Talk:The Murders in the Rue Morgue

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Good article The Murders in the Rue Morgue has been listed as one of the Language and literature good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
November 27, 2007 Peer review Reviewed
December 26, 2007 Good article nominee Listed
Current status: Good article
WikiProject Novels / Short story / Crime / 19th century (Rated GA-class, High-importance)
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Modern reception[edit]

Reception says that modern readers are "put off" by the story because they wouldn't expect an orangutan, but isn't that the point of the story? The narrator talks about using one's imagination... if we're put off, then, like the police inspector, we're "too cunning", and the fault is with us, not Poe/the narrator. Maybe Rosenheim is off in his assessment? Just sayin'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:27, 8 July 2010 (UTC)

Rue Morgue (magazine)[edit]

The tag

at the top of this article was moved into a "See also" section. I changed Rue Morgue to redirect to the magazine because that seemed to make more sense. Midnightdreary 18:25, 16 March 2007 (UTC)

Plot summary[edit]

This is one of the few articles that actually needs an expanded plot summary (most are way too long). Anyway, if anyone wants to give it a go, that would be great. Midnightdreary 16:15, 18 March 2007 (UTC)

Pop references[edit]

So the whole list of references in popular culture (or whatever it was called) was removed. Sure enough, within a couple hours someone started adding similar material. I'm wondering if we should discuss this stuff officially. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen isn't the only piece of literature that references "Rue Morgue." Anyway, thoughts? --Midnightdreary 15:55, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

If you check around to my other edits, I am pretty aggressive at removing mere trivia that's not notable. At least some of the examples that were removed here I think are fairly notable. WP:TRIVIA says they should not be in mere lists, especially as it's so easy to add junk at the end to make it balloon out of control. It doesn't say delete all of it indiscriminately. Even in the currently disputed section that was added and removed to WP:NOT it wouldn't say all these needed to go. We should prioritize though. The magazine with the same names seems particularly notable. Thoughts? DreamGuy 17:07, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
These types of sections are tough. More than notability, I'd question WP:OR; we'd need a source that proves the given song/book/movie/video game is referencing this story and it's not just a coincidence. I agree with full sentences though. The more info we have on context, the better. --Midnightdreary 18:44, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Minor addendum: I wasn't the one that removed the original list of cultural references. Just to be clear. :) --Midnightdreary 18:57, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Err, well, most of these are extremely obvious. It'd be odd to demand sources for things are completely undeniable. Clive Barker's "New Murders in the Rue Morgue" and LXG reference the original story extremely frequently and explicitly. The Rue Morgue magazine should be pretty obvious too. These aren't OR in the sense that no "research" is actually involved It's not a question of reading through the lines, as it's in your face. DreamGuy 18:58, 18 August 2007 (UTC)
Well, I wouldn't make too many assumptions. My concern is that "Rue Morgue" is just the name of a street in Paris; so, just because a work mentions the street doesn't make it relative to this story. And, still, even obvious references don't necessarily add anything to this article (WP:TRIVIA seems to indicate the same) even if it's "notable" (and most of these options will be debatable). Anyway, my recommendation is to have a few strong, obvious references written in prose-form (like you suggest) here, and then lead people to the Edgar Allan Poe in television and film and/or Edgar Allan Poe and music articles. My other guess is that no one else will respond to this query but, even so, we should give a few days before making our consensus. :) --Midnightdreary 19:49, 18 August 2007 (UTC)

Also, in Ray Bardbury's Martian chronicals, the story "usher II" is about multiple poe Murder stories being reinacted on people who burned books as subversive material, and a woman is stuffed into a fireplace by an "ape". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:25, 4 October 2007 (UTC)


Someone keeps changing "G--" to "God." This is NOT a reference to God, but a reference to the prefect's name, which is unrevealed beyond its first letter. Please, do not change again. --Midnightdreary 14:31, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Good Article[edit]

Hello to anyone who watches this page! I'm interested in bringing this article up to Good Article status if anyone wants to help out. This isn't necessarily one of my favorite stories, but it's literary importance almost demands that its Wikipedia article be at Good status. Anyone willing to help? --Midnightdreary 13:41, 2 November 2007 (UTC)

Removed allusions section[edit]

This is the section about Allusions/references from other works... it was removed as irrelevant, unless anyone wants to make a case for it.

