Simenon in viaggio dentro l'Africa
Georges Simenon did a long journey through Africa with his spouse Tigy, a voyage that took them from Marseille to Egypt, Sudan, Congo and then back home on the West African route with a cargo ship. After that, Simenon wrote a reportage, three novels and four short stories, all set in Africa, and often referred to that journey to criticise the colonial system. The first book written after the African tour was "Coup de Lune", an important literary undertaking since it harbours many of the most significant themes that Simenon will develop during his future literary career. The journey is the focus of the narration, especially as a passage from quietness to unquietness, from clarity to obscurity. The main character, Joseph Timar, travels to Africa with his head filled by exotic fantasies which later abruptly dissolve against the difficult and corrupt situation of the continent. The journey ends up in a failure on the professional and personal side, and it reveals the colonial society in all its decline. The motif of the journey on a ship is pivotal in the first of the “romans durs” by Simenon. It carries different and multiple aspects (the condemnation of the colonial system, the inflexibility of the newly arrived French man, the love for the world of 'bateliers') but concentrates especially on the need to represent human beings as victims of their own anxiety and as incapable of finding a positive answer to their uninterrupted questions on acts and events.
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Anna Zoppellari, “Simenon in viaggio dentro l'Africa", in: Prospero. Rivista di Letterature Straniere, Comparatistica e Studi Culturali, XIV (2007), pp. 167-174