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giovedì 30 giugno 2016
SIMENON SIMENON. POE AND SIMENON / DUPIN AND MAIGRET
On wondering if Jules Maigret and Auguste Dupin are alike
SIMENON SIMENON. POE ET SIMENON / DUPIN ET MAIGRET Questionnement sur les similarités entre Jules Maigret et Auguste Dupin SIMENON SIMENON. POE E SIMENON / DUPIN E MAIGRET Riflessioni sui punti in comune tra jules Maigret e Auguste Dupin
C. Auguste Dupin originally appeared in Edgar Allan Poe’s The Murders
in the Rue Morgue (1841). Putting aside the question of whether he is
the first detective to ever appear in a fictional story and where the
tale fits into the chain of locked door murder mysteries, reading the
story does reveal some interesting similarities and differences between
Dupin and Maigret. Projecting that the former may be less familiar than
the latter, here are some of the similarities:
1) Dupin is a Frenchman. The narrator emphasizes a deep interest in “that candor which a Frenchman indulges….”
He displays compassion for criminals. Dupin reassures the accessory to
the horrific Rue Morgue murders: “My friend… …I pledge… …we intend you
3) He likes to prove the falsely accused are
innocent. “It was only after the announcement that Le Bon had been
imprisoned” that he pursues the case.
4) He shuns the limelight. “It had been many years since Dupin had ceased to know or be known in Paris.”
He goes into trances when analyzing crimes: “I have already spoken of
his abstract manner… …His eyes, vacant in expression, regarded only the
And here are some of the differences:
1) Dupin is
not a professional detective. Independently moneyed, he “managed, by
means of a rigorous economy, to procure the necessaries of life, without
troubling himself about its superfluities.”
2) He is of a high social class. “This young gentleman was of an excellent―indeed of an illustrious family.”
3) He is an eccentric recluse. Basically anti-social, “he ceased to bestir himself in the world.”
4) He is an intellectual. “Books, indeed, were his sole luxuries.”
He is brilliant. His “peculiar analytic ability” includes reading
minds, recognizing details, correlating information, and then presenting
deductions that demand close attention to follow his thinking.
while comparing and contrasting process like this, it becomes apparent
that the way these two detectives approach crime solution is, at once,
similar and different. The method involves some blending:
1) Both draw on observation, reason, and intuition in common.
2) The initial step in detection is observing. They employ this equally.
3) Poe credits Dupin with utilizing “ratiocination” and Simenon quotes Maigret with insisting “I never think.”
4) Each use both extensively, but Dupin relies more on reason and Maigret counts more on intuition.
In the end, by mixing unequal portions of reason and intuition, each
puts himself inside the criminal’s mind to achieve success.