Thursday, September 06, 2007

Lunchtime read: Selected Tales

Sorry for the lateness with this post but on the magazine Thursday is press day so it is all hands on deck and I ended up writing a couple of stories so had to work through lunch break.

Mind you this is worth the wait because the couple of stories today included the Murder on the Rue Morgue. The echoes in the world of Sherlock Holmes are obvious but the difference here is that you like Holmes more than the reclusive Frenchman who cracks this crime. Still for atmosphere and style its Conan Doyle in so many ways.

Highlights from William Wilson
This might sound like an odd thing but I was left thinking of the film Fight Club after reading this. William Wilson has what he thinks is a shadow a doppelganger who follows him round and destroys his life but when he finally faces him and drives the knife home several times he looks in the mirror and it is himself he has killed.

Highlights from Murder in the Rue Morgue
A woman and her daughter are found brutally murdered and the police have no idea about how the crime was perpetuated. Two solitary friends live together and one of them Dupin decides to help solve the crime once a friend has been arrested without evidence. He visits the scene and minutely examines everything and then works put that the crime was perpetuated by an orang-utan and manages to entice the owner to his house to look for the missing beast and confess what happened.

There is a darkness that comes from the descriptions of the murders and the bodies but so many things that happen here are repeated in Conan Doyle. There is one scene where Dupin manages to voice his friend’s thoughts and then explains how through a combination of reading his expression and reaction to events he managed to read his mind. Something exactly the same happens in the Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes where Holmes interrupts the thoughts of Dr Watson.

Mind you with writing of the standard of both Poe and Conan Doyle questions of originality are not to be too much worried about. Just enjoy the results of their creativity.

More tomorrow…

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