Month: August 2018

Review: Maigret and the Surly Inspector (1947) s.s. by Georges Simenon (translated by Jean Stewart)

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A short story included in Maigret’s Christmas: Nine Stories (Harcourt/Harvest, 2003) Format: Paperback. 410 pages. ISBN: 978-0-15-602853-0. Translated from the French by Jean Stewart, 1976. Originally titled Maigret et l’inspecteur malgracieux (malchanceux), this short story was written in Sainte-Marguerite-du-Lac-Masson (Quebec), Canada 5 May 1946, and was first published by Presses de la Cité, within part of a 1947 collection of short stories under the same title. The collection was first entitled Maigret et l’inspecteur malchanceux [Maigret and the Unlucky Inspector], due to a typographical error, and even though Simenon had wanted the error corrected for the second printing, it appeared in 1952 with the same title, and it wasn’t until its republication in 1956 that the final title appeared. The erroneous title appeared not just on the cover, but on the title page within the book as well. (Source: Maigret of the Month: March, 2012).

malgracieux-02Synopsis: One evening, while waiting for a phone call that might come through after midnight, Maigret ordered the switchboard operator to put all phone calls to him through to Emergencies, on the other side of the street, where he had went over for a chat with his nephew, who was on duty that night. All of a sudden, on a huge map of Paris a light went on in the eighteenth arrondissement. Someone had at that instant broken the glass of the alarm box at the corner of the Rue Caulaincourt and the Rue Lamarck. First a voice shouting into the telephone is heard saying “Merde to the cops!” And, immediately afterwards, the sound of a shot. Maigret recalled that the same thing had happened barely six months before and although, strictly speaking, it wasn’t a matter for the Police Judiciaire, Maigret could not avoid the curiosity and he headed immediately towards the crime scene where a dead man was lying on the pavement. He had been shot point-blank into his right ear, to make it looked like a suicide. His death had been instantaneous. Not to hurt the susceptibilities of Inspector Lognon, the detective in charge of the case, Maigert must proceed with extreme care to disentangle the case.

My take: This story marks the first appearance in a Maigret story of Inspector Lognon, whom we will meet later in several novels (see the study here dedicated to this character by Murielle Wenger). Without being, for my taste, one of the best Maigret short stories, I have very much enjoyed its reading thanks to the superb description of the atmosphere in which the action takes place. For that alone is well worth reading it. 

My rating: A (I loved it)

About the Author: Georges Simenon (Liège, Belgium, 1903 – Lausanne, Switzerland, 1989) wrote one hundred and ninety-one novels with his name, and an undefined number of novels and stories published under different pseudonyms, as well as memorabilia and dictated texts. The Commissaire Maigret is the protagonist of seventy-five of these novels and twenty-eight short stories, all published between 1931 and 1972. Famous throughout the world, already recognized as a master storyteller, today no one doubts he is one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

Amazon Customer Review 

Maigret’s Christmas: Nine Stories by Georges Simenon, Jean Stewart (translator) at Goodreads

Maigret et l’inspecteur malgracieux (malchanceux) (ss)

Maigret of the Month: March, 2012

Maigret y el inspector sin suerte (Maigret y el inspector Malasombra), de Georges Simenon

Título original: Maigret et l’inspecteur malgracieux (malchanceux) es un relato breve escrito el 5 de mayo de 1946. Forma parte de la recopilación de 4 relatos cortos de Maigret publicada inicialmente en 1947 por la editorial Presses de la Cité con el título original de Maigret et l’inspecteur malchanceux. El adjetivo malchanceux fue impreso en lugar de malgracieux, por un error de un linotipista distraído. La corrección no se producirá hasta la décima reedición del texto, en 1954. En castellano ha sido traducido como Maigret y el inspector sin suerte y también como Maigret y el inspector Malasombra. En inglés: Maigret and the Surly Inspector (1976) tr. Jean Stewart. Los relatos que figuran en la recopilación son: El testimonio de un monaguillo, Le témoinage de l’enfant de chœur (28 abril 1946); El cliente más obstinado del mundo, Le client le plus obstiné du monde (2 de mayo de 1946); Maigret y el inspector sin suerte, Maigret et l’inspecteur malgracieux (5 de mayo de 1946); No se mata a los pobres tipos, On ne tue pas les pauvres types (15 de agosto de 1946).

