Saturday, February 18, 2017
IT'S ALL QUITE ELEMENTARY...
Some of the most serious public figures of our time, from Woodrow Wilson and Winston Churchill to W.B. Yeats have been addicts of this form of fiction. Millions of people all over the world are avid fans of the television dramas and movies that fall within this designation (as a forever addict of Law and Order, I am here to tell you, it is very serious business...I admit freely that my love of this genre may be said to border on obsession!) We know through our studies of Poe and his own strange, mysterious and in many ways tortured, too short life communicated through Dupin something of his own ratiocinative intensity. Despite the spider web level of complexity through which Poe weaves his tales, the detective story stuck fast. The public cried out for more, and at Poe's untimely death, there were plenty of other gifted and creative minds to take up the pen and answer their demands. The detective story has held fast to our imaginations, even through two decades of great wars, and has become, through its own series of evolution, more popular than ever before!
What's not to love about a good Detective Story? EVERYBODY is suspect! All the characters,
1. People Love Puzzles. "Murder mysteries and Detective Stories are the only genre of literature which consistently offer the chance to figure out the story for yourself. Puzzlers LOVE to catch the killer before he/she is revealed. Detective stories are not just tales, they are games and puzzles. They offer a unique brand of excitement."
2. People ARE Puzzles. "In no other genre does a team of people expend such energy to understand the identity of one person. We usually focus on the murderer, but it is really the dead who are the stars for one last moment. To solve the murder, the detective must know the victims' history and their motivations. They have to find out no only who killed them, but why and how. In looking for the killer we have to discover the soul of the one killed first. The murderer is, therefore, not the only one on trial. Detective stories give us a glimpse into people we would never get in real life."
I love a good detective story, and because I do, I am very grateful to Edgar Allan Poe, and all those who followed and kept that genre alive, on the page and on the screen. I often wonder what he might think if he could come and see ALL the great works of mystery his own life's work inspired??
Just for fun, I have below links to several trailers for some of the best and most famous crime shows and even one video game (with two links) inspired by Poe's great first detective. The first is a tour of the set of my favorite, Law and Order, led by Jerry Orbach (my favorite Law and Order Detective) featuring Jesse Martin (my other favorite detective) and Sam Waterston (my favorite L and O attorney). Enjoy a few of them, and then comment...
2. Which of the trailers did YOU find most interesting?
When it comes to the Great American Detective Story, it's truly elementary, my dear DP scholars: we owe a great debt of gratitude to Mr. Edgar Allan Poe, whose own life and death reads like many of the mysteries he wrote and inspired....
Law and Order Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watchv=9RJQghAf95Y&index=3&list=PL7FUsYBdSKVynvO4qU-RNnh36tNmBVlbO
C. Auguste Dupin Video Game: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3vtycPqw4l4 and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xDE3MNSSiM
The Raven Movie-(a Mystery featuring Poe as detective): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuireoKBiC0
Sherlock Holmes Series, BBC: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B89DeXZ7mhc
Sherlock Holmes Movie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7nJksXDBWc
Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUZfKF8SwEw
Agatha Christie's Miss Marple: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oI6Y7is723A
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aEqGHISwqk
HBO's True Detective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXG1netn9_g
( *Bunting, Joe. "Why People Like Detective Stories." The Write Practice Blog: http://thewritepractice.com/detective-stories/)