Fiction, city and memory

I was reading an article on the life of George Simenon the other day. This year is the 20th anniversary of his death. In his life he wrote more than 200 novels 75 of which have the great Commissaire Jules Maigret. I read many of them and still have many to read in my chaotic bookshelves. There is no mystery that I love mysteries and thriller stories. The funny thing though, about Simenon, is that his novels are never too old! Lately I found a book that I bought in LA from another author I love, Raymond Chandler. Unfortunately reading it now, reading about LA wasn't easy. Many buildings, stores, places no longer exist. With your memory you can try to depict this lost heritage of the city but it is harder to keep track of its ongoing path through the everyday. When you read Crais, Woods or Connelly (just to mention some) you are almost there with the characters, you walk on their streets (and I know them), you eat in the same restaurants you maybe went couple of years ago. Yet, talking about history, memory and heritage Los Angeles isn't really a good example since everything is somehow defined in a book called "The history of forgetting" (by my SCI-Arc professor Norman Klein).
With Simenon it's a different thing. Eventhough written between the 30's and the 70's Paris remains the same. Architecture, streets and even some stores! It is easy to be part of a city that, although many years have passed, it gives you the same feelings of the past. The city though it's always depicted as cold, rainy with the windows covered by thin condensation. All of which created a familiar dimension with the reader, maybe his main characteristic of a city filled with mysteries! As historians said, maybe it is because the bad weather is always associated with a refuge, a heater, a pipe that both Simenon and Maigret loved to smoke. The rain and all the shadows of grey become too the main characters of the story. As I always visit Paris when there is the sun it is strange yet fascinating feeling it with rain and fog and yes... murders! I thought that maybe the weather has changed through the years. But maybe not. Is it possible that the dark side of Simenon's novels were dictated by some darkness in his life? Probably. Ultimately you never stop discovering people. As they are like paintings. You see what's presented to you but often not behind. Maybe Paris was really foggy and humid. Or maybe that's how personal feelings were translated.