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Dirty Snow by Georges Simenon
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Feb 01, 11

Read in February, 2011

Having read one Inspector Maigret book, I did not understand how favorably Simenon measures next to any other writer of the 20th century. Almost 200 books is a state of authorship that leads to mixed results, but as a writer, Simenon's never a bore - he's a chronicler, an entertainer, a shifter, a grave digger, an adventurer, a truth seeker, a cruel-cruel eye - a craftsman's craftsman. Dirty Snow is not a Maigret money maker, not a commercial novel, but one of Simenon's 'literary' works; and what a delight it is to read. Frank Friedmaier's story is fascinating from start to end. And even though I found the final turn of the plot to be less than ideal (though still excellent), I was so impressed with what brought me there that I didn't care. Atmosphere is rightly invoked with Simenon - in a matter of paragraphs into a few pages, you are submerged into a mood and place that is vividly real to your sensibilities but nothing as fixed as a photograph to your eye. As you read, you dream, you breathe, you do not mistake what is before you as a mere replication, a mere photo, but as an object and universe burst forth from the heavy wellspring of an agitated imagination - like the brushstrokes of a painting it has weight, density, a life more meaningful than the perfect replication of the image of the object in its focus. Even in translation you can see this - simplicity over ornamentation - pursuit of the meaning of a mood. I intend to read as much Simenon as I can, folding in the Maigret among the heavier books like Dirty Snow.
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message 1: by Sara (new) - added it

Sara Terrific comments on Simenon!


Unbridled Thanks Sara!


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