Jules Maigret

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Jules Maigret, (titled Commissaire) Maigret to most people, including his wife, is a French fictional police detective, actually a commissaire or commissioner of the Paris "Brigade Criminelle" (Direction Régionale de Police Judiciaire de Paris), created by writer Georges Simenon.

Seventy-five novels and twenty-eight short stories about Maigret were published between 1931 and 1972, starting with Pietr-le-Leton (Peter from Latvia) and concluding with Maigret et Monsieur Charles (Maigret and Mister Charles). The Maigret stories were also adapted for television and radio.

Contents

[edit] Character

Some of his trademark features are his pipes, his mixed approach to detecting (at times relying on pure intuition, at times on method), his laconic manner, and his fondness for alcohol. Often during an investigation, he will step into a small cafe or bar for a drink and possibly a light lunch. His drinks of choice are beer and white wine, though he has also been known to drink pastis, Armagnac, Cognac, Calvados, Pernod, and whisky, as well as grog, to name just a few. This is not to say that he is a drunk, as it is a matter of personal pride that he can hold his liquor, and would be deeply embarrassed if he allowed himself to become intoxicated. Maigret almost invariably wears his heavy overcoat, even when travelling to the Riviera — a fact which leads people unfamiliar with him to mark him instantly as a policeman.

In the books he is described as a stocky man of above-average height, slightly overweight but not obese. He dislikes climbing stairs, and usually uses a police driver or cab for travelling even comparatively short distances in his investigations, though he also occasionally walks. During rural adventures, such as Félicie est là, he was known to borrow bicycles. Junior officers may be made to carry his attaché case.

Maigret was born at the fictional village of Saint-Fiacre in the Allier department, supposedly in 1884, although different birth years may be inferred from different books. His wife's given name is Louise, but she is almost exclusively referred to as Madame Maigret in the books. They had one child, a daughter who died at birth.[1] Without any living children of his own, Maigret nevertheless demonstrates fondness for children, treating them with kindness and patience, and often indulging them. In most of his books he and his wife live at the corner of Boulevard Richard-Lenoir and the Rue du Chemin Vert but in Maigret in Retirement, he is said to have retained his apartment on the Place des Vosges in the 4th arrondissement of Paris.

He is usually successful and generally confident in his police work, although he does encounter the occasional disappointment. He is most often portrayed as a mentor to his "pupil" sidekicks, usually junior Metropolitan officers or (when he is away from Paris) the local constabulary. Maigret is genuinely proud and happy when one of his junior officers meets with some professional success. The role of mindless puppet, contrasting with the brilliance of Maigret, is reserved for public prosecutors or more frequently a Juge d'instruction or Examining Magistrate.

While Maigret usually conducts his investigations in France, he has also been called upon to visit Belgium, Britain, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United States.[2]

[edit] Television adaptations

There have been numerous incarnations of Maigret on the small screen all around the world. He has been portrayed by French, British, Irish, Austrian, German, Italian, Dutch and Japanese actors.

In France, Jean Gabin played the part in three films and is seen by many as the best Maigret. Arguably, the most celebrated French version stars Bruno Cremer, who played him in 54 adaptations during 1991–2005. Jean Richard had an earlier long-running series playing the character on French television — however, Simenon himself is said to have disliked Richard's Maigret because he would not take his hat off when entering a room.

The Italian actor Gino Cervi played the character on Italian television, starting from 1964 up to 1972; Simenon himself considered Cervi's interpretation of the character to be possibly the best.

In Japan, Kinya Aikawa played Megure, a Japanese-born equivalent to the French Maigret, reinvented in a modern Japanese setting, in Tōkyō Megure Keishi,[3] a 25-episode TV Series aired from 14 April to 29 May 1978 on Asahi TV. Megure/Maigret's wife was played by Tomomi Sato, who earned the praises of Simenon himself: "The best 'Madame Maigret' in my opinion, even including the French ones, was the 'Madame Maigret' on Japanese television. She was exactly right".[4]

The title role in the successful British Maigret TV series was played by the actor Rupert Davies who made his debut on 31 October 1960. Davies took over the part after Basil Sydney, who appeared as Maigret in the original transmitted pilot, proved unavailable due to ill-health. Davies went on to star in 52 adaptations for BBC TV in the 1960s. His portrayal won two of the highest accolades: his versions were dubbed into French and played across the Channel; and Simenon himself presented Davies with a novel inscribed to his "perfect Maigret". The theme song to the TV series was performed by Joe Loss and released in the UK through the EMI Group on His Masters Voice (45-POP 995).

