Monday 5 May 2008

Inspecteur Maigret

I confess: I have been reading prose again, Simenon. I remember reading his detective stories as a teenager and enjoying them. He writes simply and has poetic ways of describing things, like the weather or the way people move, the kind of relationships they have. On the other hand his writing is imbued with a middle-class disdain for the 'simple people' and so far the Jewish people in his books are off-putting and mostly criminal. Maigret's wife is a woman happily enslaved to his culinary needs. Fifties stuff.

He was amazingly prolific, 3 or 4 (slim) books a year, bestsellers, hard to put down. I tried reading his autobiography a few months ago, a huge heavy book, quite unlike his novels and detective stories - I stopped reading after the first chapter - self-indulgent and sentimental. Indigestible.

Am becoming preachy, Madame Je-Sais-Tout - must stop.

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