I would recommend anything worthwhile be removed to Edgar Allan Poe and music or Edgar Allan Poe in television and film. Or whatever is appropriate. --Midnightdreary (talk) 14:34, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Good article nomination[edit]

GA reviewer, feel free to leave comments here. Thanks! --Midnightdreary (talk) 22:05, 26 December 2007 (UTC)

Successful good article nomination[edit]

I am glad to report that this article nomination for good article status has been promoted. This is how the article, as of January 2, 2008, compares against the six good article criteria:

1. Well written?: Pass
2. Factually accurate?: Pass
3. Broad in coverage?: Pass
4. Neutral point of view?: Pass
5. Article stability? Pass
6. Images?: Pass: There is only one image, but then perhaps it is the only available image for the article topic. I wonder if there is any old (not necessarily first printing) cover art for the story, but it will probably be under fair use which should be kept at minimum.

If you feel that this review is in error, feel free to take it to Good article reassessment. Thank you to all of the editors who worked hard to bring it to this status, and congratulations.— BorgQueen (talk) 13:15, 2 January 2008 (UTC)


I am fairly certain that the story has been translated into a lot of languages, but only the French one is mentioned in the article. The Japanese wiki article has a long list of Japanese translations, beginning in 1913. If reliable sources can be found, such history of various translations will make a nice informative addition to this article, in my view. --BorgQueen (talk) 17:44, 2 January 2008 (UTC)

Good point. Though not all translations or re-printings are notable, in my future research I'll try to keep an eye out for further information on "Rue Morgue" around the world. I'll also try to pay attention for possible images to add in. Thanks for reviewing!! --Midnightdreary (talk) 01:39, 3 January 2008 (UTC)


It would be nice to see a a source that directly connects Hoffman's influence to Poe. I have never seen the claim (not to say it isn't possible). Unless several scholars make the link, it does not represent an academic consensus to say that Poe was influenced by Hoffman. Putting forward a claim that is not heavily supported actually violates WP:NPOV as well. Especially on an article with such a high importance rating (not to mention one at GA status), we have to be careful. --Midnightdreary (talk) 19:26, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Also, please note that according to wiki-policy and the Manual of Style for the project, an article on an American topic should not use British/Australian spellings (unless a quote, obviously). The anon editor using a shifting IP may also want to reconsider WP:WEASEL, which clearly says the word "often" is a weasel word. Again, as I said in the edit summary, there are two sources that say that this story is considered the first detective story (both are footnoted); neither use the term "often". To suggest that the two sources say "often" is inaccurate and misrepresents the sources. I hope this is helpful. --Midnightdreary (talk) 21:35, 29 September 2008 (UTC)
Look, I'm trying to come to a compromise/understanding here. But there is a certain anonymous editor with a rotating IP that refuses to engage on this talk page. As such, he/she is compromising the integrity of this article, which is recognized with good status. I'm considering requesting full protection so that we can work this out rather than edit warring. However, this only works if that editor is willing to engage in discussion. --Midnightdreary (talk) 02:03, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
It is not my POV. I gave the reference (Booker) which includes the whole discussion about priority and direct influence. Booker wasn't pretending to make an original claim. And the edit simply alerts the reader to earlier claimants to the title. Read any book on Poe for confirmation of the influence of Hoffmann. Or read the wiki article on E. T. A. Hoffmann, which I didn't write! And look at the German wikipedia entry on Hoffmann's story [1] to see that it has the classic elements. The "often" is accurate, but removed to please you. ("Weasel" is a stupid, thick-fingered policy as it stands. It cannot distinguish between what we all know - and doesn't need proof - and what is unprovable.) A bald statement that "it is the first" simply does not reflect the disagreement about the matter. I suspect patriotic American "historians of detective fiction" don't read German too well and aren't anxious to find earlier examples. Poe learnt (learned??) to write prose at school in England (like Raymond Chandler) he should be allowed spellings that reflect that and Hoffmann is spelled (spellt??) Hoffmann unless there is an American spelling of it I don't know about. (talk) 10:58, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