Sinopsis: Una noche, mientras esperaba una llamada telefónica que podría llegar después de la medianoche, Maigret ordenó al operador de la centralita que le pasara todas las llamadas telefónicas a Emergencias, al otro lado de la calle, donde había ido a conversar con su sobrino, que estaba de servicio esa noche. De repente, en un enorme mapa de París se encendió una luz en el distrito XVIII. Alguien había roto en ese momento el cristal de la caja de la alarma en la esquina de la Rue Caulaincourt y la Rue Lamarck. Primero se escucha una voz gritando en el teléfono que dice “¡Merde a la policía!” E, inmediatamente después, el sonido de un disparo. Maigret recordó que lo mismo había sucedido apenas seis meses antes y aunque, estrictamente hablando, no era un asunto de la Policía Judicial, Maigret no pudo evitar la curiosidad y se dirigió inmediatamente hacia la escena del crimen donde un hombre muerto yacía sobre el pavimento. Le habían disparado a bocajarro en la oreja derecha, para que pareciera un suicidio. Su muerte fue instantánea. Para no herir las susceptibilidades del inspector Lognon, el detective a cargo del caso, Maigert debe proceder con extremo cuidado para desentrañar el caso.

Mi opinión: Esta historia marca la primera aparición en una historia de Maigret del inspector Lognon, a quien encontraremos más adelante en varias novelas (ver el estudio aquí dedicado a este personaje por Murielle Wenger). Sin ser, para mi gusto, uno de los mejores relatos breves de Maigret, he disfrutado mucho su lectura gracias a la excelente descripción del ambiente en el que se desarrolla la acción. Solo por eso vale la pena leerlo.

Mi valoración: A (Me encantó)

Sobre el autor: Georges Simenon (Lieja, Bélgica, 1903 – Lausana, Suiza, 1989) escribió ciento noventa y una novelas con su nombre, y un número indefinido de novelas e historias publicadas bajo diferentes seudónimos, así como libros de memorias y textos dictados. El comisario Maigret es el protagonista de setenta y cinco de estas novelas y veintiocho relatos breves, todos ellos publicados entre 1931 y 1972. Famoso en todo el mundo, ya reconocido como un narrador consagrado, hoy nadie duda de que es uno de los mejores escritores del siglo XX.

Maigret, Simenon and France: Social Dimensions of the Novels (McFarland, 2013) by Bill Alder

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McFarland & Co., 2013. Foreword by Stephen Knight. Format: Kindle edition. File size: 2593 KB. Print length: 220 pages. ASIN: B00ATMU2GG. eISBN: 978-1-4766-0106-9.

978-0-7864-7054-9About the Book: Georges Simenon (1903–1989) was a phenomenally successful author of crime fiction. His 75 Maigret novels and 28 Maigret short stories were published between 1931 and 1972 to great international acclaim (he is the only non-anglophone crime writer to have achieved such renown).
His Maigret stories are regarded by many as having established a new direction in crime fiction, emphasizing social and psychological portraiture rather than focussing on a puzzle to be solved or on “action.”
This book examines the importance of social class and social change in the Maigret stories, giving a particular emphasis to the early formative novels and the development of plot, characterization and setting. The author seeks to establish the extent to which Simenon’s portrait of French society is historically accurate and the nature of the influence of the author’s own class position and ideology on his fiction.

