Edgar Allan Poe's Influence Of Detective Fiction

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Detective fiction is one of the most popular literary genres. It has evolved greatly throughout its timeline. While it is difficult for literary scholars to identify when detective fiction’s timeline began or even who wrote the first detective fiction novel, it is commonly accepted that Edgar Allan Poe heavily contributed to the creation of the genre. He wrote three popular short stories that he called “tales of ratiocination,” which meant their plots were driven by analytical reasoning. Poe’s “tales of ratiocination” including “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” “The Mystery of Marie Rogêt,” and “The Purloined Letter” had an extremely important influence on detective fiction because in his stories, he coined the genius private detective, the ordinary sidekick through whom the story is narrated, and the method of solving problems in a leap of deductive reasoning. One of Edgar Allan Poe’s most important contributions to detective fiction was his detective C. Aguste Dupin who is credited as the world’s first fictional detective (“Detective Story” p. 4). Dupin is described by Charles E. May as being extremely well-read, highly imaginative, and master of a keen analytical ability” (May). Because of his high intellectual level, Dupin craves mental stimulation. According to Martin A. Kayman, “[…] Dupin has no particular concern with upholding justice or the social order. […] he is motivated by the specific intellectual problem, rather than by social or ethical values” (45).
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