BARRY FORSHAW chats to Paul Burke about SIMENON: THE MAN, THE BOOKS, THE FILMS. A 21st Century re-examination of SIMENON, Maigret and the Romans Durs novels, a wide ranging discussion of everything from Simenon's place in French literature to Robert Newton and Spartacus.
SIMENON: THE MAN, THE BOOKS, THE FILMS The legendary Georges Simenon was the most successful and influential writer of crime fiction in a language other than English; Andre Gide called him 'the greatest French novelist of our times'. Celebrated crime fiction expert Barry Forshaw's informed and lively study draws together Simenon's extraordinary life and his work on both page and screen. By the time of Simenon's death in 1989, his French detective Maigret had become an institution, rivalled only by Sherlock Holmes. The pipe-smoking Inspector of Police is a quietly spoken observer of human nature who uses the techniques of psychology on those he encounters (both the guilty and the innocent) - with no rush to moral condemnation. Simenon's non-Maigret standalone books are among the most commanding in the genre, and, as a trenchant picture of French society, his concise novels collectively offer up a fascinating analysis. And his influence on an army of later crime writers is incalculable. Alongside his own considerable insights, Barry Forshaw has interviewed people who worked either with Simenon or on his books: publishers, editors, translators, and other specialist writers. He has created a literary prism through which to appreciate one of the most distinctive achievements in the whole of crime fiction.
Barry Forshaw is one of the UK's leading experts on crime fiction and film. Books include Crime Fiction: A Reader's Guide, Nordic Noir, Italian Cinema, American Noir and British Crime Film. Other work: Sex and Film, British Gothic Cinema, Euro Noir, Historical Noir, BFI War of the Worlds and the Keating Award-winners British Crime Writing Encyclopedia and Brit Noir. He writes for various newspapers, is the Financial Time crime fiction critic, contributes Blu-ray extras, broadcasts, chairs events and edits Crime Time. crimetime.co.uk
The Saint-Fiacre Affair (L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre)
Maigret's Doubts (Les Scrupules de Maigret)
Pietr the Latvian (Pietr-le-Letton)
Maigret Defends Himself (Maigret Se Défend)
My Friend Maigret (Mon Ami Maigret)
Maigret and the Hotel Majestic (The Cellars of the Majestic, Fr. Les Caves du Majestic)
Romans Durs discussed:
The Man Who Watched the Trains Go By (L'Homme qui Regardait Passer les Trains)
The Strangers in the House (Les Inconnus dans la Maison)
The Mahé Circle (Le Cercle des Mahé)
The Snow was Dirty (La Neige Était Sale)
Produced by Junkyard Dog
Music courtesy of Southgate and Leigh
Paul Burke writes for Crime Time, Crime Fiction Lover and the European Literature Network. He is also a CWA HISTORICAL DAGGER Judge 2022.