help on detective storiesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread
I am writing about Poes dective stories and and how they relat to his life anyone with information on this it would help if u sent it to me
-- Anonymous, May 21, 2002
Actually I suppose the question does pertain. The Mystery of Marie Roget was based on an actual incident that Poe tried to solve himself a la Conan Doyle(Mary Rogers death). But what started Poe's interest in the new genre, besides a current interest in urban crime and detection, was a better presentation of the complex Poe hero in a threatening world.
The Pit and the Pendulum has the element of puzzle solving. Other stories depict crime(The Black Cat and The Tell Tale Heart) probing the deranged criminal mind. But Poe was not just interested in the descent into terror, but the overcoming of irrational fears with the fierce resistance of reason. Dupin, is the quintesssential Poe, the intuitive thinker, man of scinece, philosophy and vast imagination. A peculiar, two part genius. He can explore the fascinating world of mystery and discover its reality. And show how brilliant he is compared to the limited minds of the police. In his own puzzle articles in the magazines he presides over the game as the champion of ciphers. He teaks and challenges the minds of his readers. He fights ignorance and mediocrity. Another appeal to Poe would be the element of death. The crime IS done, not prevented. Poe can't help that and trying to find some triumph over death(in his own losses) abounds in articles, poetry and stories. But always the shadow, the noir spirit blankets all, so the stories have dark elements as well.
-- Anonymous, May 22, 2002