Murielle Wenger reminds us here that this years marks the 30th anniversary of the death of Georges Simenon. However, to turn it around into a merrier celebration, simenonians and maigretphiles alike decided to join up to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Maigret’s literary birth.
We do know how difficult is to precise the exact day of the birth of our character. Really, Simenon doesn’t invented him in a precise moment. The Chief Inspector was the result of many tests and searches of the young novelist, and chosen in a crucial point of his career, when he decided to made the transition from his popular novels, written under pseudonyms, towards those he was aspiring to write.
We know that, when Simenon begun to write Pietr le Letton, he had already written, under different pseudonyms, the four stories known today as ‘proto-Maigrets’. Moreoever, Pietr le Letton was in fact the fifth title to be published by Fayard, even though Simenon himself always stated, on a number of occasions, that this was his first Maigret. An issue that, for a number of years, has been subject to debate among Maigret scholars. Anyhow, today it’s simply accepted that Simenon wrote Pietr le Letton at Delfzijl (The Netherlands), in September 1929, aboard L’Ostrogoth. And, in serialised form, it was the subject of a pre-publication in the weekly Ric and Rac, No. 71-83 from 19 July to 11 October 1930. Read more here.
The attached photograph shows the statue of Maigret at Delfzijl. (Source: Philippe Brossard-Lotz, Le Reporter sablais)