Headscratchers: Edgar Allan Poe

  • When is C. Auguste Dupin going to get his film adaptation? Hollywood is long overdue for giving Sherlock Holmes' predecessor some credit.
    • In fairness, Dupin is a less cinematic than Holmes. And "Murders in the Rue Morgue" is the only mystery that involves much physical action; "The Purloined Letter" has minimal action and "The Mystery of Marie Roget" has absolutely none, being no more than Dupin staring at newspapers and making educated guesses. Note also that Dupin is not described physically in the tales, because Poe wanted to stress that he is essentially pure intellect. It could be argued that a video adaptation of Dupin would be the nec plus ultra of Misaimed Fandom. And there are, of course, far fewer source tales to use in the first place. You'd essentally have to write entirely new material to make Dupin a film character.
    • True, but they created an entirely new villain and new plot for the 2009 Holmes film. With the right actors, great music, It Will Never Catch On jokes, and nice helpings of Dupin/No Name Given sidekick Ho Yay, you could make a really entertaining adaptation of "Murders in the Rue Morgue" (the murderer is an orangutan — how much better can it get?) and easily add some more action to it. They could make the "murderer" more violent when they catch up to it for a good (if weird, therefore even better) fight scene, and even make him the creative weapon of a particularly devious villain, which would not be far off for an author whose characters could kill with, for example, a poisoned candle. "The Purloined Letter" could be used in the first act to show off Dupin's genius. Not that they would want to skip over Dupin and his Watson meeting and moving in together — Dupin would provide time for some origin story that there's rarely any room for in Sherlock Holmes adaptations.
    • In all likelyhood, he'd be dismissed as a Sherlock Homes ripoff by a public that doesn't know any better.
    • Holmes is far more interesting and a more defined character than Dupin. Even though Dupin debuted over half a century earlier, he reads as a much shallower version of Holmes.
    • Still would leave you with the problem of people thinking that Dupin was just a rip-off of Holmes, not caring that Dupin came first. Like others said, Dupin wasn't exactly the Deadpan Snarker, action-y hero as Holmes was.
  • In the Pit and the Pendulum, er, can someone explain exactly what was going on? At first it seemed like the narrator was free to wander his cell, but then towards the climax, he's suddenly strapped to a slab of wood for the titular pendulum to come down. Did someone put him on there in a brief timeskip?
    • The narrator initially was free to walk around his cell; later he fainted and awoke on the slab, finding himself strapped down and facing the descending pendulum.
  • In The Tell-Tale Heart, was the old man's heart literally beating, or was it his own heart that he mistook for the old man's?
    • He will never know -- and neither will we.
      • It could also be possible that the heartbeat was all in the narrator's head, like maybe his sanity was slipping, or that his guilt was getting to him.
      • Just as his mad fear of the old man's evil eye, the beating heart was most likely just in his head.
  • This one is about Poe's personal life: Why was his wife listed as 21 years old at the time of their marriage? Was there a legal marriageable age back then? But even if there was, it can't have been more than 16 since marriage at 16 wasn't uncommon for girls at the time. So even if they felt the necessity for aging her up at all (whether for legal reasons or in order to make the whole affair seem more normal), what was the point of aging the 13-year-old Virginia all the way up to 21? Why not simply say she's 16? What was the purpose of that?