‘The Man who wasn’t Maigret: A Portrait of Georges Simenon’ by Patrick Marnham

La Caque (named after a type of barrel used for packing herring) was a group of young men (painters, artists and writers), most of them former students of the Académie des Beaux-Arts (the Academy of Fine Art) in the city of Liège, Belgium. La Caque had a symbol, the scorpion biting its own tail, which  is sometimes taken as a symbol of eternity but could also be seen as a symbol of suicide. The leader of the group was the artist Luc Lafnet.

In her 1977 study of Simenon, “Georges Simenon: Maigrets and the Roman Durs”, Lucille Frackman Becker writes about the ‘La Caque’.

“….they feverishly sought intense excitement, any kind of ecstasy, of the boby, of the senses, of the mind, by any means imaginable and even using artifices, by meticulously codified formulas that resembled those of sexual maniacs”.

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