopted the nom de plume J.J. Connington.

In Masters of the Humdrum, they and their stories find scrupulous, overdue attention. For the most part, Evans shuns any academic tone in favour of a fan’s passion, guaranteeing that at least a few of his readers will soon be haunting used book stores and the Web in search of the less-than-humdrum novels he cites. At their peak, they were among the most popular and critically-esteemed British detective novelists. Indicative of the one-time standing of Crofts, Street and Stewart is that they – like the great (and much better studied) Crime Queens Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers – were all founding members of the Detection Club, a social body consisting of the elite of Golden Age British detective novelists.

Essentially, we found ourselves in front of an academic study written by Curtis Evans, a historian of classic crime fiction and an incredible authority on the subject, that will delight all aficionados to the Golden Age of detective fiction. Written in a simple and very pleasant manner, Evans study provides a detail biography of these three authors and a large number of reviews of their main novels together with a list of those that, in Curtis Evans view, are the most recommended, if not their bests. Something which I found very useful given the impressive literary production of them three.

This book provides us with a very much needed effort, since after many years benefiting of great popularity, these authors fell in disgrace, to the point that their books were no longer published. And, nowadays, thanks to the efforts of people like Curtis Evans and of some publishing houses, several of these books are again within easy reach of the public in general.

Many are the anecdotes about their lives and their works that will help the reader to grab a better understanding of the period of time in which they lived and wrote, and of their relevance in the further development of detective fiction.

Ultimately, Masters of the “Humdrum” Mystery is an excellent reference book that should figure in the bookshelves af any good crime fiction aficionado.

About the Author: Curtis Evans, an independent scholar and book dealer, has published numerous articles and essays on detective fiction as well as an award-winning book on industry and labor in the American South. He lives in Germantown, Tennessee. Curtis Evans can be found in Twitter @thepassingtramp, and at his blog The Passing Tramp.

My rating: Since this is not a work of fiction, I’m not going to give it any rating,  however I highly recommend it.

Masters of the “Humdrum” Mystery has been reviewed at In Search of the Classical Mystery Novel, Past Offences‘Do You Write Under Your Own Name?’, Mystery File, and Pretty Sinister Books, among others.

McFarland publicity page

Masters of the “Humdrum” – an interview with Curtis Evans

Interview with Curtis Evans about his essay Masters of the”Humdrum” Mystery

Los maestros del misterio “humdrum”: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart y la novela de detectives británica, 1920-1961, de Curtis Evans

Descripción del libro: En 1972, en un intento por aumentar el prestigio de la “novela policíaca”, el influyente escritor y crítico de novela criminal Julian Symons arrojó a numerosos escritores de la edad dorada de la novela de detectives a la perdición literaria como “humdrum” [literalmente: rutinarios, monótonos, aburridos], condenando de esta manera su mayor atención por la trama enigma por encima de una escritura estilizada, y de la investigación sobre personajes, escenarios y temas. Este volumen examina las obras de tres “Humdrums” británicos prominentes -Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts y Alfred Walter Stewart- poniendo de manifiesto que su trabajo es más complejo, como enigma y como  documentos sociales, de lo que Symons admitía. Al defender el mérito intrínseco de estos escritores de misterios, el estudio demuestra que la reintegración de los “Humdrums” en los estudios del género de misterio proporciona un mejor conocimiento de la Edad de Oro de la novela de detectives y su repercusión.

