(by any standards) are filled with bittersweetnobservations on the life of thenEnglish not-quite rich who seem tonspend all their time and money makingndo. It is Erma Bombeck with style andnintelligence, Ann Landers with tasten. . . well, actually, there is really nothingnquite like Delafield today. Hernbooks belong on that special shelf wenkeep for guests or rainy weekends, rightnbeside Sherlock Holmes, Waugh’s travelnbooks, and the dotty masterpieces ofnP. G. Wodehouse. Academy Chicagoncontinues its policy of bringing backninto print the best prescriptions againstnennui—superb frivolity. ccnIN FOCUSnFlat-FootednIntimacynby Brian MurraynGeorges Simenon: Intimate Memoirs;nHarcourt Brace Jovanovich; NewnYork.nLike most people, Georges Simenonnwould rather read than write. He wouldnrather sleep than write. He would ratherntake a walk—or a bath—than write. Innhis odd collection of autobiographicalnmusings entitled When I Was Oldn(1968), Simenon admits that for himnwriting is an intimidating and laboriousnMOVING?nLET US KNOW BEFORE YOU GO.nTo assure uninterrupted delivery of Chroniclesnof Culture, please notify us in advance. Sendnthis form with the mailing label from yournlatest issue of Chronicles of Culture to: SubscriptionnDepartment, Chronicles of Culture, P.O.nBox 800, Rockford, Illinois 61105.nNAMEnADDRESSnCITYnSTATE. .ZIPn26/CHRONICLES OF CULTUREnprocess that is less likely to produceneuphoria than anguish or even physicalnillness.nBut the unusually relentless Simenonnpounds his typewriter anyway.nSince he began professionally inn1920, he has managed to crank outnmore than 200 novels under his ownnname, nearly half of which feature thenexploits of Jules Maigret, the slow butncerebral French policeman. He has alsonmanaged to maintain a thoroughly respectablenreputation. Despite his prolificacynand his popularity, Simenon isnnot often referred to as just anothern”potboiling hack. In fact, the fastidiousnAndre’ Gide more than once announcednthat Simenon was the greatestnFrench novelist of the 20th century.nGide went too far. Simenon’s prose isnsometimes very sharp, but is more oftennsimply plodding. His plots can be taut,ningenious; but they can also be—likentoo many of his characters—flat andnpredictable. Undoubtedly Simenon is ancouple of cuts above Erie Stanley Gardner.nBut like Gardner, he appeals primarilynto readers who remain charmednby the well-worn conventions of thengumshoe genre: readers who really doncare who’ murdered Roger Ackroyd.nOnly the most devoted of Simenon’snfans will enjoy hacking their waynthrough his Intimate Memoirs. Innthis uncharacteristically thick book,nSimenon puts discretion aside as henchronicles his two failed marriages andndescribes many of the literally innumerablensexual encounters he engineerednthroughout his peripatetic life. Henwrites also of his relationship with hisndaughter Marie-Jo — a relationshipnwhich while not incestuous was certainlynunhealthily close. It ended inn1978 with Marie-Jo’s suicide at the agenof 25. Simenon admits, for example,nthat Marie-Jo wore his “wedding band,”nand was privy to the details of at leastnsome of his liaisons. He also appends tonIntimate Memoirs a long series of apparentlynunexpurgated letters thatnMarie-Jo wrote during the final year ofnher life—sad, pathetic letters in whichnshe refers to Simenon as “Lord andnFather” and “my concrete God, thenforce I cling to.”nIn these reminiscences Simenonnoften makes note of his no doubt genuinenaffection for his children. But in thenmain he remains eerily detached as hendocuments the dramas—and thenmelodramas—of his domestic life.nQuite possibly his aloof authorial stancen—the same stance that one finds innSimenon’s novels—is a protective measure,na way of keeping painful memoriesnat arm’s length. But one gets thennnimpression that the utterly self-absorbednSnnenon has lived for so long in thenworld of his fiction that he long agoncame to regard the men and especiallynthe women in his life as little more thanncharacters of his own construction. Onenalso senses that Simenon likes to accumulatennice things quite as much as henhkes to manipulate human beings; thatnhe regards as incontrovertible proof ofnhis success on earth the fact that he hasnowned such goodies as a Rolls Royce, ansix-car garage, and a bathroom withnmarble floors.nJohn Updike once suggested in passingnthat Simenon possessed “a first ratensensibility.” If so, the maker of Maigretnhas elected not to flaunt it in his IntimatenMemoirs. The Simenon that onenencounters in these pages is largelyninsensible and curiously hollow. ccnBrian Murray is professor of Englishnat Youngstown State University.nCountry Folks CannSurvivenby C. P. DragashnJeff Long: Outlaw: The True Story ofnClaude Dallas; William Morrow; NewnYork.nClaude Dallas Jr. grew up dreaming ofnthe Wild West. Transplanted fromnWinchester, Virginia, to Mt. Gilead,nOhio, he pieced together—out of ZanenGrey and Louis L’Amour—a land thatnseemed as ancient and as heroic as thenplains of Troy. When he got oldnenough, Claude went West to live outnhis dream. With hard work and applicationnhe became a first-class buckaroo innOregon and Nevada—a sort of walkingnhandbook of cowboy skills which werensupposed to have disappeared before thenSecond World War. He gave up cowboyingnwhen modern times, in the formnof environmental regulations, made thenlife of the open range impossible. Tonearn his livelihood, Dallas turned to thenmore primitive and more lonely life ofnthe trapper.nClaude Dallas never thought muchnabout law or government. When henreceived the usual notice to report forninduction, he simply ignored the letter.nHe could not, however, forget the humiliationnhe experienced when Federalnmarshalls jerked him off the range andndragged him 1000 miles, from drunkntank to drunk tank, back to Ohio. Theyneven cut off his bootheels. In the event,nDallas was acquitted, partly because itn