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When I Was Old by Georges Simenon
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When I Was Old

by Georges Simenon

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In 1960, 1961, and 1962, for personal reasons, or for reasons I don’t know myself, I began feeling old, and I began keeping notebooks.
Saturday, 25 June 1960

It’s been four days – from the twenty-first – since I finished a novel, my hundred-eightieth-and-some, which I’d wanted to be easy.
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Simenon's notebooks, from age 57 when experiencing some self-assessment, comprise a remarkable document. Using psychology to mine the depths, he attempts to present himself to his public. An essentially private documentary intended to forestall posthumous tampering with the truth of himself. The notes are day by day records showing moods of despair and some satisfaction. Then there are fascinating assessments of well known visitors, Henry Miller, Charles Chaplin, others he gives you to guess who they might have been. The closeness of family is poignant with tension as his wife's health disintegrates.
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