I am having difficulty assuming good faith from this user because he/she has refused my several previous attempts to start a dialogue. I'm going to try again and lay out my concerns with this anon editor who doesn't seem to like to play with others. The problem with the edits are as follows:

  1. Manual of Style problems - You can not change the spelling to British style spellings on an American subject article. Words like "neighbour" should not exist in this article. This is non-negotiable; it is policy.
  2. Moving the note that the term 'detective' did not exist in the dictionary to the introduction section violates the policy on leads as it is far too specific a detail and should not exist there unless it goes into further detail in the body of the article. Instead, this editor is trying to add to the lead without any intention of expanding.
  3. Adding the term "often" to the claim that "Rue Morgue" is considered the first detective story is, for one thing, POV and, for another, incorrect based on the footnotes. There are, in fact, three footnotes that support "Rue Morgue" as the first detective story (not "often"); two are in the lead, another is further down. Adding "often" implies that these sources use the term; they don't. If we add it, we are being deceptive and/or manipulative of other people's words.
  4. The information on Hoffman could very well be legitimate, but we have to examine a bit: First, is it considered the first detective story? Fine, that's great. But, more importantly, was it an influence on Poe? As the source is not a Poe scholar, I have to take it with a grain of salt. There have been essays written just about what books Poe has read - long, long inventories of any book he ever directly mentioned in a review, in a short story, in an epigraph... Has this source done the research to determine if Poe actually read Hoffman? As he was not a Poe scholar, you may see my concern. As an attempt at reaching out, I have brought out my library of Poe books, including ones that focus specifically on his detective fiction, and will start pouring through them to see if they can corroborate this claim.
  5. I hope you understand (and are actually reading this). This is how things work at Wiki - we collaborate. We don't force POV, and we don't break established policies (number one on my list, I think, is enough reason to revert). Please tell me you are willing to discuss... finally? --Midnightdreary (talk) 11:01, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Thank you so much for joining the discussion! Now we can really move forward with this. Okay, first, this editor did, in fact, add the info to the Hoffman article that Poe was influenced by him; note that it uses the same source. But, anyway, first, about the spellings... this is an article on an American story. Wikipedia's Manual of Style will definitely tell you we must use American spelling. I don't argue policy, I just follow it as best I know how. --Midnightdreary (talk) 11:05, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
In fact look back at the history of the Hoffmann article!! His influence on Poe was there long before I added a source about the story. The story is set in France (like Hoffmann's story). Why not use French spelling?? (talk)
Fine, I concede that Hoffman had the Poe influence before you. But I will not concede that you are breaking policy by using British spelling on an American article. Are you familiar with policy? I can't assume anything because you do not have an account and I can't confirm your edit history with a rotating IP. --Midnightdreary (talk) 11:12, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
And, since you've threatened me with the 3RR (quite appropriately, frankly), I hope you will go ahead and fix the spelling yourself. Please! --Midnightdreary (talk) 11:14, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Other problems with your current edit: using the term "strong claim" is most certainly not NPOV (it force-feeds the value judgment of "strong"). Additionally, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" is a short story and, as such, is formatting in quotes - not italics. This is more than just Wiki policy; it is common use of the English language. --Midnightdreary (talk) 11:16, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
You can have the spellings you feel appropriate. But since you are more familiar with them than I am, it would be better if you "corrected" them. Italics are used for short stories very often - I am looking at a book now which uses them for The Naval Treaty, a Sherlock Holmes story. Perhaps a love of using double quotation marks as much as possible is another American idiosyncrasy (I understand that it is). (talk) 11:23, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Actually, the usage of italics on short story titles is quite rare and usually is only when the story borders on novella status. I don't mean to be idiosyncratic, I'm just pointing out policy and manual of style things that we simply must follow. For specificity, see WP:MOST. Anyway, my next step is going to be to search through Poe sources that may give more info on Hoffman's influence on this story or Poe in general. --Midnightdreary (talk) 11:29, 30 September 2008 (UTC)


