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A Descent into Edgar Allan Poe and His Works: The Bicentennial

Edited By Beatriz González Moreno and Margarita Rigal Aragón

Today Edgar Allan Poe is a well-known and highly regarded author. When, a hundred years ago (1909), a group of Poe acquaintances, fans and scholars got together at the University of Virginia to commemorate Poe’s birth centenary, they had to do so in order to modify the persistent misstatements of his earlier biographers, and to correct the unsettled judgment of his literary rank.
Now, in 2009, many Poe fans and scholars are gathering together once more to honour Poe on the second centenary of his birth. Different types of events (theatrical and musical performances, book auctions, etc.) and academic conferences have been celebrated on both sides of the Atlantic, acclaiming Poe’s literary rank again. This volume brings together a wide range of scholars with varied critical approaches and succeeds in shedding new light on E. A. Poe on the occasion of his Bicentenary. The book is organized into three principal sections; the first part focuses on the reception of Poe in Great Britain, France, and Spain; the second revisits some of Poe’s main legacies, such as his stories of detection, the Gothic, and Science Fiction; and the third deals with the aesthetic quality of his narratives and also offers an analysis of his work integrating Text Linguistics within the broader study of social discourses.


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Beatriz González-Moreno Approaching the Dupin-Holmes (or Poe-Doyle) Controversy 59


Approaching the Dupin-Holmes (or Poe-Doyle) Controversy1 BEATRIZ GONZÁLEZ-MORENO UNIVERSITY OF CASTILLA-LA MANCHA Sherlock Holmes, turning a hook nose and busy eyebrows toward his friend, cried, “Quick, Watson! The Needle!?” He had been reading a number of current detective stories to Craig Kennedy and Dupin in that Literary Limbo where all good fi ctional characters go. Holmes, recovering his equa- nimity, put down the book he was reading with a sigh. “In my days,” he said, “we ordered things differently. There was suspense, a certain amount of literary characterization, thrills that suggested some plausibility, in short,” and Sherlock Holmes proceeded to fi ll his large briar pipe, “detective fi c- tion was of some moment.” […] “And I”, said Dupin. “Mon Dieu! But I was the original deducer. If it had not been for me none of you would have been conceived.”2 When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle arrived in America in 1894 to give a series of lectures, one of the fi rst questions he had to answer was the following: “Now, weren’t you infl uenced by Edgar Allan Poe when you wrote Sherlock Holmes?,” asked the reporter. A hush fell in the room. It could be heard as distinctly as if the string of a violin had snapped, but Dr. Doyle liked the question and replied to it, at once, impulsively: “Oh, immensely! His detective is the best detective in fi ction.” “Except Sherlock Holmes,” said somebody. “I make no exception,” said Dr. Doyle very earnestly. “Dupin is unrivaled. It was Poe who taught...

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