My take: As the author himself writes in the Preface: [Maigret, Simenon and France] focuses in detail on the texts of the Maigret narratives, with a particular emphasis on the early and formative novels. The texts are studied in the context of development in contemporary French society from a broadly Marxist methodological perspective. The book considers the role of social class and social change in the development of plot, characterization and the settings of the stories and seeks to establish the extent to which the depiction of French society is historically accurate, and explores the influence of the author’s own class position and ideology on his fiction. And subsequently he finishes by saying: My  study focuses on the 1930s Maigret writing of George Simenon which, in their commercial success and critical acclaim, stand out as being seminal to the history of French-language crime fiction. In Chapters 1 and 2 I consider in depth seven of the 19 Maigret novels published between 1931 and 1934 and analyze their relation to the development of French society. In Chapter 3 I draw out Simenon’s perspective as articulated through the narratives in terms of his own class position and ideology. Chapter 4 looks at the Maigret short stories of the period 1936–1938 and Simenon’s contemporary journalism. Chapter 5 compares the 1930s Maigret narratives with Simenon’s continuation of the saga from the end of the Second World War to 1972. Finally, Chapter 6 synthesizes the arguments in the form of a general conclusion.

As another reviewer has underlined: Readers should be warned that they will not find herein a celebration of the Maigret body of work or plot summaries of their favorite novels. Instead, what Alder offers is a tightly written and academically-oriented look at how the Maigret novels reflect, or fail to reflect in many regards, the social changes at work in France throughout the 20th century.

In essence, this is an interesting book, since it offers a new, at least to me,  perspective from which it can be analyse some of the first Maigret novels of his Fayard cycle. It is engaging to get to know the social changes that took place in the world, and in France in particular, after the First World War. Though, for my taste, I found more attractive the analysis that provides about the significant step forward that Maigret texts represent in crime fiction. ‘The crimes which Maigret investigates have social causes rather than being the actions of aberrant individual: they are a necessary and inevitable part of the bourgeois society Simenon describes rather than a departure from normal behavior within a generally rational system. Maigret’s ability to solve cases is based not in his superior intellect but on his ability to understand the different social milieus within which he moves. If order is restored at the end of a Maigret case, it is only in the most temporary of ways. …. The reader is frequently left with the impression that any resolution is partial, as the social instability and class conflicts that lead to criminal actions remain. …. Maigret  …. opened up a path in crime fiction that would be increasingly followed, particularly in France and mainland Europe, as the genre developed in the second half of the twentieth century.’

My rating: Since this is not a work of fiction, I’m not going to give this book any rating but, even if one is not totally in accordance with some of the assertions contained in it, it is undoubtedly an important book for a better understanding of the early Maigret novels. And for this reason I highly recommend it.

About the Author(s): Bill Alder is an associate lecturer in French with the Open University in the United Kingdom. He has published articles in English and French on Maigret, Simenon and crime fiction, in American, British and Belgian journals. He lives in the United Kingdom.

Amazon customer reviews

McFarland publicity page

Maigret, Simenon y Francia: Dimensiones sociales de las novelas, por Bill Alder

Sobre el libro: Georges Simenon (1903-1989) fue un autor de ficción criminal de un éxito extraordinario. Sus 75 novelas y sus 28 relatos breves de Maigret se publicaron entre 1931 y 1972 con gran prestigio internacional (es el único escritor de crímenes no anglosajón que ha alcanzado tal renombre).
Muchas personas consideran que sus historias de Maigret han establecido una nueva dirección en la ficción criminal, haciendo hincapié en el retrato social y psicológico en lugar de centrarse en un enigma que debe ser resuelto o en la “acción”.
Este libro examina la importancia de la clase social y del cambio social en las historias de Maigret, poniendo particulamente el énfasis en las primeras novelas de formación, en el desarrollo de la trama, en la caracterización y en el ambiente. El autor intenta establecer hasta qué punto el retrato de Simenon de la sociedad francesa es históricamente exacto y la naturaleza de la influencia de la propia posición social e ideología del autor en sus novelas.