The British television channel ITV produced an adaptation of Maigret in 1992 and 1993, in which Sir Michael Gambon starred as Maigret. A less successful earlier version (1988) on ITV cast Richard Harris in the lead role, with a somewhat idiosyncratic reading of the character.

[edit] Radio adaptations

Maurice Denham played Chief Inspector Maigret in a series of half-hour dramatizations of the novels on BBC Radio 4 from 1992 to 2002, with Michael Gough playing Georges Simenon.

The format of each play would begin with Maigret and Simenon sitting together discussing some fact or event which would then lead into Maigret's recounting a particular case, with Simenon asking questions or commenting from time to time.

After Denham's death, the series was continued in 2003 with Nicholas Le Prevost playing a gruffer, more earthy Maigret and Julian Barnes playing Simenon.

[edit] Other appearances

Maigret, as he appeared in volume 5 of Detective Conan

Inspector Juzo Megure from Detective Conan is loosely based on Maigret, in both appearance and name. Both are police inspectors, and are known for wearing hats and overcoats. The rendering in the Japanese syllabary for Megure and Maigret is the same (me-gu-re; in other words, the names are pronounced the same in Japanese).

Maigret himself was also highlighted in volume 5 of the Detective Conan manga's edition of Gosho Aoyama's Detective Picture Book, a section of the graphic novels (usually the last page) where the author introduces a different detective (or occasionally, a villain) from mystery literature, television, or other media.

[edit] List of novels

List of Maigret novels by date of French-language publication.

