Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Simenon was one of the most prolific writers of the twentieth century. He was able to write 60 to 80 pages a day. During his lifetime, he published about 450 novels and short stories. He is best known, however, for his 75 novels and 28 short stories featuring Commissaire Maigret. The first novel in the series, Pietr-Le-Letton, appeared in 1931; the last one, Maigret et M. Charles, was published in 1972. The Maigret novels were translated in all major languages and several of them were turned into a film (starting with La nuit du carrefour, adapted for the screen by Jean Renoir as early as 1932).
During his "American" period, Simenon reached the height of his creative powers, and several novels of those years were inspired by the context in which they were written (Trois chambres à Manhattan (1946), Maigret à New York (1947), Maigret se fâche (1947)).
Simenon also wrote a large number of "psychological novels", such as La neige était sale (1948) or Le fils (1957), as well as several autobiographical works, in particular Je me souviens (1945), Pedigree (1948), Mémoires intimes (1981).
Simenon was known as "the man of 10,000 women", a self-confessed sex addict who "needed" to have sex three times a day. Quite a few women were prepared to humour him for nothing, but that total was said to include 8,000 prostitutes.
In this he was quite different from his fictional creation, Maigret, a homely sort of chap (when he wasn't in the bar).
Georges Simenon died of a brain tumour in Lausanne, aged 86.
Simenon in numbers
- Number of novels and short stories: about 450
- Maigret episodes: 103 (75 novels and 28 short stories)
- Psychological novels: over 110
- Translations into 55 languages
- Published in 44 countries
- 1.4bn books sold (1935-1997)
- Films based on his works: about 50
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