Mi opinión: Como el propio autor escribe en el Prefacio: [Maigret, Simenon y Francia] “se concentra de forma detallada en los textos de las narraciones de Maigret, con especial atención en las novelas de sus primeros años. Los textos se estudian en el contexto del desarrollo en la sociedad francesa contemporánea desde una perspectiva metodológica marxista a grandes rasgos. El libro considera el papel de la clase social y del cambio social en el desarrollo de la trama, la caracterización y la configuración de las historias y busca establecer en qué medida la representación de la sociedad francesa es históricamente precisa y explora la influencia de la propia situación de clase e ideología del autor en sus novelas.” Y, posteriormente, termina diciendo: “Mi estudio se centra en los escritos de Maigret de George Simenon de la década de 1930 que, por su éxito comercial y reconocimiento de la crítica, se destacan por ser fundamentales en la historia de la novela criminal en lengua francesa. En los capítulos 1 y 2, considero en profundidad siete de las 19 novelas de Maigret publicadas entre 1931 y 1934 y analizo su relación con el desarrollo de la sociedad francesa. En el Capítulo 3, trazo la perspectiva de Simenon articulada a través de las narraciones en términos de su propia posición e ideología de clase. El capítulo 4 examina los relatos breves de Maigret del período 1936-1938 y los escritos periodísticos contemporáneos de Simenon. El Capítulo 5 compara las novelas de Maigret de 1930 con la continuación de la saga de Simenon desde el final de la Segunda Guerra Mundial hasta 1972. Finalmente, el Capítulo 6 sintetiza los argumentos en forma de conclusión general.”

Como ha subrayado otro crítico: “Se debe advertir a los lectores que no encontrarán aquí un homenaje al conjunto de obras de Maigret o resúmenes de sus novelas favoritas. En cambio, lo que Alder ofrece es una mirada sólidamente escrita y orientada académicamente sobre cómo las novelas de Maigret reflejan, o no en muchos aspectos, las transformaciones sociales registradas en Francia a lo largo del siglo XX.”

En esencia, este es un libro interesante, ya que ofrece una perspectiva nueva, al menos para mí, desde la cual se pueden analizar algunas de las primeras novelas de Maigret de su ciclo Fayard. Es interesante conocer los cambios sociales que tuvieron lugar en el mundo, y en Francia en particular, después de la Primera Guerra Mundial. Aunque, para mi gusto, encontré más atractivo el análisis que proporciona sobre el significativo avance que los textos de Maigret representan en la novela criminal. “Los crímenes que Maigret investiga tienen causas sociales en lugar de ser acciones de un individuo anormal: son una parte necesaria e inevitable de la sociedad burguesa que Simenon describe más que una desviación del comportamiento normal dentro de un sistema generalmente racional. La capacidad de Maigret para resolver casos no se basa en una inteligencia superior, sino en su capacidad para comprender los diferentes entornos sociales en los que se mueve. Si el orden se restablece al final de un caso de Maigret, es solo de la más provisional de las maneras. … El lector se queda con frecuencia con la impresión de que cualquier solución es incompleta, ya que la inestabilidad social y los conflictos de clase que conducen a acciones criminales permanecen. … Maigret … abrió un camino en la novela criminal que cada vez más va a ser seguido, especialmente en Francia y en la Europa continental, conforme se vaya desarrollando el género en la segunda mitad del siglo XX“.

Mi valoración: Como no es una obra de ficción, no le voy a dar ninguna valoración a este libro, pero, incluso si uno no está totalmente de acuerdo con algunas de las afirmaciones contenidas en él, es indudablemente un libro importante para una mejor comprensión de las primeras novelas de Maigret. Y por esta razón, lo recomiendo.

Acerca del autor: Bill Alder es profesor asociado de francés en la Open University del Reino Unido. Ha publicado artículos en inglés y francés sobre Maigret, Simenon y novela negra, en revistas estadounidenses, británicas y belgas. Vive en el Reino Unido.