Mi opinión: El propio Curtis Evans escribe en su blog The Passing Tramp, lo que creo que es la mejor introducción posible a su libro: Escribí mi nuevo libro, Masters of the “Humdrum” Mystery: Cecil John Charles Street, Freeman Wills Crofts, Alfred Walter Stewart and the British Detective Novel, 1920-1961 (que será publicado por McFarland Press en junio de 2012) en parte para hacer una revisión pendiente desde hace mucho tiempo de estos novelistas de género policíaco “Humdrum” como destacados escritores. No solo produjeron un buen número de excelentes enigmas atendiendo a las reglas del juego limpio, sino que sus relatos inteligentes tienen un mayor interés intrínseco como documentos sociales e incluso a veces como novelas literarias de lo que se les atribuye. En demasiadas ocasiones hoy  la Era Dorada de la novela británica de misterio es definida exclusivamente por las cuatro reinas del crimen británicas: Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham y Ngaio Marsh. Si bien estas prodigiosas y queridas escritoras de novelas criminales tienen una gran importancia para el estudio del período, no deberían ser tratadas como las únicas representantes del período. Como muestra mi estudio, los Humdrums eran escritores con rasgos característicos por derecho propio, en realidad muy diferenciados de sus existosas hermanas en el crimen. Eran, de hecho, sus propios varones. Mi esperanza es que los Maestros del Misterio “Humdrum” entretendrán e informarán a los lectores, pero también nos proporcionarán a todos una mejor y más completa comprensión de la historia del género de misterio durante su Edad de Oro y sus consecuencias. Lea el artículo completo aquí.

Julian Symons, en su estudio Bloody Murder, publicado en 1972, acuñó el término “humdrum”, en sentido peyorativo, para referirse a toda una clase de autores británicos de principios del siglo XX, sobre la base de su incapacidad para escribir con elegancia y crear personajes convincentes. Sin embargo, no proporciona una lista de autores que deberían incluirse en este término. En su opinión, tienen cierta habilidad para construir enigmas, pero nada más. La mayoría de ellos llegó tarde a escribir novelas, y pocos tenían talento para ello. Según Curtis Evans, Symons no valora suficientemente la gran sofisticación técnica de las tramas en las mejores obras de estos autores. Y, en consecuenica, busca en este libro rehabilitar el buen nombre de tres de esos novelistas: Street, un artillerio del ejército inglés y oficial de inteligencia que publicó como “John Rhode” y “Miles Burton”; Crofts, un ingeniero de ferrocarriles; y Stewart, un profesor de química que adoptó el pseudónimo de J.J. Connington.

En Masters of the Humdrum, ellos y sus vidas encuentran una atención escrupulosa y pendiente desde hace tiempo. En su mayor parte, Evans evita cualquier tono académico a favor de la pasión de un aficionado, garantizando que al menos algunos de sus lectores pronto estarán rondando por las librerías de libros usados y la Web en busca de las novelas poco convencionales que cita. En su apogeo, se encontraban entre los novelistas de detectives británicos más populares y críticamente estimados. Un indicativo de la posición única de Crofts, Street y Stewart es que, como las grandes (y mucho mejor estudiadas) Reinas del Crimen Agatha Christie y Dorothy L. Sayers, fueron todos miembros fundadores del Detection Club, una sociedad formada por la élite de novelistas británicos de detectives de la Edad de Oro.

Esencialmente, nos encontramos frente a un estudio académico escrito por Curtis Evans, un historiador de la novela criminal clásica y una autoridad increíble sobre el tema, que hará las delicias de todos los aficionados a la edad de oro de la novela de detectives. Escrito de una manera sencilla y muy agradable, el estudio de Evans proporciona una biografía detallada de estos tres autores y un gran número de reseñas de sus principales novelas junto con una lista de aquellas que, en opinión de Curtis Evans, son las más recomendables, si no las mejores. Algo que encontré muy útil dada la impresionante producción literaria de ellos tres.

Este libro nos proporciona un esfuerzo muy necesario, ya que después de muchos años gozando de gran popularidad, estos autores cayeron en desgracia, hasta el punto de que sus libros ya no se publicaron. Y, hoy en día, gracias a los esfuerzos de personas como Curtis Evans y de varias editoriales, algunos de estos libros están de nuevo al alcance del público en general.

Muchas son las anécdotas sobre sus vidas y sus obras que ayudarán al lector a obtener una mejor comprensión del período de tiempo en el que vivieron y escribieron, y de su relevancia en el desarrollo posterior de la novela de detectives.

