Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Literary Anniversary

Edgar Allan Poe Murders in the Rue Morgue
As you may already know, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" was published on this date in 1841, an event that is generally heralded as the birth of modern detective fiction.

I've often wondered if Agatha Christie would even have had a career if it wasn't for this story. Poirot (note the name well) and Hastings are so obviously built upon Dupin and his narrator/sidekick that Christie should have spent at least half her royalties by building some sort of monument to Poe, by way of penance. Just the other day, I saw an episode of David Suchet's "Poirot" where the dramatic climax was a (badly-done) rip-off of "'Thou Art the Man!'" The solution to "The Mysterious Affair at Styles" was borrowed from "The Purloined Letter." I suspect that if I read more of Christie's stories--I'm not a huge fan of hers--I'd find other examples.

Ironic, isn't it, how the hero of the "Longfellow War" seems to be a veritable magnet for plagiarism?

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