Friday, September 14, 2007

Lunchtime read: Selected Tales

The reappearance of Dupin is welcome but lets face it after the Murder in the Rue Morgue the detective adventures are best left to Conan Doyle with Sherlock Holmes. Apart from that there is another reminder of how Poe can make you feel uncomfortable dwelling on one particular phobia.

Highlights from The Purloined Letter
A member of the royal household is discovered in possession of a compromising letter and a minister steals it knowing that no protest is possible. The woman turns to the police to get it back but they take the house apart and cannot find it. The reward for finding it is considerable but no one has any joy. Dupin asks for a large sum, of money to get it back and no sooner is the cheque written he hands over the letter. He realised that the best place to hide it is right under the noses and so he discovered it on a visit and then replaced it with a copy.

Te moral of the story is that if you wan to hide something them keeping it obvious often tricks the minds of those looking for some secret hiding place.

Highlights from The Imp of the Perverse
After a few pages suggesting that sometimes there is an overpowering desire to be perverse and go against the norm Poe introduces a man who has committed murder who is quite happy at having got away with his crime. But then he is infected by the desire to shout out his crime and starts to run through the crowd and when he is caught sure enough he blurts it out and for his honesty is rewarded with the hangman’s noose.

More tomorrow…

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