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How Edgar Allan Poe Became Our Era’s Premier Storyteller

via Smithsonian

Poe changed world literature with the first detective story, The Murders in the Rue Morgue, published in 1841. In other words, he “made possible about 80 percent of contemporary literature and television programming,” says J.W. Ocker, author of Poe-Land. With C. Auguste Dupin, a brilliant, eccentric outsider who outsmarts the bumbling constabulary with analytical reasoning, Poe created the forerunner of all fictional detectives to come. In 1901, Arthur Conan Doyle, who created Sherlock Holmes, called Poe the “father of the detective tale” and complained that Poe had “covered its limits so completely that I fail to see how his followers can find any fresh ground which they can confidently call their own.” Poe’s fictional “tales of ratiocination,” as Poe himself called them, also introduced a style of deduction that influenced real-world crime-solving.

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