I have now combed through eleven books on Poe, including two that specialize on Poe's detective stories, as well as several essays and papers. I have yet to find any Poe-focused book that makes a connection between Poe and E. T. A. Hoffman. In other words, though we can acknowledge the existence of a story by Hoffman, we can not confirm or imply that Poe was familiar with it, let alone inspired by it. I have clarified wording in this article to remove any implication of a connection. It is worth considering also that we are talking about a "detective story" not a "mystery" - and they are two very different genres. I wonder if Hoffman is writing "mystery" and not a "detective story"? --Midnightdreary (talk) 20:25, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

1909 Film Adaptation[edit]

Poe's story was used, with Conan Doyle's detective supplanting Dupin: Sherlock Holmes in the Great Murder MysteryAvitor (talk) 01:14, 24 December 2008 (UTC)

up the irons[edit]

What about the Iron Maiden song called: "Murders in the Rue Morgue" please add it to the adaptations. Thank You —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:53, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

Why? Does the song really adapt the whole story of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue"? Or is it just a trivial pop culture reference trying to sound cool by capitalizing on Poe, "murders" and "morgue"? This sounds like an entry for Edgar Allan Poe and music... and it's already there! --Midnightdreary (talk) 13:47, 29 March 2009 (UTC)

In order to increase my enjoyment of my readings of Poe, I enjoy knowing how his stories and poems have influenced other artists and musicians and creative types. To find Iron Maiden's piece I would not know to go to a wikipedia page titled 'Edgar Allan Poe and music' (unless it is linked in the See Also section). How might this be remedied? I know there are difficulties with trivia and pop culture sections (let alone the arbitrary definitions of these vague terms - was not Poe pop culture when he was alive, and considered much less in the half century after his death?) but leaving this information out serves to limit a reader's understanding of how far-reaching Poe's influence continues to be. Great work Midnightdreary on this and other articles. ~~ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:30, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Well, the only way that you can include it here is if you can find a reliable published source which makes the connection. Failure to do so makes the inclusion of such information a violation of original research. Also bear in mind the debate over "trivia" and what Wikipedia is not (particularly the idea that this should not be an indiscriminatory list of information; even if true, the question must arise: does this particular piece of information have merit? would the article be improved by its inclusion?). --Midnightdreary (talk) 20:32, 30 September 2009 (UTC)

Graham Robb's Critique[edit]

In his exploration of medical, cultural and literary tropes, Graham Robb's Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century expounds a novel critique of Poe's Rue Morgue, that the real solution is to a mystery that has probably passed the reader quite by: namely, that Dupin and the unnamed narrator are in fact male lovers. The argument seems bizarre at first, but Robb picks the narrative apart, taking each literary reference back to its textual origin, and hardly a one does not treat in some way of uranism, transvestism or some other oblique significator pointing to homosexual culture such as it was in Poe's day. Even the discovery of the culprit as being anthropoid in shape and capabilities, but not in fact a man at all, is artfully construed by Robb as being indicative of the detective's and his companion's un-masculinity. Robb is actually himself heterosexual (though we've all heard that one before), and so can't be pulled up for any perceived gay ideological "log-rolling".

As for myself, I'm not actually convinced (though it makes very interesting reading). I think what the analysis shows is that the devices in the narrative all indicate a murderer who is not a man, a non-human culprit.

