The Purloined Letter – Edgar Allan Poe

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Whenever I get the honor to study the detective fiction narratives, I just go into the state of “euphoria”. Especially, when I’m exposed to the works of Poe, Doyle and Christie, my ecstasy becomes inexplicable!

Likewise, recently I was reading this short story, “The Purloined Letter” by Poe (father of detective fiction) and found myself overwhelmed with this brilliant piece of one of his ‘tales of ratiocination’.

The story revolves around a pivotal letter getting stolen and the way with which our detective & protagonist, C. Auguste Dupin solves the case. Though, this case of a letter being purloined is crystal clear and the person who has stolen it is also known, but still it is a mystery which is “simple yet odd”!

In short, it’s just a story of finding a “purloined letter”. On one side, the Police Prefect, turns upside down the whole house of, Minister G (culprit) and yet couldn’t find the letter, while on the other hand Dupin, just solves it the minute he listens the case. Dupin gives a beautiful explanation of his “logical deduction”, suggesting that the perspective with which one looks at things is all that matters. It is a story of “looking at things differently”.

So, Dupin explains that the Prefect was searching it in all the wrong places, while the letter was just lying right in front of his eyes so casually.      

We all do this, right? Whenever we loose something we just look for that thing in difficult places and couldn’t find it, while that thing is lying right in front of our eyes. Because, we are told that complex things can’t be solved easily, thus, we avoid to “look at the other side of the things”.

In the end, I can just say that while being a detective story, it also carries a very strong message on “the perspective of looking at things differently”!
Just Read It!

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56 thoughts on “The Purloined Letter – Edgar Allan Poe

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  2. One of my favorite stories by the Master, you have excellent taste. And I love your point about not looking for things in the obvious places. One morning after walking around in circles in the kitchen for quite a few minutes with my empty coffee cup in my left hand, my wife asked me, “What are you doing?” I told her I was looking for the coffee pot, where the heck was the coffee pot? She laughed and told me it was in my right hand. Who knows how long I would have kept looking for it if she hadn’t told me. Read you later.

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