My Favourite Maigret Novels So Far

25tmag-rosen-1-jumboHaving read a fair amount of Maigret novels, I would like to highlight here some of my favourite stories (in order of publication)

  1. The Carter of ‘La Providence’ (Fayard cycle) Le Charretier de “la Providence”: Inspector Maigret is standing in the pouring rain by a canal. A well-dressed woman, Mary Lampson, has been found strangled in a stable nearby. Why did her glamorous, hedonistic life come to such a brutal end here? Surely her taciturn husband Sir Walter knows – or maybe the answers lie with the crew of the barge La Providence.
  2. A Crime in Holland (Fayard cycle) Un crime en Hollande: When a French professor visiting the quiet, Dutch coastal town of Delfzjil is accused of murder, Maigret is sent to investigate. The community seem happy to blame an unknown outsider, but there are people much closer to home who seem to know much more than they’re letting on: Beetje, the dissatisfied daughter of a local farmer, Any van Elst, sister-in-law of the deceased and a notorious local crook.
  3. A Man’s Head (Fayard cycle) La Tête d’un homme [L’homme de la Tour Eiffel]: Maigret sets out to prove the innocence of a man condemned to death for a brutal murder. As his audacious plan to uncover the truth unfolds, he encounters rich American expatriates, some truly dangerous characters and their hidden motives.
  4. The Saint-Fiacre Affair (Fayard cycle) L’Affaire Saint-Fiacre: The last time Maigret went home to the village of his birth was for his father’s funeral. Now an anonymous note predicting a crime during All Souls’ Day mass draws him back there, where troubling memories resurface and hidden vices are revealed.
  5. The Flemish House (Fayard cycle) Chez les Flamands: Maigret is asked to the windswept, rainy border town of Givet by a young woman desperate to clear her family of murder. But their well-kept shop, the sleepy community and its raging river all hide their own mysteries.
  6. Liberty Bar (Fayard cycle) Liberty Bar: Dazzled at first by the glamour of sunny Antibes, Maigret soon finds himself immersed in the less salubrious side of the Riviera as he retraces the final steps of a local eccentric.
  7. Cécile is Dead (Gallimard cycle) Cécile est morte: In the dreary suburbs of Paris, the merciless greed of a seemingly respectable woman is unearthed by her long suffering niece, and Maigret discovers the far-reaching consequences of their actions.
  8. The Cellars of the Majestic  (Gallimard cycle) Les Caves du Majestic: Below stairs at a glamorous hotel on the Champs-Élysées, the workers’ lives are worlds away from the luxury enjoyed by the wealthy guests. When their worlds meet, Maigret discovers a tragic story of ambition, blackmail and unrequited love.
  9. Signed, Picpus  (Gallimard cycle) Signé Picpus: A mysterious note predicting the murder of a fortune-teller; a confused old man locked in a Paris apartment; a financier who goes fishing; a South American heiress … Maigret must make his way through a frustrating maze of clues, suspects and motives to find out what connects them.
  10. Maigret’s Holiday (Presses de la Cité cycle) Les Vacances de Maigret: When Inspector Maigret’s wife falls ill on their seaside holiday, a visit to the hospital leads him on an unexpected quest to find justice for a young girl.
  11. My Friend Maigret (Presses de la Cité cycle) Mon ami Maigret: An officer from Scotland Yard is studying Maigret’s methods when a call from an island off the Côte d’Azure sends the two men off to an isolated community to investigate its eccentric inhabitants.
  12. Maigret at Picratt’s (Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret au “Picratt’s”: A young cabaret dancer in a black silk dress leads Maigret into a seamy world of nightclubs, drug addiction and exploitation on the streets of Montmartre.
  13. Maigret’s Mistake(Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret se trompe: Maigret’s fascination with a charismatic brain surgeon nearly blinds him to the truth at the heart of a case involving a mysterious young woman in a luxury Paris apartment block, in Book 43 of the Maigret series.
  14. Maigret Goes to School (Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret à l’école: When a school teacher from a small coastal town near La Rochelle asks Maigret to help prove he is innocent of murder, the Inspector returns with him to his insular community and finds the residents closing ranks to conceal the truth.
  15. Maigret`s Doubts (Presses de la Cité cycle) Les Scrupules de Maigret: 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.
  16. Maigret Sets a Trap (Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret tend un piège: Paris comes under siege when someone starts killing women on the streets one summer – and Maigret must hatch a plan to lure the murderer out.
  17. Maigret in Court (Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret aux assises: Maigret receives an anonymous phone call concerning the brutal murder of a woman and young child. The tip off concerns the woman’s nephew, a mild-mannered man by the name of Gaston Meurant. Maigret remains unconvinced of the man’s guilt and at his trial exposes some shocking truths about Meurant’s private life that may prove his innocence.
  18. Maigret and the Old People (Presses de la Cité cycle) Maigret et les vieillards: Maigret is called to the home of Armand de Saint-Hilaire, a highly respected official who has been found shot dead in his study by his housekeeper. After interviewing everyone concerned Maigret is at a loss to the identity of the perpetrator until he comes across a series of letters from the past fifty years between the victim and a recently widowed woman. As Maigret uncovers the details behind the two’s relationship he gets closer to discovering the tragic truth behind the official’s demise.

