Author: Edgar Allan Poe
Published in: 1841(original publish)
In this series, we are looking at some of the most beloved classic novels in the world. The first in this series is “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” by celebrated American author Edgar Allan Poe.
Edgar Allan Poe is known to the world for his dark, gothic, macabre tales. He can also be credited as the creator of the detective fiction genre. The Murders in the Rue Morgue was probably the first ever detective fiction and paved way for Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot(s) of the world. The detective of the story, Monsieur C. Auguste Dupin exhibits all the archetypes of such a character, and the impression of this character on the other literary detectives of later times is very apparent. Like any other classic detective, Dupin relies on his power of observation and analysis, rather than the conventional investigating ways of the police.
It is evident from the structure of the story why Poe is called the earliest author of detective fiction. He has written at length about the nature of analysis and of an analytical mind, that not only reads beautifully, thanks to Poe’s renowned writing gifts, but also offers an introspection into the mind of our lead detective and into the very genre itself. Poe lets the reader enter Dupin’s mind, through his elaborate breaking down of observations; the story is suspenseful and a serious page turner. It also features some really graphic description of the titular “murders”, that was definitely way ahead of its time. There is not exactly much room for character development, as the story is very much plot driven. It can also be reasoned that as this novel was the first of its kind, Poe really used the story to build some kind of basic structure of the genre rather than focusing on a fully formed character study. Also with such a dynamic writing style and an intriguing plot, we can’t really complain.
This novel is definitely a must read, not only for Poe’s gorgeous prose but also for the impact it has had on the literary world.