Abstract

“The Mystery of Marie Rogêt” has, since William Wimsatt's 1941 article “Poe and the Mystery of Mary Rogers,” enjoyed careful critical attention, most of it focusing on the ways the tale corresponds to or diverges from the historical events on which it is based. Poe revised the story in 1845. Most often, Poe's revisions are seen as an attempt to correct errors in his earlier version. This article will argue that, far from concealing Poe's earlier mistakes, Poe's revisions introduce discrepancies that cause the story to turn in on itself and to turn outward toward the reader. “Rogêt” is successful precisely because it is designed to call attention to its own falsity. Poe's alterations—and especially his initial footnote—invite the reader to apply Dupin's method and interrogate the text itself.

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