"`There's something about Poe's work that's not very American. He's not a naturalist. He's not a realist.' The French were ready and waiting for what Poe had to offer: `Maybe it takes an older civilization to feel comfortable with the dark side and be able to enjoy it.'"
That was Poe scholar Shelley Costa Bloomfield
one morning bright and early in the town of Baltimore (at Bouchercon 2008). The subject was why the American Poe chose a French hero (C. Auguste Dupin) and setting (Paris) when he invented the detective story, and why the real-life Mary Cecilia Rogers
, who disappeared in New York in 1838, became Marie Rogêt, found dead in the Seine in "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt."
That's my favorite reason for setting a crime story abroad. What's yours?
© Peter Rozovsky 2011
Labels: Bouchercon 2008, Edgar Allan Poe, Shelley Costa Bloomfield