left biblioblography: Watson! The Game Is Afoot!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Watson! The Game Is Afoot!

I’ve been watching the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes recently, and today is actually the 150th birthday of Arthur Conan Doyle. The answers.com page shows this blurb:

Spotlight: It's elementary... Legendary detective Sherlock Holmes may have been a master of the art of observation and deduction, but he didn't gather all the clues unaided. Depending not only on his trusty sidekick, Dr. Watson, Holmes frequently sought help from a band of street urchins whom he dubbed the Baker Street Irregulars. Fans of Holmes later formed a group, adopting the name BSI. Still active today, they've included such illustrious figures as Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry Truman, as well as lesser-known names. The only real criterion for membership is an active, deep-rooted devotion to all things Sherlockian. The creator of the object of all this devotion, Arthur Conan Doyle, was born 150 years ago today. A physician by trade, Doyle wrote four novels and 56 short stories featuring Holmes and company.

And of course, Jeremy Brett replaced Basil Rathbone as the quintessential Holmes.

As a voracious reader in my youth, I used to delight in reading the Holmes’ adventures. That he could read people and make rapid deductions as to their recent activities, their livelihood, and varied other sundries, was almost magical, until he explained in cool detail just how simple it was. I enjoyed these tales then, and to this day I still do.

Sherlock Holmes was of course a fictional character, but a delightful one: a keen analytical intellect, an eccentric with an eye for details that others take for granted, an autodidactic expert only on the fields that interested him, he was (and still is) a standard and an icon.

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3 comments:

nullifidian said...

I think it should be remembered, if only in the back of one's mind, that Doyle, being the connoisseur of woo that he was, was no friend of great friend of scepticism and wrote Holmes as a über-sceptical anti-hero.

But, yes, Brett played him brilliantly.

This has inspired me to dig out my old Holmes and have a re-read in the near future, so I'll thank you for that! :-)

nullifidian said...

Also, for a comedy take on Holmes, there's always Data playing him on the holodeck in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episodes. ;-)

Krystalline Apostate said...

Hey null.
There is a lotta religious language in the stories, though Holmes scoffed @ the idea of vampires (in the Vampire of Sussex), & Doyle did end up believing in fairies in the garden @ the end.
& those TNG episodes were pretty good, even though they created a holographic Pro. Moriarty.