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Instructor: Prof. Greg Van Den Berg

Edgar Allan Poe was the undisputed “Father” of the Detective Story. He created so much that is of importance in the field — literally creating the template for all of detective fiction to follow. (Years later, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was to say that Poe “was a model for all time.”) In just three stories, Poe created the amateur detective and his narrator friend, the locked-room mystery, the talented but eccentric amateur sleuth outwitting the official police force. The first fictional case of an animal committing a perceived murder, the first armchair detective, the first fictional case which claimed to solve a real murder mystery previously unsolved by police, the concept of hiding something in plain sight so that it is overlooked by everyone who is searching for it (except for the detective, of course), scattering of false clues by the criminal, accusing someone unjustly, the concept of “ratiocination” (later called “observation and deduction” by Sherlock Holmes and others!), solution and explanation by the detective, and more.

Stories to be discussed:

“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”

“The Mystery of Marie Roget”

“The Purloined Letter”

6 Thurs., beg., June 2, from 10-11:30 am, class ends July 7

Res: $40 /Non-Res: $45

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