Sunday, November 10, 2013

The World Through a Sherlockian's Eyes - A One Year Celebration


And so I have reached another milestone - I have been blogging for one year. In those 365 days I have shared with you the best, the worst, the most surprising and the most anticipated things concerning the world's greatest detective. I'd just like to take a moment and say that it has been so much fun. For years I have needed an outlet to share my thoughts, opinions and other obsessive rants and through this site, I have managed to do that. The best part is - people actually seem to like it! There were few things more exciting for me than finding links to my blog on such wonderful websites as At the Scene of the Crime, The Sherlock Holmes Society of St. Charles and Always 1895. Today, I'd like to celebrate my one year anniversary with a personal post about what I think it truly means to be a Sherlockian.

There are plenty of other detectives out there - Hercule Poirot, Charlie Chan, Lord Peter Wimsey etc. The list goes on and on. None of them shall ever eclipse Sherlock Holmes for me. I was introduced to the Sherlock Holmes stories as a child and my profound interest in the character has grown exponentially. Why do I love this particular fictional character so much? Maybe it's a simple matter of having been exposed to the stories for so long. Maybe it's the fact that at heart, I've always wanted the abilities which Holmes possesses. Honestly, who hasn't at least once wanted the ability to assess a person's character and behaviour simply by looking at them? Or let's take that one step further - who hasn't ever wanted to attempt to read someone's mind? Holmes manages to do so easily in "The Adventure of the Cardboard Box."

There has been no better time to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes than now. The media is simply flooded with points of Sherlockian interest: "Sherlock" is preparing for its third season, rumours spread concerning a third Guy Ritchie-directed Sherlock Holmes movie, pastiches are being written and published at an alarming rate. It's almost too much to comprehend.

I will say without much hesitation that most people today know of Sherlock Holmes through the Guy Rictchie films or "Sherlock." The latter has developed a fan base at an alarming rate, and though its cult following is perhaps not as large as "Doctor Who," it still has it devoted followers. Sadly, I feel that many people who watch "Sherlock" have never been exposed to Arthur Conan Doyle's originals, so many of the show's most clever moments are missed entirely. Even if "Sherlock" introduces its viewers to the original short stories and novels, I cannot help but think that some may feel a twinge of disappointment as "Sherlock" and the Sherlock Holmes canon are two very different entities. Now, don't get me wrong - I love "Sherlock" and feel that it is a fantastic show and surely the greatest Sherlock Holmes offering since Jeremy Brett's heyday. But, as I have written elsewhere - the term 'Sherlockian' applies today more to the BBC show than the character.

I do not for one moment regret my slight obsession with all things Sherlock Holmes. Everyone needs an interest in something and mine just happens to be the world most famous detective and very possibly the world's most famous literary figure hands down. It's nigh impossible for someone not to have heard of the name Sherlock Holmes and even if they have not, they are surely acquainted with the infamous pipe and hat. Undeniably, Holmes has changed the world and I think for the best.

In terms of the mystery genre itself, imagine if Holmes never existed. I don't know if the genre would have come so far. Would it have fizzled out with the publication of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Murders in the Rue Morgue?" I don't know if I'd say that, but the countless numbers of characters who emerged in the great detective's wake may never have existed. Thanks to the excellent 1970's series, "The Rivals of Sherlock Holmes," I was introduced to some of the more obscure Victorian detectives - Dr. Thorndyke, Professor Van Dusen, Carnacki, etc. Though each of these characters are well-rounded in their own right, they all owe something to Arthur Conan Doyle's famous creation. Therefore, I make the argument that these characters may never have existed. Going forward, would Agatha Christie have gained notoriety for creating Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple, two characters who both have their links to Sherlock Holmes.

Arthur Conan Doyle revolutionized the mystery genre. Next time you walk into the mystery section of your local bookshop thank two people - Edgar Allan Poe for creating the genre and Doyle for turning it into what we know today.  With the creation of Sherlock Holmes, the literary world, the movie industry et al were changed forever. There are few things which have not been impacted by the world's foremost expert in criminal detection. And that's how a Sherlockian sees the world.

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I would just like to take a moment and thank my fellow bloggers. So many of you who have visited this site and left comments I am indebted to as you truly inspired me to start this blog. Your websites are all bookmarked on my computer and they make for very entertaining reading. I don't think I'd be where am I today without your sites. So I thank you.

And to all my readers, I thank you too! Here's to 2014!

2 comments:

  1. Congrats for reaching this milestone! It's been a pleasure to come here and read your pieces, and I hope to be able to do so for years to come.

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    1. Thank you Patrick. Your kind words mean a lot.

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