dragonhelmuk's Reviews > The Murders in the Rue Morgue: The Dupin Tales

The Murders in the Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe
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Mar 20, 12

Read in March, 2012

** spoiler alert ** Kindled for free. Did you know Poe basically invented Sherlock Holmes? This story is amazing, and all the more so considering that the rest of the genre of the time is made up of books like The Moonstone, which just aren’t in the same style at all. If only the same could be said for his follow-up short story The Mystery of Marie Roget, but sadly this story is just boring, even if it is based on real life. Anyway, three quotes from this one:


{European Victorians}
It was a freak of fancy in my friend (for what else shall I call it?) to be enamored of the Night for her own sake; and into this _bizarrerie_, as into all his others, I quietly fell; giving myself up to his wild whims with a perfect _abandon_. The sable divinity would not herself dwell with us always; but we could counterfeit her presence. At the first dawn of the morning we closed all the messy shutters of our old building; lighting a couple of tapers which, strongly perfumed, threw out only the ghastliest and feeblest of rays. By the aid of these we then busied our souls in dreams--reading, writing, or conversing, until warned by the clock of the advent of the true Darkness. Then we sallied forth into the streets arm in arm, continuing the topics of the day, or roaming far and wide until a late hour, seeking, amid the wild lights and shadows of the populous city, that infinity of mental excitement which quiet observation can afford. At such times I could not help remarking and admiring (although from his rich ideality I had been prepared to expect it) a peculiar analytic ability in Dupin. He seemed, too, to take an eager delight in its exercise--if not exactly in its display--and did not hesitate to confess the pleasure thus derived. He boasted to me, with a low chuckling laugh, that most men, in respect to himself, wore windows in their bosoms, and was wont to follow up such assertions by direct and very startling proofs of his intimate knowledge of my own.


{observations}
We were strolling one night down a long dirty street in the vicinity of the Palais Royal. Being both, apparently, occupied with thought, neither of us had spoken a syllable for fifteen minutes at least. All at once Dupin broke forth with these words: "He is a very little fellow, that's true, and would do better for the _Théâtre des Variétés_." "There can be no doubt of that," I replied unwittingly, and not at first observing (so much had I been absorbed in reflection) the extraordinary manner in which the speaker had chimed in with my meditations. In an instant afterward I recollected myself, and my astonishment was profound. "Dupin," said I, gravely, "this is beyond my comprehension. I do not hesitate to say that I am amazed, and can scarcely credit my senses. How was it possible you should know I was thinking of -----?"


{Eastern wonders}
"Read now," replied Dupin, "this passage from Cuvier." It was a minute anatomical and generally descriptive account of the large fulvous Ourang-Outang of the East Indian Islands. The gigantic stature, the prodigious strength and activity, the wild ferocity, and the imitative propensities of these mammalia are sufficiently well known to all. I understood the full horrors of the murder at once. "The description of the digits," said I, as I made an end of reading, "is in exact accordance with this drawing. I see that no animal but an Ourang-Outang, of the species here mentioned, could have impressed the indentations as you have traced them. This tuft of tawny hair, too, is identical in character with that of the beast of Cuvier.
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