Friday, March 30, 2018

C. Auguste Who?

THIS IS THE first that we've heard of this—and bear in mind that since the whole thing is based on an anonymous letter, it could well be a hoax or simply a mistake.

"Dupin, C. Auguste."
Entry (half-page) in Heroes and Heroines of Fiction (1915), edited by William S. Walsh.
Online at (HERE).

Conan Doyle readily admitted that he was inspired by Poe's character, but who inspired Dupin? This article claims to know:
   "Dupin, C. Auguste, an amateur detective introduced into three of Poe's tales—The Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Mystery of Marie Roget, and The Purloined Letter—in all of which he is represented as rendering important services to the Parisian police by unravelling apparently insoluble mysteries.
   "According to a letter published (1879) in the New York World and signed F.D.C., the character was drawn after a real person, one C. Auguste Dupont, a man of acute analytical powers, who was frequently called in to aid the police in the manner Poe describes.
   "The Murders in the Rue Morgue, indeed, is very largely founded upon facts, which F.D.C. claims to have supplied to Poe, having learned them from Dupont himself, with whom he was very closely associated during a sojourn of seven years in Paris. 'Dupont,' he adds, 'merely laughed when he saw his name disguised in Charles Baudelaire's translation, nor had he ever taken offence at the liberty I had taken in sending to Poe the true facts of the solution of the mystery—facts which in their results were, of course, well known to the police authorities, although not in their details. Dupont had done more work for the police that ever came to Poe's knowledge: if Poe had not used the name under so thin a disguise he might have learned more, and perhaps would have written better and more astounding and analytical tales.'"

- Every source we have come across gives Poe's "inspiration" for Dupin to someone else:
  "Poe may have gotten the last name 'Dupin' from a character in a series of stories first published Burton's Gentleman's Magazine in 1828 called 'Unpublished passages in the Life of Vidocq, the French Minister of Police.'

The name also implies 'duping' or deception, a skill Dupin shows off in 'The Purloined Letter.' Detective fiction, however, had no real precedent and the word detective had not yet been coined when Poe first introduced Dupin."
   — "C. Auguste Dupin," Wikipedia (HERE)

- We discovered practically from the beginning of this weblog that it is impossible for anyone who appreciates the mystery story to ignore Edgar Allan Poe, our latest brush with him being (HERE); in one of our earliest posts we highlighted Hillary Waugh's appraisal of the contribu-tions which the Raven made to detective fiction (HERE)—and the one aspect of the form that Poe missed.

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