Nuttyskin (talk) 16:33, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

This is an interesting reading of the story, and I wonder if it's worth representing here. Incidentally, I remember seeing (though I don't recall the source) some analysis that argued the two murdered women were, in fact, lesbians, making their death a potential hate crime. --Midnightdreary (talk) 17:36, 20 September 2012 (UTC)
Yeah, it was probably a homophobic orangutang. (talk) 02:29, 2 February 2015 (UTC)

About the modern reception[edit]

The article has the following paragraph: "Modern readers are occasionally put off by Poe's violation of an implicit narrative convention: readers should be able to guess the solution as they read. The twist ending, however, is a sign of "bad faith" on Poe's part because readers would not reasonably include an orangutan on their list of potential murderers.[24]" Source 24 is "Rosenheim 1997, p. 68", but I don't have it so I can't check. Does source 24 only refer to the last line of the paragraph, or to both lines? In the first case, the first line is POV, and even in the second case that opinion should be attributed to Rosenheim rather then being presented as a universal truth. Even the second line, about the supposed "bad faith" of Poe, should be attributed to him. By the way, both lines are confusing: why would an "implicit narrative convention" invented almost a century later would be retroactively valid for the first detective story? And isn't the fact that readers can't easily guess the identity of the murderer a strong point rather than a weak point? --Newblackwhite (talk) 21:12, 12 April 2017 (UTC)

Sounds like an easy fix: "According to..." But I do think Rosenheim speaks on how it has been read by modern audiences more generally, beyond his personal opinion. Yes, both lines are from that same source. I'm not sure how a convention is suddenly invented "almost a century later"; I think it is established over time. As such, I think the comparison between the first modern detective story and what readers now consider established convention is valid, all the same. No, the lack of guessing ability is not a strong point in part because of the next sentence (it is unreasonable) but also specifically because that's not convention; typically, the murderer or what-have-you is required to be introduced within the first third of the narrative or something like that. --Midnightdreary (talk) 02:26, 13 April 2017 (UTC)
Indeed, "According to Rosenheim" or "Rosenheim notes/observes/argues/points out/says/think/writes that..." would be a good compromise. My "almost a century later" was a random figure, but it's a matter of fact that none of Poe's three detective stories uses that convention, and the same thing is true for most of the works of the 19th century, including a good amount of Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories. True, the convention was established over time, but I think it was not truly codified until the golden age of detective fiction (1920's and 1930's). Van Dine's Twenty Rules for Writing Detective Stories is from 1928, and Knox's ten rules were published in 1929: Poe's first Dupin story is from 1841, and so it predates them by almost a century. I agree with you when you say that "I think the comparison between the first modern detective story and what readers now consider established convention is valid, all the same". However, it could be done in a better way. It is one thing to write that "The twist ending, however, is a sign of "bad faith" on Poe's part" to indicate that he didn't follow a rule that didn't even exist yet. It is another thing to write something like, say, "This story, like Poe's two other Dupin stories, is not meant to be a game between writer and reader, as the latter is not provided with all the clues that Dupin has. Later writer would extablish a convention that readers should be able to guess the solution as they read". By the way, do you know what are the exacts words used by Rosenheim in the cited source? Another thing: I checked Quinn's source for another part of the article ("Poe scholar Arthur Hobson Quinn speculates that later detective stories might have set up M. Le Bon, the suspect who is arrested, as appearing guilty as a red herring, though Poe chose not to") and what he said is "Here at once Poe's methods dffer from those of his many imitators. They would have led the reader for a time into a belief that the bank clerk, M. Le Bon, who brought the gold to the address in the Rue Morgue, had murdered the women for their money". Not sure if it makes a difference, but he seems to talks about imitators in a pejorative way, indicating that not having M. Le Bon as a red herring was a good thing, while this is not evident from the current version of the article. Oh, and when I talked about the strong point I was talking about unpredictability itself, regardless of the other problem (the lack of clues), but it doesn't really matter since my opinion is not a source. --Newblackwhite (talk) 09:16, 13 April 2017 (UTC)

history of detective story[edit]

Susana and the Elders in the Book of Daniel.Pamour (talk) 20:37, 26 September 2017 (UTC)