Main | July 2007 »

May 23, 2007

Talking of Horses

"We had been talking of horses, if I remember aright, just before leaving the Rue C--. This was the last subject we discussed..." --Detective C. Auguste Dupin, to the narrator, in Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue" (1841)

Maybe because I lost so badly at the horse races last weekend, I've been thinking about the history of this odd sport/pastime in the U.S. Journalist/historian Edward Hotaling has published several books on horse racing (which he calls "America's first national sport"), including two on African-American jockeys. What, if any, relevance might horse racing have to my dissertation? Well, why had Detective Dupin and Poe's narrator, in "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," been "talking of horses"? WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?