Title Date English title(s)
Pietr-le-Letton 1931 The Strange Case of Peter the Lett
The Case of Peter the Lett
Maigret and the Enigmatic Lett
Le Charretier de la Providence 1931 The Crime at Lock 14
Maigret Meets a Milord
Lock 14
M. Gallet décédé 1931 The Death of Monsieur Gallet
Maigret Stonewalled
Le Pendu de Saint-Pholien 1931 The Crime of Inspector Maigret
Maigret and the Hundred Gibbets
La Tête d'un homme
(L'Homme de la Tour Eiffel)
1931 A Battle of Nerves
Maigret's War of Nerves
A Man's Head
Le Chien jaune 1931 A Face for a Clue
Maigret and the Concarneau Murders
Maigret and the Yellow Dog
The Yellow Dog
La Nuit du carrefour 1931 Maigret at the Crossroads
Un Crime en Hollande 1931 A Crime in Holland
Maigret in Holland
Au Rendez-vous des Terre-Neuves 1931 The Sailor's Rendezvous
Maigret Answers a Plea
La Danseuse du Gai-Moulin 1931 Maigret at the Gai-Moulin
La Guinguette à deux sous 1932 Guinguette by the Seine
Maigret and the Tavern by the Seine
Maigret to the Rescue
A Spot by the Seine
The Bar on the Seine
L'Ombre chinoise 1932 The Shadow in the Courtyard
Maigret Mystified
L'Affaire Saint-Fiacre 1932 Maigret and the Countess
The Saint-Fiacre Affair
Maigret Goes Home
Maigret on Home Ground
Chez les Flamands 1932 The Flemish Shop
Maigret and the Flemish Shop
Le Port des brumes 1932 Death of a Harbour Master
Maigret and the Death of a Harbor Master
Le Fou de Bergerac 1932 The Madman of Bergerac
Liberty Bar 1932 Liberty Bar
Maigret on the Riviera
L'Écluse no. 1 1933 The Lock at Charenton
Maigret Sits It Out
Lock No. 1
La femme rousse 1933 The Redhead
Maigret 1934 Maigret Returns
La Maison du juge 1940 Maigret in Exile
Les Caves du Majestic 1942 Maigret and the Hotel Majestic
The Hotel Majestic
Cécile est morte 1942 Maigret and the Spinster
Signé Picpus 1944 To Any Lengths
Maigret and the Fortuneteller
Félicie est là 1944 Maigret and the Toy Village
L'Inspecteur Cadavre 1944 Maigret's Rival
Inspector Cadaver
Maigret se fâche August 1945 Maigret in Retirement
Maigret à New York March 1946 Maigret in New York
Inspector Maigret in New York's Underworld
Maigret in New York's Underworld
Les Vacances de Maigret November 1947 A Summer Holiday
No Vacation for Maigret
Maigret on Holiday
Maigret et son mort January 1948 Maigret's Dead Man
Maigret's Special Murder
La Première enquête de Maigret October 1948 Maigret's First Case
Mon ami Maigret February 1949 My Friend Maigret
The Methods of Maigret
Maigret chez le coroner July 1949 Maigret at the Coroners
L'Amie de Mme Maigret December 1949 Madame Maigret's Own Case
Madame Maigret's Friend
The Friend of Madame Maigret
Les Mémoires de Maigret September 1950 Maigret's Memoirs
Maigret et la vieille dame December 1950 Maigret and the Old Lady
Maigret au "Picratt's" December 1950 Maigret and the Strangled Stripper
Maigret in Montmartre
Inspector Maigret and the Strangled Stripper
Maigret en meublé February 1951 Maigret Takes a Room
Maigret Rents a Room
Maigret et la grande perche May 1951 Inspector Maigret and the Burglar's Wife
Maigret and the Burglar's Wife
Maigret, Lognon et les gangsters September 1951 Inspector Maigret and the Killers
Maigret and the Gangsters
Le Revolver de Maigret June 1952 Maigret's Revolver
Maigret et l'homme du banc 1953 Maigret and the Man on the Boulevard
Maigret and the Man on the Bench
The Man on the Boulevard
Maigret a peur March 1953 Maigret Afraid
Maigret se trompe August 1953 Maigret's Mistake
Maigret à l'école December 1953 Maigret Goes to School
Maigret et la jeune morte January 1954 Inspector Maigret and the Dead Girl
Maigret and the Young Girl
Maigret chez le ministre August 1954 Maigret and the Minister
Maigret and the Calame Report
Maigret et le corps sans tête January 1955 Maigret and the Headless Corpse
Maigret tend un piège July 1955 Maigret Sets a Trap
Un Échec de Maigret March 1956 Maigret's Failure
Maigret s'amuse September 1956 Maigret's Little Joke
None of Maigret's Business
Maigret voyage August 1957 Maigret and the Millionaires
Les Scrupules de Maigret December 1957 Maigret Has Scruples
Maigret et les témoins récalcitrants October 1958 Maigret and the Reluctant Witnesses
Une Confidence de Maigret May 1959 Maigret Has Doubts
Maigret aux assises November 1959 Maigret in Court
Maigret et les vieillards June 1960 Maigret in Society
Maigret et le voleur paresseux January 1961 Maigret and the Lazy Burglar
Maigret and the Idle Burglar
Maigret et les braves gens September 1961 Maigret and the Black Sheep
Maigret et le client du samedi February 1962 Maigret and the Saturday Caller
Maigret et le clochard May 1962 Maigret and the Dosser
Maigret and the Bum
La Colère de Maigret June 1962 Maigret Loses His Temper
Maigret et le fantôme June 1963 Maigret and the Ghost
Maigret and the Apparition
Maigret se défend July 1964 Maigret on the Defensive
La Patience de Maigret March 1965 The Patience of Maigret
Maigret Bides His Time
Maigret et l'affaire Nahour February 1966 Maigret and the Nahour Case
Le Voleur de Maigret November 1966 Maigret's Pickpocket
Maigret and the Pickpocket
Maigret à Vichy September 1967 Maigret Takes the Waters
Maigret in Vichy
Maigret hésite January 1968 Maigret Hesitates
L'Ami d'enfance de Maigret June 1968 Maigret's Boyhood Friend
Maigret et le tueur April 1969 Maigret and the Killer
Maigret et le marchand de vin September 1969 Maigret and the Wine Merchant
La Folle de Maigret May 1970 Maigret and the Madwoman
Maigret et l'homme tout seul February 1971 Maigret and the Loner
Maigret et l'indicateur June 1971 Maigret and the Flea
Maigret and the Informer
Maigret et Monsieur Charles February 1972 Maigret and Monsieur Charles

[edit] List of short stories

List of Maigret short stories by date of publication.