En definitiva, Masters of the “Humdrum” Mystery es un excelente libro de referencia que debe figurar en las estanterías de cualquier buen aficionado a las novelas de crimen y misterio.

Sobre el autor: Curtis Evans, un académico independiente y vendedor de libros, ha publicado numerosos artículos y ensayos sobre las novelas de detectives, así como un libro premiado sobre la industria y el trabajo en el sur de los Estados Unidos. Vive en Germantown, Tennessee. Curtis Evans se puede encontrar en Twitter @thepassingtramp, y en su blog The Passing Tramp.

Mi valoración : Dado que no es una obra de ficción, no voy a darle ninguna valoración, sin embargo, lo recomiendo encarecidamente.

Review: Maigret’s Doubts, 1958 (Inspector Maigret #52) by Georges Simenon (Trans: Shaun Whiteside)

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Penguin Classics, 2018. Format: Kindle edition. File size: 2654.0 KB. Print length: 173 pages. First published in French as Les scrupules de Maigret by Presses de la Cité, 1958. This translation was first published in 2018. ASIN: B074R5XP2K. ISBN: 978-0-141-98590-9.  This novel was published by Hamish Hamilton as Maigret Has Scruples in 1959. Robert Eglesfield was the translator for this and all subsequent English versions. The first American version appeared in a two-book volume (with Maigret and the Reluctant Witness) published by Doubleday. Cautiion! Not to be confused with Maigret Has Doubts, originally published as Une confidence de Maigret in 1959, aka Maigret’s Secret.

cover.jpg.rendition.460.707Book description: When a salesman from a Paris department store confides his secret fears to Maigret, the Inspector soon becomes caught up in a treacherous feud between husband and wife that is not as clear cut as it seems.

While at this time the previous day he had never heard of the Martons, the train set specialist was beginning to haunt his thoughts, and so was the elegant young woman who, he admitted, had boldly stood up to him when he had done everything he could to unsettle her.

My take: One of such unusual days, at the beginning of January, where nothing happens and everything is quiet at Quai des Orfèvres, Maigret receives a visit from a man who believes his wife wants to poison him. However, the character concerned disappears rapidly when Maiget leaves him alone for a moment, and, upon his return, Maigret must put all his resources into motion to find out his name and address. That same afternoon, his wife comes before Maigret and explains that her husband, suffers delusions and that she is the one who feels that her own life is in danger. Maigret is left wondering who is telling the truth. And Maigret will feel compelled to investigate a crime has not yet occurred and in which so far the identity of the victim remains unknown. A case that Maigret decides to investigate even against the advice of Examining Magistrate Coméliau, who had been something like his friendly enemy for over twenty years. .

‘…If you want to know what I really think [said the public prosecutor], you are being over-scrupulous. If I were you, Maigret, I would drop the case. Once again, as things stand, we have no right to intervene, and no way of doing so. These husbands and wives suspecting one another – I’m sure there are thousands of them all around us ….’

As Murielle Wenger has pointed out,[see below Maigret of the Month: May, 2008], with this novel begins a series of rather atypical Maigrets,  among which we can find the following titles:  Maigret aux Assises, 1960 (Maigret in Court); Maigret hésite, 1968 (Maigret Hesitates), and Maigret et le Tueur, 1969 (Maigret and the Killer). A series of books that are more “psychological” than a police fiction, strictly speaking. A set of novels that reflect the taste of the times and, most probably, Simenon’s own interest on these issues. Which, by the way, is not at odds with a certain dose of sense of humour.

‘A few years previously he had had an inspector who was just out of university and who had been with the Police Judiciaire for only a few months. He probably worked for a legal firm now. He has read Freud, Adler and a few others and had been so influenced by them that he claimed to be able to explain any case that came in with reference to psychoanalysis.
During his brief stay at the Police Judiciaire he had made one mistake after the other, and his colleagues had nicknamed him Inspector Complex.’

