A Beast Which Refuses to Die

“With such a degree of obstinacy, of violence, in it as this, the rain was no longer just rain, or the wind a mere icy wind; it was becoming a vicious conpiracy of the elements, and already, on the poorly sheltered platform of the station at Niort, harassed by this winter whose final convulsions seemed determined not to end, Maigret had been put in mind of a beast which refuses to die and struggles to bite, to the very last.”

We’ve had a winter like that here in New England.

This is from Maigret Afraid (1953) by Georges Simenon, one of the world’s best-selling authors, translated brilliantly from the French by Margaret Duff.

I have found, to my delight, that my old Maigret novels are still eminently enjoyable on second reading after ten years or so. Sometimes I might recall the plot, but passages like the one above, which you find all through all these brilliant short novels, just leave me agape at the skill of the author — and the translator.

I’m rereading them all one by one.