Biography Georges Simenon
 Who is Georges Simenon?

The Belgian writer Georges Simenon has marked French literature and is now a reference, especially for detective novels lovers, through the character of Maigret which remains the most prominent of a very rich and exciting work. He wrote no less than 192 novels, 158 stories, autobiographical works published under his name and 176 novels, dozens of stories, tales and articles published under many pseudonyms.

Georges Joseph Christian Simenon was born on February 12, 1903 in Liege in a modest family. His father was an accountant in an insurance company and his mother did not work. This is not actually his real birth date. Georges Simenon was actually born at 0:10 on Friday, 13 and his mother, fearing that her child be cursed all of his life, had incited his father to make a false statement.

He learned to read and write at the age of three at the Ecole Sainte Julienne of the Sisters of Notre Dame and was a brilliant student at the St. André Primary Institute. At the age of eight, he was introduced to the literature by reading great Russian authors such as Chekhov, Dostoyevsky and Pushkin. He is also fond of Balzac, Dickens, Stendhal, Zola, Hemingway and Melville.


He soon showed high intellectual abilities at school but decided to abandon his studies at the age of fifteen. After gaining experience as a journalist in Belgium, he went to Paris where he moved in the literary world, which gave him the passion for writing.

In Paris, he worked as an errand boy and began to be known by being secretary of the Marquis de Tracy. He lived mostly in the castle of Paray le Frésil with the Marquis. The place will become, in the fiction, Inspector Maigret’s childhood place. His meeting with Colette, literary editor of Le Matin (influential newspaper at the time) truly launched his writing career. She published many of Simenon’s stories that he signed under various pseudonyms. His passion for writing grew and always took more space in his life. Meetings and trips inspired his novels, short stories or articles and he spent hours every day writing.

At the age of 28, he finally decided to sign one of his works with his real name. This is the detective novel Pietr, the Latvian, in which appears for the first time the character of Maigret. Then, Simenon multiplied the publications. Building on the success of the cycle of Maigret, he joined the Gallimard Editions in 1935. He turned to more psychological achievements, such as Monsieur Hire’s Engagement or Magnet of Doom. In exile in the United States, he examines his life by publishing I remember and Pedigree, two autobiographical works.

He then moved to Switzerland and died there in 1989. He died at his home in Lausanne 4 September 4th, 1989. His body was cremated and Teresa - his last companion – had his ashes thrown on the grass of the garden in the shade of the Lebanon cedar, mingling with those of his daughter.

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