By Georges Simenon, Laurent Demoulin

L. a. vie et l’oeuvre de Simenon ont déjà fait couler beaucoup d’encre, tant de l. a. half des evaluations littéraires que des journalistes de l. a. presse humans. C’est dans ce contexte que les Cahiers de L’Herne consacre un numéro au père de Maigret qui se veut à l. a. fois généraliste et particulier : sa diversité et sa richesse sont de nature à combler à l. a. fois les spécialistes de l’oeuvre et ceux qui veulent los angeles découvrir, les habitués et les nouveaux venus…

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L’appétit est une bonne façon d’aborder Simenon et la NRF a eu raison de le réimprimer sous une couverture d’un vert vif, qui nous ramène au rang des ruminants. Maigret patauge donc au cours de ses conquêtes. Il en profite pour recueillir des éléments indéfinissables, qui chantent dans son esprit : ce sont des souvenirs d’enfance, dont sa mémoire est gorgée ; c’est une impression vague dont il s’enivre. Le lecteur finit par croire que la solution est venue de ces rêveries ou encore de cette bonne psychologie à l’usage des familles, dont le commissaire est friand.

Il finira préfet de police, ministre de l’Intérieur, rien ne s’y oppose et pourtant, on aimerait à le voir un jour en difficulté ? Il a des lecteurs dans tous les pays. Dans la série monotone des Maigret, on attend encore ce point culminant, cette crise, où le commissaire rencontrera un adversaire plus intelligent. Maurice Leblanc avait écrit Arsène Lupin contre Sherlock Holmes ; un Maigret contre Jean Genet plairait dans les milieux intellectuels. Les grands romans À côté de ces romans policiers, voilà longtemps que Simenon écrit des livres où le crime joue son rôle, mais en nous plaçant du côté de l’assassin, de la victime ou des témoins – et non du policier.

Antoine est prestidigitateur de son métier. Il a rencontré Julie tard dans sa vie, il ne l’a pas aimée tout de suite. Et maintenant, bien qu’il tienne à elle, il ne cesse de boire. Quand il rentre 40 ivre, Julie ne lui fait pas de scène : son silence est pire qu’une scène. Entre les époux, cette torpeur s’installe. À la fin, Julie tombera malade d’une angine de poitrine. Antoine la laissera mourir, sans secours, un soir d’ivresse.  » L’amour, l’Amérique, le puritanisme L’amour a sa place, mais nocturne comme honteuse.

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