Dupin's friend name

greenspun.com : LUSENET : The Work of Edgar Allan Poe : One Thread

I am an English teacher living in Nice-France. I'm working on American and English mystery fiction with my 8th graders and I can't find the answer to one of the questions we are asked in our book: the names of the friends who help detectives. We've found all the answers except for the name of Auguste Dupin's in "The Murders of the Rue Morgue". Thank you for helping us. L. Mangialetto

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2003


Unless you find his name I may stick my neck out here and suggest than the unnamed person is meant to be taken for Poe himself. As in numerous hoaxes about the real world including taking down "The Narrative of A. Gordon Pym" Poe intentionally bridges himself into the story to create an impression of non-fiction, by interviewing or participating with the characters. Poe claims to have been in France and wrote several French based stories and often quotes French authors with an air of familiarity more than plain erudition. In his first story escpecially, though the companion is a foil he is no plainwitted dupe or dope like Watson. He articulates the philosophy of Dupin intimately. That Dupin has that extraordinary gift is Poe the narrator peeling off a greater side of his genius to personalize as the puzzle's solver and story's hero. In fact Poe the narrator is a fiction in "Pym" and could be presumed in the Dupin stories also.

The whole companion and fictional narrator idea in Poe gives him that connection to reality that draws the reader in further and is the first "trick" that goes unnoticed and unquestioned as the magician weaves his spell, sometimes even deceiving as to the facts(fictional or not). No one knew Watson. Everyone knew Poe. Few go so far as to insert themselves into the story though some clever historical fiction writers step back and do the mixing for them at times. None of them are as original or as effecting as Poe's technique.

-- Anonymous, February 28, 2003

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