Not a Fool: The Importance of Portraying Dr. Watson Correctly

All but four of the original sixty Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle (also known as the “canon”) are narrated by Dr. John Watson.

You know what that tells us?  Watson is not merely a sidekick.  He’s not an afterthought.  He’s not just the comic relief.  He’s not a cardboard cut-out for Holmes to bounce ideas off. Continue reading

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Sherlock: The Value of Human Life

Sherlock Holmes is undoubtedly one of the most famous characters in literary history. His popularity continues to grow as modern storytellers adopt and reinvent his character in cinematic spinoffs like the Robert Downey Jr. films, CBS’s Elementary, and BBC’s Sherlock. Continue reading

Rest in Peace: The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane

What’s your favorite Sherlock Holmes story?

Every Holmes fan has a different answer to that question. My own has always been “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane.” Published in 1926, “Lion’s Mane” is the final installment in the collection entitled The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes. Because the Case-Book was the last Holmes anthology Conan Doyle published, “The Adventure of the Lion’s Mane” was the last story Sherlock Holmes (in his original incarnation, at any rate) would ever appear in. Continue reading

Sherlock Holmes: A Canon of Friendship

Sherlock Holmes made an enormous impact on crime literature. His unusual methods (deductive reasoning, observation, and intuitive conclusions) were so different from the Penny Dreadfuls of the day, he became one of the most famous characters in history (only Bram Stoker’s Dracula has had as much fame). But what makes Holmes live on when history has forgotten many other fictional detectives? Continue reading

Halloween 2018: Sherlock Holmes Week

No literary detective is more famous than Sherlock Holmes. The most popular and iconic literary character of all time (only Dracula has as many spin-offs and adaptations), Holmes has stood as a beacon of genius since A Study in Scarlet first appeared in The Strand Magazine. Audiences have loved him through countless adaptations of The Hound of the Baskervilles. They have bought numerous pastiches. Read many adventures that mention Holmes (books about his sister, his illegitimate daughter – what? – his wife, his friends, even Irene Adler!) Hollywood continues to churn out movie after movie, and television is never far behind. For Halloween week, we celebrate Sherlock Holmes! Continue reading

Our Fair William

Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce to you an amazing playwright, a genius mind, the greatest bard of the Renaissance period… William Shakespeare! But you already know who is he and what is he famous for? Well, what we know about the most famous English playwright is really a lot and really… nothing. Why? Let me show you…

‘What’s in a name? A rose by any name would smell as sweet.’ (Romeo and Juliet Act 2, Scene 2) Continue reading

The Slumming Angel: Raymond Chandler

In his essay “The Simple Art of Murder,” Raymond Chandler explores detective fiction in general, but especially the hard-boiled kind he perfected. It includes my favorite bit of writing advice: “When in doubt, have a man come through a door with a gun in his hand.” By which he meant, if you’re not sure what should happen next, make things worse in the most exciting way you can. Which is exactly how his books and stories work—everything goes from bad to worse to the worst imaginable… and then somehow turns out all right in the end.  Continue reading

The Magic of Love: J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter Series

Pretty much everyone loves movies and television. Most people would also add books or music (or both) to that list. But, no matter how popular a piece of entertainment is, we all experience things differently and our favorite stories become part of our identities for unique reasons. Each viewer or reader brings with them separate tastes, and different people can prefer different aspects of the same film or novel. What affects us the most varies from person to person. The Harry Potter series is a massive fandom, but I root my personal connection to it in its use of love. In her Harry Potter novels, J. K. Rowling develops and demonstrates the theme of love in all its forms as a force with power that her characters can use to combat evil. Continue reading