Saturday, December 5, 2009

Poe Fridays (on Saturday)

After our Thanksgiving break, it's time for another slice of, Poe. (I honestly didn't mean to type that, but cracked myself up so much I thought I'd just leave it - yep, I'm a dork.)

This week's selection is the detective story The Purloined Letter. You can read the full text here.

We revisit Poe's famous detective, Dupin, as he helps the Prefect of the Police solve a crime. The Prefect has been searching in vain for a letter stolen from a helpless woman by an unscrupulous Minister. The Minister could potentially ruin the woman's life with the letter, so the Prefect must find it - unfortunately, he has searched and searched, and had no luck. Dupin hears the particulars of the case and, after a time, produces the letter in question.

This is considered the best of Poe's tales of ratiocination, and is for the most part an enjoyable read. However, I did get a big bogged down at times in the seemingly endless discussion of poets vs. mathematicians - however, that could have been my inherent distaste for math clouding my perspective. Poe's Dupin is a somewhat one-dimensional character, but the suggestion that Dupin and the sinister Minister D___ might be one and the same certainly makes him seem more interesting.

All in all, not my favorite Poe story, but certainly not my least favorite, and definitely the best of the bunch featuring Dupin.

Poe Fridays is hosted by Kristen at WeBeReading.

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