RE: RARA-AVIS: Southern Gothic

Date: 27 Feb 2003


Re your question below:

> Can you think of any [Poe stories] that have a
> Southern "air" to them?

"The Gold Bug" is definitely set in the South. I'm not sure how "gothic" you'd consider it but it's definitely Southern. The story involves code-breaking rather than the actual solving of a crime. It's been years since I read it, but one of Pe's non-Dupin detective stories, "Thou Art the Man," has a small town/rural setting that may have been southern. The trick by which the detective solves the murder has some definite gothic elements.

Just to keep this focused on hard-boiled fiction, it's worth noting that the sleuth in "Thou Art the Man," like the Continental Op and Bill Pronzini's private eye character, is a nameless first person narrator.


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