Georges Simenon – Maigret and the Château in Provence
How would you describe your ideal holiday literature in three words? Of course, tastes differ, but I dare say that “light”, “exciting” and “location-fitting” would apply to many.
The perfect combination
One author who perfectly mastered writing easy to read novels that do not lack psychological depth or unforeseen twists and turns was George Simenon – perhaps the most productive and successful writer of the 20th century.
A library to himself
In honour of the Belgian author and his vast literary work, Château de Montcaud is setting up a library located in the Petit Salon , the entrance to the chateau’s historic salon. A large number of the 117 great novels (romans durs) and the 75 “Maigret” crime novels in French, Italian, Spanish and even Russian are now available for reading on-site. In addition, the complete works in German which are currently being published by publishing house “Kampa” (Zurich) will be at your disposal. Simenon’s son and trustee of his estate, John Simenon, was helpful in selecting the books for our library.
Famous leading character
Simenon’s best-known protagonist is Jules Maigret, a chief commissioner of the Parisian police force, who is often called to the French province to investigate. His refined intuition and his interest in the psychological background of a crime make him an exceptional investigator. Privately, he finds pleasure in all the simple yet most enjoyable things in life. May we serve you a glass of wine while you read?
In addition to the Maigret series and other detective novels, George Simenon authored books that today are often referred to as his “great novels” (romans durs). In these, the author expands his dramatic and literary field and tells riveting stories that do not follow the strict structure of a police investigation. They are profound observations of human destinies and characters.
Focus on people
André Gide, a French writer and Nobel Prize laureate, called Simenon the only real novelist of our time. He excels in portraying people, especially the little people with their strengths and weaknesses, without prejudice and in simple language. His sharp power of observation is coupled with deep psychological understanding, using only few words to precisely describe people, actions and atmospheres.
In the shade of majestic trees
According to his own statement, Simenon averaged on eight to ten days to write a novel. The flow in which they were written translates into their reading quality – you can easily read a novel during a stay at Château de Montcaud, be it on a sunny day in the park or a rainy one, seated in a comfortable armchair in the salon. Maybe one will lead to another – experience shows that they have an addictive quality!
A match made in heaven
Unadorned elegance, simple luxury – Simenon’s writing style is just as well suited to the Château de Montcaud as Commissioner Maigret’s passion for good food and fine wines. Why don’t you find out for yourself!
Georges Simenon, born in Liege in 1903, moved to Switzerland in 1957 after a long stay in America. He died in Lausanne in 1989.
Famous friends and admirers
Georges Simenon received great admiration from renowned writer colleagues such as Colette, Julian Barnes, Henry Miller, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and William Boyd. The latter characterized him “as a phenomenon and monolith in the literary landscape of the twentieth century”. As jury president of the Cannes Film Festival in 1960, Simenon awarded a prize to the film “La Dolce Vita” by the then little-known director Federico Fellini. He subsequently became a long-standing friend. Simenon was also on friendly terms with Charlie Chaplin, his neighbour on Lake Geneva.