It can be highlighted as well that I have enjoyed very much this story about a marriage that went wrong, its rather unusual structure and a greater psychological depth of the characters. The plot is intelligent and well-constructed, the story is nicely told and, although its pace is somehow slow, the tension increases inevitably. Maigret, or rather Simenon, dares to criticise the legal  system. A criticism that in my view, has lost none of its topically, despite the time elapsed.

The people in the public prosecutor’s office – prosecutors, deputy prosecutors, examining magistrates – almost all of them belong to the middle, if not the upper strata of the bourgeoisie. Their lifestyle, after purely theoretical studies, barely brought them into contact, except in their practice, with the people they were meant to pursue in the name of society. 
Hence their almost congenital lack of understanding of certain problems, an irritating attitude in the face of certain cases which the men of the Police Judiciaire, who lived so to speak, in permanent and almost physical intimacy with the criminal world, assessed instinctively.
There was also a tendency on the part of the Palais de Justice to be a little hypocritical. In spite of an apparent much-discussed independence, they were more susceptible than most to a ministerial frown, and if a case that had stirred public opinion dragged a little, they hounded the police, who could never move quickly enough. It was up to the police to come up with a strategy and use the appropriate methods.
But if the newspapers criticized those methods,the magistrates of the public prosecutor’s office would hurry to take them to task.

In essence,  Maigret’s Doubts is generally considered one of Maigret best novels, probably by the great variety of elements that contains, that are not always present in other of the books in this series. And, therefore, I highly recommend.

My rating: A+ (Don’t delay, get your hands on a copy of this book)

About the author: Georges Simenon was born in Liège, Belgium. At sixteen he began work as a journalist on the Gazette de Liège. He moved to Paris in 1922 and became a prolific writer of popular fiction, working under a number of pseudonyms. In 1931 he published the first of the novels featuring Maigret, his most famous and enduring creation. (Source: Fantastic Fiction)

About the translator: Shaun Whiteside has translated over 50 books from German, French, Italian and Dutch, including novels by Amélie Nothomb, Luther Blissett, Wu Ming and Marcel Möring. His translations of Freud, Musil, Schnitzler and Nietzsche are published by Penguin Classics, and his translation of Magdalena the Sinner by Lilian Faschinger won the 1996 Schlegel-Tieck Translation Prize. A former chair of the Translators Association, he sits on the editorial board of New Books in German and the Advisory Panel of the British Centre for Literary Translation, where he regularly teaches at the summer school. He lives in London with his wife and son. (Source: Institut Francaise, Royaume-Uni)

Maigret’s Doubts has been reviewed at A Penguin a week,

Penguin UK publicity page

Penguin US publicity page 

Les Scrupules de Maigret 

Maigret of the Month: May, 2008

Tout Maigret

Los escrúpulos de Maigret, de Georges Simenon

Descripción del libro: Cuando el vendedor de unos grandes almacenes de París le confía sus temores secretos a Maigret, el comisario pronto queda atrapado en un traicionero conficto entre marido y mujer que no es tan claro como parece.

Mientras que a esa hora del día anterior todavía no había oído hablar de los Martons, el especialista en modelos a escala de trenes empezaba a obsesionarle, y también la elegante joven que, reconoce, le había aguantado valientemente, cuando hizo todo lo posible por desconcertarla.

Mi opinión: En uno de esos días poco habituales, a principios de enero, cuando no pasa nada y todo está tranquilo en Quai des Orfèvres, Maigret recibe la visita de un hombre que cree que su esposa quiere envenenarlo. Sin embargo, el personaje en cuestión desaparece rápidamente cuando Maiget lo deja solo por un momento y, a su regreso, Maigret debe poner en marcha todos sus recursos para averiguar su nombre y dirección. Esa misma tarde, su esposa se presenta ante Maigret y le explica que su marido sufre alucinaciones y es ella la que teme por su vida. Maigret se pregunta quién está diciendo la verdad. Y Maigret se sentirá obligado a investigar un crimen que aún no ha ocurrido y en el que hasta ese momento se desconoce la identidad de la víctima. Un caso que Maigret decide investigar incluso en contra de la recomendación del juez de instrucción Coméliau, que había sido algo así como su cordial enemigo durante más de veinte años. .

