The Snow Was Black

by Georges Simenon

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Critical Context

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The Snow Was Black is an expression of all these themes and of something more. It gives the reader an unremittingly somber portrayal of the loss of pride and value in a society caught in the vise of a totalitarian regime. At the same time, it is only one small piece—though an important one—in the mosaic of Simenon’s phenomenal fictional productivity. When The Snow Was Black was first published in 1948, it was one of four novels that Simenon had completed during that year, and it was one of nineteen that were written since the end of the German Occupation in 1944. By that time, the French author was being compared to Honore de Balzac and proclaimed by his compatriot, Andre Gide, as one of the greatest novelists in the contemporary world.

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