Saturday, February 05, 2011

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

Today I learned that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, writer of Sherlock Holmes stories, and some other stuff, came to Canada twice. Both times apparently to Jasper national park (once upon its opening). He spent at least one day in Winnipeg to boot. Neat. Irrelevant to anything whatsoever, but still, cool.

I've been reading the Sherlock Holmes stories, as I had never read them in my youth and all my sherlock holmes knowledge comes from Star Trek TNG holodeck episodes. That is to say, next to none. The character is actually quite surprisingly different from what years of "elementary, my dear watson" type stories have shown. Heck, I bet the Robert Downey Jr. Sherlock Holmes movie is closer to the real Sherlock Holmes than anything else ever put to film.

I mean, the character is almost autistic, horribly anti-social, takes cocaine and other recreational drugs (though legal at the time), and subtly disrespectful of most authority (and with good cause).. Why had nobody told me this? I thought I was in for some boring crime solving, but instead I was given excitingly better than you douchebag know-it-all. Kind of like House from that TV show he's in. House. Except British.

Anyways, hurray to project Gutenberg for hosting these classics. The only bad thing is once I'm done with it, that's it forever. There will never be new Sherlock Holmes stories. It's like the stories really are chronicles of actual events, and we'll never truly go back there. It's kind of sad, but at the same time, kind of nice to think those stories will stand forever. They're fiction, but there is something of the "real" about them. It'd be nice to think there really was a Sherlock Holmes, like there was really a person James Bond was based on, and these stories were published as fiction to hide the real person's identity. And somewhat sad to think that our world today has more Professor Moriarty's running it than Sherlock Holmes's. I mean just as you can take James Bond and write new movies set in the modern times, you can do the same with Sherlock Holmes, but when you look at it, Sherlock Holmes truly belongs in turn of the century London just as James Bond belongs in the 50's and 60's.

1 comment:

astone said...

I read most of them in my youth. And you are correct! They are really great fiction.(now, I might have to reread them) Speaking of British fiction, the James Bond novels by Ian Flemming are also very enjoyable, although it's been at least thirty years since I cracked one so my view might be a bit distorted by time. I do remember after the first one I had to read them all.