“… Si quieres saber lo que realmente pienso [dijo el fiscal], estás siendo demasiado escrupuloso. En tu lugar, Maigret, yo abandonaría el caso. De nuevo, tal y como están las cosas, no tenemos derecho a intervenir, y no hay forma de hacerlo. Maridos y esposas que sospechan el uno al otro; estoy seguro de que hay miles de ellos alrededor nuestro … ‘

Como ha señalado Murielle Wenger, [ver en Maigret del mes: mayo de 2008], con esta novela comienza una serie de Maigrets bastante poco habituales, entre las que podemos encontrar los siguientes títulos: Maigret aux Assises, 1960 (Maigret en la audiencia) ; Maigret hésite, 1968 (Maigret vacila), y Maigret et le Tueur, 1969 (Maigret y el asesino). Una serie de libros que son más “psicológicos” que investigaciones policíales en sentido estricto. Un conjunto de novelas que reflejan el gusto de la época y, muy probablemente, el propio interés de Simenon por estos temas. Lo cual, por cierto, no está en desacuerdo con una cierta dosis de sentido de humor.

“Unos años antes había tenido un inspector que acababa de salir de la universidad y que había estado con la Policía Judicial solo durante unos meses. Probablemente ahora trabaja en una firma de abogados. Había leído a Freud, Adler y otros más  y estaba tan influido por ellos que afirmaba ser capaz de explicar cualquier caso que surgiera por medio del psicoanálisis.
Durante su breve período en la Policía Judicial, cometió un error tras otro, y sus colegas lo apodaron inspector “Complejo”.

También se puede destacar que he disfrutado mucho esta historia sobre un matrimonio que salió mal, su estructura bastante inusual y una mayor profundidad psicológica de los personajes. La trama es inteligente y está bien construida, la historia está muy bien contada y, aunque su ritmo es algo lento, la tensión aumenta inevitablemente. Maigret, o más bien Simenon, se atreve a criticar el sistema legal. Una crítica que, en mi opinión, no ha perdido un ápice de su actualidad, a pesar del tiempo transcurrido.

Las personas en la fiscalía (fiscales, fiscales adjuntos, jueces de instrucción) casi todos pertenecen a la clae media, si no a los estratos superiores de la burguesía. Su estilo de vida, después de estudios puramente teóricos, apenas los pone en contacto, excepto en su práctica, con las personas a las que deben perseguir en nombre de la sociedad.
De ahí su casi congénita falta de comprensión de ciertos problemas, una actitud irritante frente a ciertos casos que los hombres de la Policía Judiciai, que vivían por así decirlo, en intimidad permanente y casi física con el mundo criminal, valoran intuitivamente.
También había una tendencia por parte del Palaicio de Justice a ser un poco hipócritas. A pesar de una aparente independencia muy discutida, eran más susceptibles que la mayoría a un gesto del Ministerio, y si un caso que hubiese llamado la atención de la opinión pública se resistiese un poco, acusarían  a la policía, de no moverse más rápidamente. Correspondiendo a la policía idear una estrategia y usar los métodos apropiados.
Pero si los periódicos criticasen esos métodos, los magistrados de la fiscalía se apresurarían a llamarles la atención.

En resumidas cuentas, Los escrúpulos de Maigret suele estár considerada como una de las mejores novelas de Maigret, probablemente por la gran variedad de elementos que contiene, que no siempre están presentes en otros libros de esta serie. Y, por lo tanto, lo recomiendo encarecidamente.

