Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Murders in the Rue Morgue: Beginning and 100% Complete

In just over an hour I knocked another "book" off the list: Edgar Allen Poe's short story: The Murders in the Rue Morgue. The version I have for Kindle can be found here and comes out to 38 pages.

Edgar Allen Poe (of "The Raven" fame, among other classics) wrote this for Graham's Magazine in 1841, for which he was paid $56.  It is a classic detective story in which an amateur detective solves the brutal murder of two women in Paris. According to Wikipedia, some consider this to be the first fiction detective story.

It's clear that the framework set forward in this story served as some inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes. There is the brilliant, if slightly eccentric, detective who pieces together tiny clues missed by everyone else, and then explains them to his friend/narrator.

Here is one quote I particularly liked. I have a weakness for quotes which make me smile and feel like I know exactly what the author is talking about, often without knowing that others had the same experience. This was one of those moments:

"There are few persons who have not, at some point of their lives, amused themselves in retracing the steps by which particular conclusions of their own minds have been attained. The occupation is often of full interest; and he who attempts it for the first time is astonished by the apparently illimitable distance and incoherence between the starting point and the goal."

I learned a pair of vocabulary words: first, "egress" which means "the action of going out of or leaving a place," and "ingress" which is "the action or fact of going in or entering."

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