    Review: Maigret and the Man on the Bench, 1953 (Inspector Maigret #41) by Georges Simenon (Trans: David Watson)

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    Penguin Classics, 2017. Format; Kindle edition. File size: 5693 KB. Print length: 192 pages. ASIN:B01M2ANSV6. ISBN: 978-0-141-98399-8. First published in French as Maigret et l’homme du banc by Le Figaro in serial form between 31 January 1953 and 3 March 1953 in 29 episodes. The original book edition was published by Presses de la Cité in 1953. The book was written by Simenon in 1952 while staying in Shadow Rock Farm, Lakeville (Connecticut). This translation first published  2017. The first English editions were published in 1975 by Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (USA) as Maigret and the Man on the Bench and by Hamish Hamilton (UK) as Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard. Eileen Ellenbogen was the translator in both instances.

    cover.jpg.rendition.460.707Opening paragraph: For Maigret the date was easy to remember, as it was his sister-in-law’s birthday: 19 October. It was a Monday, which also made it memorable, as it is common knowledge at Quai des Orfévres that murders rarely take place on a Monday. And as well as this, it was the first investigation of the year that had a feel of winter about it.

    Book description: When Maigret discovers an unexpectedly flamboyant detail about an otherwise unremarkable man, the inspector is determined to uncover what lies beneath the stuffy appearance of his Parisian household.

    ‘He was wearing a dark suit, a beige raincoat and on his feet, which were twisted at an odd angle, he wore yellow-brown shoes, which seemed out of keeping with a day as colourless as this.
    Apart from his shoes he looked so ordinary that he would have passed completely unnoticed on the street or on one of the numerous café terraces on the boulevard.’

    My take: Thematically, Maigret and the Man on the Bench has plenty of similarities with some other Simenon novels, both in the Maigret saga and in his ‘romans durs’. As I already had occasion to point out in my review of his short story, Death of a Nobody here. Both stories have a similar onset, and they both play with the idea of ​​a man who, overwhelmed with his existence, decides to lead a double life behind his family’s back. The difference, in this case, is that his decision is not voluntary initially and, somehow, he finds himself forced by the circumstances. In addition both stories also have a different ending. It’s curious to note how, although in both cases these two people have the possibility to change their lives, both choose to continue living their lives in a very similar way to how they lived before. The question is whether they really had a choice, if they were truly free to take a decision or if, on the contrary, they were conditioned to always live the same life. Despite this bitter aftertaste with which we are left, I found this book really fascinating thanks, to a large extend, to some memorable characters. Highly recommended.

