Poe was fascinated with cryptography and, by extension, with anything that baffles the mind; the enigma of reality was one such stimulating question with many different layers: the cosmic large infinity, the social medium infinity, the atomic small infinity, the human psychological interior infinity. Poe thus delighted in mapping labyrinths of any enigmatic worlds – be they the worlds of reason, or those of imagination. At the frontier between fact and fiction, Poe’s dream was to devise increasingly cleverer narratives through which the ingenuity of mankind should be brought to light as a medium that could create solutions for the most baffling of questions. In The Murders in the Rue Morgue, a detective story so mysterious as to forbid any imaginable solution, he managed to fully detail his general method for the particular case of the detective story by focusing on the dilemmas around a murder: only a mastermind can have the power to find answers to such impossible issues, but only if it can reconstruct a lost reality by using the most seemingly insignificant details extant in the present, and provided it is also able to – at least for a few necessary moments – project itself empathically into the mind of the perpetrator. In the last analysis, this means the detective has to simulate in himself/herself the operations of darkness. Apparently, Poe was a master in unveiling both the operations occurring in an evil mind, as well as those taking place in the brilliant mind of a good detective. All of these Poe forged into his uniquely powerful and haunting narrative. 

Keywords: mastermind; omniscience; Dupin; utopia; the dark side; labyrinth; creative writing

How to cite: Pillat-Săulescu M (2019) Mastermind creativity: E. A. Poe’s utopia in The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Creativity 2(2): 27–31. doi:10.22381/C2220192

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Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures,
English Department,
The University of Bucharest, Romania

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