The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe

Published in Great Britain in 2002 by Orion Books. 40 pages. ISBN: 0-75284-770-8

Esta entrada es bilingüe, para ver la versión española desplazarse por la pantalla hacia abajo

Poe’s tales of mystery and imagination laid the groundwork for a new genre in the history of literature, the detective story. In The Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841), the first of the three tales starring the fictitious C. Auguste Dupin, we find the prototype for many fictional detectives, including Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. The story is told in first person by an unnamed narrator and it is also considered the first locked-room mystery.

After a philosophical introduction about the mental features discoursed of as the analytical, the reader is introduced to C. Auguste Dupin by an unnamed narrator:

This young gentleman was of an excellent – indeed of an illustrious family, but, by a variety of untoward events, had been reduced to such poverty that the energy of his character succumbed beneath it, and he ceased to bestir himself in the world, or to care for the retrieval of his fortunes. By courtesy of his creditors, there still remained in his possession a small remnant of his patrimony; and, upon de income arising from this, he managed, by means of a rigorous economy, to procure the necessaries of life, without troubling himself about its superfluities. Books, indeed, where his sole luxuries, and in Paris these are easily obtained.”

The story then revolves around the double murder of Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter in the Rue Morgue and how C. August Dupin finds an explanation and solves the mystery surrounding the case.

Given its historical significance, its length and its easy accessibility by means of  the Internet, this is a must read for every genre aficionado. If you have not read it yet, you won’t be disappointed. I’m sure you will enjoy the prose of one of the world’s best storytellers.

Edgar Allan Poe at Wikipedia.

This is my first book for the 2011 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge 

Los Crímenes de la Calle Morgue por Edgar Allan Poe

Poe sentó las bases de un nuevo género en la historia de la literatura, la historia de detectives en Cuentos de misterio y de imaginación. En Los Crímenes de la Calle Morgue (1841), el primero de los tres cuentos protagonizada por C. Auguste Dupin, nos encontramos con el prototipo de muchos detectives de ficción, como Sherlock Holmes y Hércules Poirot. La historia está contada en primera persona por un narrador sin nombre y también está considerado como el primer misterio de cuarto cerrado.

Después de una introducción filosófica acerca de las características de la inteligencia que suelen calificarse de analíticas, C. Auguste Dupin es presentado al lector por un narrador sin nombre:

Este joven caballero procedía de una excelente  – de hecho de una ilustre familia, pero una serie de desdichadas circunstancias lo habían reducido a tal pobreza que la energía de su carácter sucumbió ante la desgracia, llevándolo a alejarse del mundo y a no preocuparse por recuperar su fortuna. Gracias a la cortesía de sus acreedores le quedó una pequeña parte del patrimonio, y la renta que le producía bastaba, mediante una rigurosa economía, para subvenir a sus necesidades, sin preocuparse de lo superfluo. Los libros constituían su único lujo, y en París éstos son fáciles de obtener.”

La historia gira alrededor del doble asesinato de la señora L’Espanaye y de su hija en la calle Morgue y cómo C. Auguste Dupin encuentra la explicación y resuelve el misterio que rodea al caso.

Por su importancia histórica, su extensión y su fácil accesibilidad a través de Internet, esta es una lectura obligada para todos los aficionado al género. Si no lo han leído, no se sentirán decepcionados. Estoy seguro de que podrán disfrutar de la prosa de uno de los mejores narradores del mundo.

Edgar Allan Poe en Wikipedia.

8 thoughts on “The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe”

  1. >Hi Jose,We had our freshman students read Murders in the Rue Morgue this semester. They got the historical significance, particularly when Holmes references Dupin in Study in Scarlet, but they thought that the story itself was a cheat. They thought that the orangutan was over the top and annoyed that Dupin withheld clues. Still, you can't study detective fiction without a nod to Poe.

  2. >Mack – Thanks for your comment. I know that there is some controversy about Poe's solution. But I like to see it from an historical perspective. Maybe "The Gold Bug" is a better example of Poe's detective tales for your students.

  3. >The Gold Bug would be a good additional story but the Murders in the Rue Morgue has too many elements that contribute to reading Sherlock Holmes to pass by. Besides, to controversial aspect of the solution makes for good discussion.

  4. >Thanks for the review! I've got you added to the tally board at the progress/review site.It's been a long time since I read Poe (high school/college), but my son just read this one for his American Crime Fiction class in high school. It's amazing how Poe continues to mystify new readers.

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