Sunday, 17 January 2016

J'Accuse Monsieur Poe.

A few nights ago I finished reading Edgar Allan Poe’s story The Mystery of Marie Roget. It’s a murder mystery, and it took a long time to read because it requires ploughing through what feels like about ten thousand pages of tortuous (read: ‘maddeningly pedantic’) explanation by Monsieur Dupin – a precursor in both style and logic of Sherlock Holmes – as to why the police and press have got it all wrong. He finally concludes that it was probably the mysterious naval officer what done it. And then we get an editor’s comment to the effect that (and I paraphrase for the sake of blessed brevity): ‘The police were impressed.’

Is that good enough? I don’t think so.

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