This article explores the birth of detective fiction as a dialogical contestation to its gothic, sensational, and pseudoscientific sources in the periodical publications of its time and suggests the use of self-reflective irony as the rhetorical device that allows Edgar Allan Poe's poetic genius to find expression as it surpasses those models. These views should give coherence and cohesion to Poe's work by attending to his personal and professional experience in its geographical, historical, economic, cultural, and social contexts in an attempt to solve the apparent contradictions resulting from the recent aesthetically and historically detached approaches of narratological and postmodernist analyses.

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