Learn More in these related Britannica articles:. History at your fingertips. Sign up here to see what happened On This Day , every day in your inbox! Email address. These tales of ratiocination owe most of their popularity to being something in a new key. I do not mean to say that they are not ingenious — but people think them more ingenious than they are — on account of their method and air of method. In the "Murders in the Rue Morgue", for instance, where is the ingenuity in unraveling a web which you yourself Modern readers are occasionally put off by Poe's violation of an implicit narrative convention: readers should be able to guess the solution as they read.
The twist ending, however, is a sign of "bad faith" on Poe's part because readers would not reasonably include an orangutan on their list of potential murderers. The word detective did not exist at the time Poe wrote "The Murders in the Rue Morgue",  though there were other stories that featured similar problem-solving characters. Hoffmann , in which Mlle. Poe may also have been expanding on previous analytical works of his own including the essay on " Maelzel's Chess Player " and the comedic "Three Sundays in a Week".
The name of the main character may have been inspired from the "Dupin" character in a series of stories first published in Burton's Gentleman's Magazine in called "Unpublished passages in the Life of Vidocq, the French Minister of Police".
Murder victims in both stories, however, have their neck cut so badly that the head is almost entirely removed from the body. Poe originally titled the story "Murders in the Rue Trianon" but renamed it to better associate with death. It sold for 12 and a half cents. Poe did not take part in selecting which tales would be collected. Auguste Dupin and the Paris setting. The original manuscript of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" which was used for its first printing in Graham's Magazine was discarded in a wastebasket.
An apprentice at the office, J. Johnston, retrieved it and left it with his father for safekeeping. It was left in a music book, where it survived three house fires before being bought by George William Childs. This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. February Archived from the original on November 20, DVD Drive In. Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles, California. The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. July 18, The owner later recaptures the Ourang-Outang and sells it to a zoo. Le Bon is released, although the Prefect of Police is embarrassed and resentful and consequently is somewhat sarcastic about Dupin not minding his own business. Dupin ignores the jab and reiterates his belief that the Prefect has too much cunning and ingenuity and not enough analytic ability.
He quotes Rousseau, saying that the Prefect has a way "de nier ce qui est, et d'expliquer ce qui n'est pas" denying what is and explaining what is not.
Auguste Dupin, whose theory and powers of analysis are displayed by his skill in solving a seemingly intractable case and explained by his friend's opening monologue. Poe refers to Dupin's method as ratiocination, in which Dupin uses not only logic but also creativity in solving his case.
As with Sherlock Holmes and Hercules Poirot, two fictional detectives that later follow Dupin's lead, Dupin allows the police to do most of the grunt work before stepping in for his own investigations and formulating his theories from his home rather than from a police station. He disparages the police for lacking creative insight because the key to Dupin's analytical aptitude lies in his ability to imagine the mind of his opponents and to use his understanding of how others think to reconstruct their thoughts - and therefore their actions - in his mind.
Dupin's use of creativity in solving the case reflects Poe's background and strengths. Although Poe is very fond of creating and solving puzzles, he is essentially a writer, editor, and critic with an aesthetic sensibility and an interest in exploring the psyches of murderers and madmen.
Thus, Dupin acts to some extent as Poe's doppelganger, the character who strives to understand the mindsets of others in order to construct a story that logically follows from their character and from the given circumstances. The narrator is a man who appears to be of above-average intelligence, but he lacks the spark of creativity that would have been prized by a writer whose livelihood depended on his creative output, and as such, he is a foil for Dupin's brilliance.
Dupin cannot serve as the narrator because to hear his unfinished thought processes would detract from the final reveal of his perfectly devised solution. When the narrator discusses Dupin's mental talents, he briefly mentions the idea of "the old philosophy of the Bi-Part Soul," and speculates that Dupin has two sides to his soul, "the creative and the resolvent. When he explains his solution to the narrator, he gives the impression of being an entirely different person.
At the same time, this duality in Dupin's character echoes his method of attempting to understand people and determine their train of thought. When Dupin uses his creative side to identify with others, he allows himself to become a different person, generating new dualities in our understanding of his personality. Dupin looks down on the policemen for their lack of analytical skills and because they allow themselves to be too distracted by the horrific nature of the crime to consider alternative possibilities for the source of the crime.
By contrast, Dupin understands how to separate his emotions from his logic. Interestingly, this distinction is complicated by the fact that the culprit turns out to be an orangutan, a higher-level primate that represents a branch of evolution from an earlier path. The police are stumped, and the prefect of the police, G-, ultimately makes the decision to arrest a man named Le Bon, a bank clerk who appears to have no connection to the murder and who declares his innocence.
Dupin remembers that Le Bon did him a favor once, and he questions the police in their decision to arrest the man. In defense of Le Bon, and because of his skill at sleuthing, Dupin asks G- if he can help solve the case, and G- reluctantly allows him to inspect the crime scene. When Dupin visits the scene of the crime and inspects the grey hair and other items found in the house, he immediately begins to doubt whether a man could have committed the crime at all.
Dupin wonders how any man would have the strength to shove a fighting, fully-grown woman up a chimney, or to slash a throat so brutally that a woman's head would fall off when moved. He also wonders about how the killer escaped, and begins to think about the possibility that the killer has the special ability to climb and jump from great distances — the powers that would be possessed by another kind of primate, other than man.
He tells the police that he believes the murder was committed by an orangutan. The police scoff at this deduction, but when Dupin sends out notice asking if someone lost an orangutan, he gets word back from a sailor who had just brought the primate from overseas.
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