Poe`s detectivesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
I`m writing i term paper about Poe and his detectives.I would like to know how he created his detective stories?
-- Anonymous, April 20, 2002
From crime in the newpapers and the police force to Poe's peculiar romantic hero investigating the mysteries that in themselves and in their resolution pass through realms of higher thought and poetic perception. Intuiton, symbolic connections rather than just normal reasoning and deduction(which however are the methods by which the ingenious insight of the detective moves easily to rthe solution.)
Godwin's "Caleb Williams" is one protype Poe mentions in "The Philosophy of Composition". The hero and the writing method of "writing backward from the end" so that all sorts of seemingly ingenious trails can be more easily plotted. Psychology and philosophy and art are every much important as detective work and the detective himself gets wrapped up into a high state of excitement and obsession to become one with the criminal mind.
There is ia lot more of course: the unique combination of typical Poe elements, the triumph of rational reasoning, the superiority of the poetic sentiment and perception(when allied with reason), the dark tale of exotic experience beyond the normal(though not supernatural), the building of suspense. The use of the first person narration in this case a companion neither as clever as the slowly revealed mind of Dupin, nor the clever reader who might be able to solve the clues. Poe liked to involve his readers with riddles and puzzles in his magazine writings.
-- Anonymous, April 22, 2002