Mi valoración: A+ (No se demore, consiga un ejemplar de este libro)

Sobre el autor: Georges Simenon nació en Lieja, Bélgica. A los dieciséis años comenzó a trabajar como periodista en la Gazette de Lieja. Se trasladó a viivir a París en 1922 y se convirtió en un prolífico escritor de novelas populares utilizando una gran variedad de seudónimos. En 1931 publicó la primera de las novelas cprotagonizadas por Maigret, su creación más famosa y perdurable. (Fuente: Fastastic Fiction)

OT: Derain, Balthus, Giacometti. Friendship among artists

IMG_20180214_164556As from 1st February until 6th May 2018 Fundación MAPFRE Recoletos Hall in Madrid is hosting an exhibition that explores the friendship between three of the great artists of the 20th century: André Derain (1880-1954), Balthus (Balthasar Klossowski) (1908-2001) and Alberto Giacometti (1901-1966). The visions of these three artists, never before contrasted, coincide in what must be demanded of a work of art. Far beyond the mutual admiration and sincere affection that bonded them throughout their lives, their profound agreement on aesthetic questions is the common thread running through this exhibition.

The exhibition, with around 240 exhibits, has generous support from numerous private collections and international institutions, with special attention being brought to: Fondation Giacometti, Paris; Musées d’Orsay and de l’Orangerie, Paris; Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo; Minneapolis Institute of Art; The Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation, Nueva York; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.; Musée Picasso, Antibes; Musée National Picasso, Paris; Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Tate, London; Fondation Beyeler, Basilea and Kunsthaus, Zurich.

This exhibition, conceived by the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris Musées, was organised with Fundación MAPFRE. Curated by Jacqueline Munck, Chief Curator at the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.

With hindsight we can see that Derain, Balthus and Giacometti followed similar guidelines in their work, particularly in terms of their common outlook on the past of art.

The three share a powerful yearning for modernity, yet are passionately interested in painting’s history and the art of distant civilizations. They are fascinated by “the dark forces of matter” (Derain) and, in general, pay close attention to the “wonderful, unknown” reality before their eyes (Giacometti).

In 1920, when he returned from the front, Derain was an extremely successful artist. After being one of the most important among the Fauvists, that movement which had created art based on pure, bright colours at the turn of the century, his look turned to tradition and the secrets of painting, focussing his attention on the realist style which is known as the “Byzantine Style”.

In the early 1930’s Alberto Giacometti and Balthus, two artists from a younger generation, were fascinated by this “different” Derain, radically new but respecting art from the past. A good friendship grew between the three during their visits to studios and conversations, which was consolidated at successive meetings and projects. Through Derain’s painting and sculpture arose a true friendship between the three, based on reciprocal admiration which Balthus and Giacometti talked about throughout their lives, since Derain was the first to die, and the oldest and reference point in this relationship.

Source: Fundacion Mapfre





The coming Maigret’s titles

5000I’ve finished reading Maigret’s Doubts: Inspector Maigret #52, translated by Shaun Whiteside. First published in French as Les scrupules de Maigret by Presses de la Cité, 1958

Caution! Not to be confused with Maigret Has Doubts, originally published as Une confidence de Maigret by Presses de la Cité, 1959, aka Maigret’s Secret.

I look forward to reading soon Maigret Travels: Inspector Maigret #51 translated by Howard Curtis. Stay tuned.

From March onwards Penguin UK has scheduled to publish the following titles:

Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses: Inspector Maigret #53, translated by William Hobson, in March

Maigret’s Secret: Inspector Maigret #54, translated by David Watson, in April

Maigret in Court: Inspector Maigret #55, translated by Ros Schwartz, in May

Maigret and the Old People: Inspector Maigret #56, translated  by Shaun Whiteside, in June

Maigret and the Lazy Burglar: Inspector Maigret #57, translated by Howard Curtis, in July

Maigret and the Good People of Montparnasse: Inspector Maigret #58, translated by Ros Schwartz, in August

And still 17 more to come.

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