Title Date English title(s)
"Une erreur de Maigret" 1938 "Maigret's Mistake"
"L'amoureux de Madame Maigret" 1938 "The Stronger Vessel"
"Madame Maigret's Admirer"
"Stan le tueur" 1938 "Stan the Killer"
"L'Auberge aux noyés" 1938 "The Inn of the Drowned"
"The Drowned Men's Inn"
"La péniche aux deux pendus" 1938 "The Barge with Two Hanging Bodies"
"Inspector Maigret Thinks"
"Dead Man's Barge"
"Two Bodies on a Barge"
"L'affaire du Boulevard Beaumarchais" 1938 "The Affair of the Boulevard Beaumarchais"
"The Mysterious Affair in the Boulevard Beaumarchais"
"Monsieur Lundi" 1938 "Mr. Monday"
"Inspector Maigret Hesitates"
"Jeumont, 51 minutes d'arrêt" 1938 "Jeumont, 51 Minutes Wait!"
"Inspector Maigret Deduces"
"Jeumont, 51 Minutes Stop"
"Les larmes de bougie" 1938 "Journey Into Time"
"Journey Backward Into Time"
"Death of a Woodlander"
"Rue Pigalle" 1938 Rue Pigalle"
"Inspector Maigret Investigates"
"In the Rue Pigalle"
"La vieille dame de Bayeux" 1938 "The Old Lady of Bayeux"
"L'Étoile du Nord" 1938 "At the Étoile du Nord"
"Tempête sur la Manche" 1938 Channel"
"Storm over the Channel"
"Mademoiselle Berthe et son amant" 1938 "Maigret and the Frightened Dressmaker"
"Mademoiselle Berthe and her Lover"
"L'improbable Monsieur Owen" 1938 "The Unlikely Monsieur Owen"
"Ceux du Grand Café" 1938 "The Group at the Grand-Café"
"Le Notaire du Châteauneuf" 1938 Miniatures"
"The Three Daughters of the Lawyer"
"La fenêtre ouverte" 1938 "The Open Window"
"Inspector Maigret Smokes His Pipe"
"L'Homme dans la rue" 1939 "The Man on the Run"
"Inspector Maigret Pursues"
"The Man in the Street"
"Vente à la bougie" 1939 "Under the Hammer"
"Inspector Maigret Directs"
"Sale by Auction"
"Menaces de mort" 1942 "Death Threats"
"La pipe de Maigret" June 1945 "Maigret's Pipe"
"Le témoinage de l'enfant de choeur" 1946 "Elusive Witness"
"According to the Altar Boy"
"Crime in the Rue Sainte-Catherine"
"The Evidence of the Altar-Boy"
"Le client le plus obstiné du monde" May 1946 "The Most Obstinate Man in Paris"
"The Most Obstinate Customer in the World"
"The Most Obstinate Man in the World"
"Maigret et l'inspecteur malgracieux" May 1946 "Maigret and the Surly Inspector"
"On ne tue pas les pauvres types" August 1946 "Death of a Nobody"
"Sous peine de mort" November 1946 "Inspector Maigret's War of Nerves"
"Death Penalty"
"Un Noël de Maigret" May 1950 "Maigret's Christmas"

[edit] References

  1. ^ Simenon, Maigret et l'homme du banc (Hamish Hamilton 1975), trans. Eileen Ellenbogen from Maigret et l'Homme du Banc (1953), p69.
  2. ^ Simenon, Georges (1980) [English translation 1976]. "4. A Visit to the Dutchman". Maigret et le fantôme (1st Harvest/HBJ ed.). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. p. 77. ISBN 0156551276. "Maigret's schoolboy English [...] had been of little use to him in London, and still less on the two occasions when he had visited the United States" 
  3. ^ Tôkyo Megure Keishi Japanese wiki page (Japanese)
  4. ^ A picture of Kinya Aikawa as Maigret/Megure, and Simenon's quote from La Revue du Cinéma n° 454, November, 1989. Article retrieved on Trussel.com

[edit] External links