Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Monday, August 20, 2012

The Father of the Detective Story

Unlike Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle had great respect for the works of Edgar Allen Poe. And so should we all. He was the father of the detective story and the creator of  many of its conventions still in use today.

The mystery novel that I am writing now, The Disappearance of Mr. James Phillimore, revolves around a debate in London. I wanted it to be unlike The Great Sherlock Holmes Debate sponsored by my publisher, so the issue is, "Who is the most important detective in fiction -- Sherlock Holmes or Poe's C. Auguste Dupin?"

Sebastian McCabe,BSI, argues for Holmes and Sir Stephen Fresch argues for Dupin. You'll have to read the book to find out who wins. But during the debate, Sir Stephen quotes one of my favorite non-Sherlockian quotes from ACD: 
He, the created, would scoff and would sneer,
Where I, the creator would bow and revere.
So please grip this fact with cerebral tentacle:
The doll and its maker are never identical.
You may recognize this as part of Sir Arthur's response to criticism of Holmes's dismissal of Poe and Dupin in the early pages of A Study in Scarlet.

While I was working on my book over the weekend, I had occasion to open my Heritage Club edition of Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination. I was surprised to find that the introduction was written by Vincent Starrett, one of the greatest Sherlockians of all time. He writes:

"Poe was the great root from which the whole art of the modern short-story has grown, in the opinion of one of his disciples, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle."

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