Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A Visit to 221b Baker Street

"My dear Watson, let me explain," lately, I have been spending a considerable amount of time in the company of the ingenious Sherlock Holmes and his trusted confidante and sidekick, the dear Dr. Watson. I first stumbled upon the book, "Sherlock Holmes The Complete Novels ad Stories Volume I" while searching for some Agatha Christie novels at my local bookstore. I knew Sherlock was rumored to be one of the most famous of detectives as far as mysteries go. (And beyond, really. I believe it is safe to say he is one of the most famous fictional characters in the civilized world, if you don't mind my assumption!) And for good reason too! I was entranced from the start of "A Study in Scarlet" to the locked-room mystery of "The Sign of the Four."

I was amazed at the cold, logical, and calculating mind of Mr. Sherlock Holmes. As Watson once so accurately said, it is a good thing he is on the side of the law instead of against it, for he would never be caught. (that last part was my belief) He really is almost robot-like. Soon after he explains his observations, you find yourself thinking "of course! Why didn't I see that?" along with Watson, but the fact is you didn't and Sherlock did and that's a fact. That's whats so extraordinary. I only have a few bones to pick with Mr Holmes. He seems not to appreciate dear Watson enough in his egocentric world. (for even though I think him the greatest, he is egocentric.) I know he does in his own strange way, but not consciously, and every once in a while I'd like to see that music loving, soul searching- side to his character come out toward Watson. But, really, I shouldn't complain. Watson doesn't. He is, indeed, Sherlock's biggest fan. Their friendship is simply great.

I was very surprised at Watson's character. Going into the books, I had the impression that Watson was a goofy sidekick, always putting his foot in it and just generally being a clod-hopper. I apologize profusely Dr. Watson! I was, very happily, wrong. I can only justify that opinion because of some versions of Sherlock Holmes. But, in reality, Dr. John Watson is the perfect accomplice for Holmes. He is clever, indeed, but compared to Holmes' shining intellect, he seems dull at some points. BUT that is just to show how clever Holmes is. It doesn't seem very extraordinary to be more clever than a clod-hopper, but to be more clever than a successful doctor and true gentleman is rather special. You see what I mean?

It is interesting to note though, that Holmes lacks some common sense and social graces. Please don't argue just yet ;) In "A Study in Scarlet," Watson is surprised to find that Sherlock does not know that the solar system is geocentric instead of heliocentric! As Watson said, "his ignorance was as remarkable as his knowledge." Sherlock then astounds us more by saying that he will try his best to forget this bit of information. When asked to explain, he goes on to say that he believes the mind can only hold so much, so he must only keep such information as is important to him and his line of studies. While seemingly rather unusual, there may be some sense in that fact... Very surprising, nonetheless.

After becoming interested in the occupants on 221b Baker Street, the next logical step, to my mind, was to search for more about them. Luckily, my piano teacher had the perfect recommendation: a television series starring Jeremy Brett as the famous Sherlock Holmes. She assured me it was quite like the books, sometimes word for word; and I was not disappointed. He was fabulous, Watson was as I imagined, and the story has a good flow, while being very true to the works of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I have only watched the first three episodes so far, but I am hooked! I cannot wait to see some more! And, of course, read more.

Have any of you all read and/ or watched Mr. Sherlock Holmes and his trusty friend Dr. Watson? What do you think of them? I'll be interested to see if anyone has any opinions. :)

1 comment:

  1. I'm in the midst of my own Year of Sherlock -- been reading all the original stories in order (I'm almost half done!) and watching lots of different versions. My favorite is the Jeremy Brett version, though I'm just now discovering the updated "Sherlock" series and digging it too. But the Bretts are the most faithful by far. Wonderful stuff.

    BTW, there is only one character in all of English literature that has had more written about him than Sherlock Holmes, and that is Hamlet. So yes, I think you could safely call him "one of the most famous fictional characters in the civilized world."

    I'm so happy you're discovering and loving one of my favorite series of all time! If you want to read my thoughts on various Holmes-related things, visit both my blogs and click on the "Sherlock Holmes" labels. I've nattered on a lot about him over the years -- would love to hear some of your thoughts!

    (Or just go here and here -- those will take you directly to all my posts about dear Holmes.)