Judul Asli : THE PURLOINED LETTER
Copyright © by Edgar Allan Poe
From “The Murders in the Rue Morgue and Other Tales”
This edition published in the Penguin English Library 2012 | 330 p
Front cover illustration : Coralie Bickford-Smith
Inside front cover : Edgar Allan Poe (photograph © The Granger collection / TopFoto)
ISBN : 978-0-141-19897-2
Chapter 16 | p. 250 – 270
This is the thirth instlament of Poe’s works that reveal a unique character name C. Auguste Dupin – a man who have special interest on detail and solving mystery surrounding several crimes. After the first appears on The Murders in the Rue Morgue follow by The Mysteryof Marie Rogêt, Dupin’s specialties have been recognise by the authority, so many of them are asking for advise when comes into unsolve or strange crime. Now Dupin’s enjoying his life in his apartement on No. 33 Rue Dunôt, Faubourg St. Germain with his best friend (who like many Poe’s works, act as a narator to the story, but never reveal who actually the person is or even his name), when familiar quest come by asking for advise, Monsieur G___, the Prefek of the Parisian police.
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Something happens, a crime that consider ‘odd’ to Monsieur G___, and he knows Dupin’s interest on anything ‘odd’. Involving certain document that has been purloined from the royal apartments. The person who taken the document is known beyond doubt, because the method he use really clever and bold, he done it in the eyes of the keeper – a very higher quarter, who because of its secrecy cannot reveal those action nor confront the person who take the document. The prime suspect is Minister D__, who until now still have the possesion of those document – a letter that contain information, who can affect the political situation of the nation, when fall into wrong-hand.
The secret service and agent already tried to search this letter, in Minister D__ office and his house, but until now, there is no sign regarding whereabout this letter, accept in the secret compartment, hidden by the thief. Because all the actionmust be done secrecy, accusing the person in public who be another catastrophies and endanger to the nation, but all action that can be done already fail and face the dead end. Dupin’s humours makes him challenging Monsieur G__ into a bet, that he can solve the problems, finding and retrive the letter from Minister D__, so the game is on.
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Now the method and his analysis on human’s behaviour, added with the knowledge regarding the person of interest : Minister D__, makes this story really interesting. While all the best agent already tried many times and fails to find where the letter are hidden, Dupin’s follow the clues that after the explanation become very simple method, but rather difficult to and certainty never been thought by anybody else : he simple puts his mind on Minister D__ ‘shoes’ (a simple explanation to get inside someone’s mind) : what would you do if you have stolen property and you must find a good hiding place that no one can find it ?
The conversation between Dupin and Monsieur G__, and his explanation the method to his best friend are shown how good Poe’s on building and develop the character of Dupin’s and introducing the audience a very new method to solve any crime, involving the knowledge in human’s personalities, approaching through psychological aspects with analitical and logic, step by step retrace the action and gathering all the evidence, all of that will support the final answers of the mystery. Really splendid and humouris too, ‘cause Dupin’s character like any French’s people, like the attention of success, humble are not the most important personalities of this man, this is also I find in Poirot’s character develop by Agatha Christie.
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Favorite Quotes :
“If it is any point requiring reflection, we shall examine it to better purpose in the dark.” [ Dupin to Monsieur G__ ]Monsieur G__ : “The fact is, we have all been a good deal puzzled because the affair is so simple, and yet baffles us altogether.” | Dupin: “Perharps it is the very simplicity of the thing which puts you at fault.”“But this is a point, it appears, somewhat above or beneath the understanding of the Prefect. He never once thought it probable, or possible, that the minister had deposited the letter immediately beneath the nose of the whole world, by way of best preventing any potions of that world from perceiving it ___the more satisfied I became that, to conceal this letter, the minister had resorted to the comprehensive and sagacious expedient of not attempting to conceal it at all.”“Why – it did not seem altogether right to leave the interior blank – that would have been insulting. D__, at Vienna once, did me an evil turn, which I told him, quite good-humoredly, that I should remember. So, as I knew he would feel some curiosity in regard to the identity of the person who had outwitted him, I thought it a pity not to give him a clew ...and I just copied into the middle of the blank sheet the words : Un dessein si funeste, S’il n’est digne d’Atrée, est digne de Thyeste [ A design so deadly, If not worthy of Atreus, is worthy of Thyestes ]”
[ more about the author, books and related adaptations, check on here : Edgar Allan Poe | C. Auguste Dupin | The Purloined Letter | Poe's Works | All Adaptations ]