    My rating: A (I loved it)

    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: To the best of my knowledge, David Watson is a freelance French translator. He holds a PhD in French and also  speaks German. His services include book editing in all fields: fiction/non-fiction, academic; translating literary and commercial; and also proofreading and indexing services.

    Maigret and the Man on the Bench has been reviewed at Crime Review, Simenon Simenon, Classic Mysteries, among others.

    Penguin UK publicity page

    Penguin US publicity page 

    Maigret et l’homme du banc 

    Maigret of the Month: June, 2007


    Maigret y el hombre del banco, de Georges Simenon

    Párrafo inicial: Para Maigret, la fecha era fácil de recordar, ya que era el cumpleaños de su cuñada: el 19 de octubre. Era un lunes, lo que también lo hacía inolvidable, dado que es de conocimiento público en Quai des Orfévres que los asesinatos raramente ocurren los lunes. Y además de esto, fue la primera investigación del año que tuvo sobre todo una sensación de invierno.

    Descripción del libro: Cuando Maigret descubre un detalle inesperadamente llamatido sobre un hombre que de otra manera no tendría nada especial, el inspector está decidido a descubrir qué es lo que hay debajo del sofocante aspecto de su hogar parisino.

    “Llevaba un traje oscuro, una gabardina beige y en los pies, que estaban retorcidos en un ángulo anormal, llevaba zapatos de color amarillo-marrón, lo que parecía estar fuera de lugar en un día tan incoloro como este.
    Además de sus zapatos, parecía tan ordinario que habría pasado completamente desapercibido en la calle o en una de las numerosas terrazas de los cafés del bulevar.”

    Mi opinión: Temáticamente, Maigret y el hombre del banco tiene muchas similitudes con algunas otras novelas de Simenon, tanto en la serie de Maigret como en sus “romans durs”. Como ya tuve ocasión de señalar en mi reseña de su  relato breve, No se mata a los pobres tipos aquí. Ambas historias tienen un inicio similar, y ambas juegan con la idea de un hombre que, abrumado por su existencia, decide llevar una doble vida a espaldas de su familia. La diferencia, en este caso, es que su decisión no es voluntaria inicialmente y, de alguna manera, se ve obligado por las circunstancias.Además, ambas historias también tienen un final diferente. Es curioso observar cómo, aunque en ambos casos estas dos personas tienen la posibilidad de cambiar sus vidas, ambos eligen continuar viviendo sus vidas de una manera muy similar a cómo vivían antes. La pregunta es si realmente tenían una opción, si eran realmente libres de tomar una decisión o si, por el contrario, estaban condicionados a vivir siempre la misma vida. A pesar de este amargo regusto que nos queda, encontré este libro realmente fascinante gracias, en gran medida, a algunos personajes memorables. Muy recomendable.

    Mi valoración
    : A (Me encantó)

    Sobre el autor: Georges Simenon nació en Lieja, Bélgica. A los dieciséis años comenzó a trabajar como periodista en la Gazette de Liège. Se trasladó 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 protagonizadas por Maigret, su creación más famosa y duradera.

    OT: Exhibition “Views of Rome. Dąbrowski and the Lázaro Collection”

    The Lázaro Galdiano Museum presents, until September 9, the exhibition Views of Rome. Henryk Dąbrowski and the Lázaro Collection, organized with Instituto Polaco de Cultura and in collaboration with the Embassy of Poland. The exhibition proposes two perspectives of Rome’s majesty: that of the artist Henryk Dąbrowski and that of the collector José Lázaro.

    The exhibition presents, for the first time in Spain, eleven drawings made by the famous Polish architect between 1965 and 1966; in dialogue with more than ten works of the Lázaro Collection, such as Arco di Settimio Severo by Piranesi, drawings –among them several by Valentín Carderera–, bronzes, medals or books such as La citta di Roma by Dominique Magnan.

    Museo Lázaro Galdiano

    Serrano 122, 28006 Madrid


    Henryk Dąbrowski. Plaza Navona, 1965. Colección Izabella Godlewska de Aranda, Madrid