Simenon! The creator of Maigret! (How I love those little books.) And…perhaps the most dedicated pipe-smoker of all time. Here’s the problem with pipe smoking for the Writers Laughing series. There are millions of pictures of Simenon posing for the camera thoughtfully with his pipe. And even when the pose is natural, it tends to be of other people laughing, and Simenon merely chuckles so his pipe doesn’t fall out of his mouth. You know he’s laughing. But he’s not really laughing.
So what to do? How about finding him with a baby? That’s always good! Babies make people laugh!
D’oh! There’s that pipe again. Baby smoking a pipe? Sure, it’s a little funny, if we go back a half-century. But it’s not exactly right for our series. Let’s try another baby:
There we go! Of course! And if the baby failed, there’s always the superstar to help us out:
Yes, that’s Josephine Baker. Simply awesome.
Image Credits: L’Illustré via trussel.com (first three); happyphoton.de (Baker)
6 thoughts on “Writers Laughing: Georges Simenon”
I didn’t know he existed. It’s nice to know writers before my time that I never knew about.
My understanding is that the ubiquitous pipe was a deliberate publicity effect, so it’s refreshing to see some snapshots without it. Thanks!
Old timer’s never die they just hang around in books
Simenon’s novels weren’t very long, as I recall, and could often be found in the $1.25 bin. We read dozens of them. Good reads, all of them.
That’s right! Thin, and with a great little shape. You could tuck right in the inside pocket of a jacket and have a little Maigret available to you at all times. Publishing doesn’t do enough of that (which is hopefully where books like mine are filling the gap)! 🙂
Simenon, as I understand it, wanted his readers to be able to finish a Maigret in the time they would spend watching a movie.