SIMENON, Georges, 1963, Ecrivain (F) © ERLING MANDELMANN ©
Recently I made the mistake of reading about Georges Simenon. He’s one of my favorite writers, but I didn’t know much about his life until recently. I’ve been in something of a funk ever since.
It’s always tricky reading about other writers; biographies leave so much out that we’re inevitably left with the romantic sheen that hides the unsavory parts of a person. Look behind the myths of Hemingway, Bukowski, Kerouac, Highsmith and others, and the romance quickly dissipates in a haze of alcoholism, pettiness, prejudice and violence. As I like to say, we writers are only semi-human, after all.
But I was talking about Simenon (wasn’t I?)—oh yes. Simenon had his faults too—for example he bragged that he had bedded 10,000 women, in addition to the 2 or 3 he married—but those flaws don’t concern me right now. What I’m…