Friday Sherlock Links Compendium (August 4 - August 10, 2012)
As both a lover of books and a lover of Sherlock Holmes, I am extremely fortunate to occasionally receive Sherlock Holmes-themed books in the mail to review/mention - thanks mostly to this blog’s encouragingly growing readership. An intriguing little book called The Autobiography of Sherlock Holmes ‘edited’ by one Don Libey recently arrived and it appears to be a published version of a ‘discovered’ 132 page manuscript purportedly written in 1929 by the Master himself but then forgotten about in a dusty old box - as tends to happen.
The manuscript, lost to the world until a chance discovery by Libey in 2008, is a singular one for it purports to tell (in the first person of course!) the ‘true’ life story of Sherlock Holmes. The working title “Montague Notations” refers of course to the street in London where Holmes originally took rooms after coming down from University. Within the first few pages - if we had any doubts about the potential for groundbreaking revelations from an autobiographical work penned (quilled?) by Holmes himself - we find out that not only did Holmes begin his London life on Montague Street, but he never left…! What does this mean for the hallowed halls (and staircase) of 221B? You’ll have to pick up a copy and find out. I just finished reading it the other night so I hope to have a review ready for early next week.
[A good looking cover rounds out a project that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.]
Criminal Element published a piece by one of my favorite Sherlockians-slash-bloggers-slash-scientists Maria Konnikova which begins with Ms Konnikova standing up to a commonly held belief regarding the sociopathic/psychopathic tendencies of Sherlock Holmes: “Sherlock Holmes is not a sociopath. He is not even a “high-functioning sociopath”” sayeth Ms Konnikova. Also, for those interested in the nexus between the mind of Sherlock Holmes (and ‘mind’ in literature in general) and recent findings in the Cognitive Sciences, keep an eye (or an RSS reader) on Ms Konnikova’s Scientific American online column. Her first book, Mastermind: How To Think Like Sherlock Holmes, will be published by Viking/Penguin in January 2013 - and I’ll try my hardest to be one of the first Sherlockian-centric bloggers to review it!
[Ms Konnikova has expertly mined the canon for scenes, sayings and problems which richly illustrate a plethora of findings from the Cognitive Sciences for her “Lessons from Sherlock Holmes” series for Scientific American and “Artful Choice” for BigThink, where her approach though similar draws on literature as a whole, opposed to just the Canon.]
Quotable Sherlock Holmes - a blog mentioned many times on Always1895.net over the last 2 years - announced that they’ll be closing up shop in order to focus on other interests. But before they do, they have a little farewell contest planned: “I know the point of a giveaway is usually to appreciate followers and gain new ones, but this is more of a goodbye present. I really wanted to thank you guys for being amazing over the last year, and I love each and every one of you. So, this is a giveaway of the book An Interactive Sherlock Holmes Mystery: The Crimes of Dr. Watson! This book has sealed clues inside that have never been opened!” A big thanks to the Quotable Sherlock Holmes for choosing approximately 360 memorable quotes from the Canon and posting them over the last year or so. Good luck in all your future endeavors!
[As far as farewell quotes go, you can’t beat LAST’s “Stand with me here upon the terrace…” from Quotable Sherlock on July 8, 2011.]
Meiringens - a relatively new tumblr blog - posted this excellent Paul Galdone illustration from Basil of Baker Street accompanied by the following text: “Mr. Holmes was telling Dr. Watson in detail exactly how he had solved a jewel burglary that had completely baffled Scotland Yard. Basil whipped out his notebook and jotted down every word, scribbling rapidly in shorthand, or perhaps I should say shortpaw. “What sheer genius!” he whispered. “What a brain! That man will become a legend — his fame has spread to the far corners of the earth.” — Basil of Baker Street, by Eve Titus, illustrated by Paul Galdone.”
[Sometimes I wish the illustrator Paul Galdone had been commissioned to illustrate some of the actual canon.]
MX Publishing just released Part 1 of a video called the Great Sherlock Holmes Debate 3 which introduces “Save Undershaw and [the] first two presentations of Sherlock Holmes stories…” If you feel so inclined, check out various slides from the GSHD3 here from Slideshare as well. Lastly, a reminder from MX Publishing to pick up Sherlock’s Home: The Empty House whose royalties go to the Undershaw Preservation Trust.
[Some super advanced scientific Sherlockian piecharting.]
Barefoot on Baker Street reflects on the events of Sherlock Holmes Week, particularly the Great Sherlock Holmes Debate 3 and the much discussed, live-streamed event featuring Joe Riggs (“The Real Sherlock Holmes” aka the Sherlockian Mentalist). World of Joe Riggs responds in kind with a response to Ms Walters as well as his thoughts on the first SH Week.
Joe Riggs - speaking of everyone’s favorite Sherlockian mentalist - put on a ‘Live Mentalism & Deduction Webcast Event’ to rave reviews. Click play and see what all the hype is about!
[Mentalist Riggs displays his deductive powers along with reaction shots from various (virtual) audience members.]
Steven Doyle, author of Sherlock Holmes For Dummies and publisher of the Baker Street Journal, is interviewed about his work on the For Dummies series. In particular, Mr Doyle explains why Sherlock Holmes is still popular after over 100 years. In particular, Mr Doyle suggests that the original Holmes tales paint both a “portrait of friendship” as well as Holmes’ “ability to make sense out of chaos” - two ideas that remain relevant even in the 21st century. (Thanks to @JohnHWatsonMD for the tip!)
[Steven Doyle interview - click on the above image to stream/download full video.]
The Gazette argues that Sherlock Holmes fans were the orignal groupies using as evidence a “set of 12 Conan Doyle letters sold at a Christie’s auction in 2004 for nearly $6,000. The recipient of several of these notes was unknown until an Iowa City genealogist and lifelong Conan Doyle fan applied himself to the mystery.” Very interesting piece. (Thanks to @HolmesNews for the tip.)
[“This letter provided a clue to Iowa City’s Al Dawson about the recipient’s identity (photo from Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at the Toronto Public Library)”]
Sherlock Peoria compares Billy Wilder’s totally brilliant The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes with the recent BBC Sherlock episode A Scandal in Belgravia. Though it’s nice to know that Private Life is a favorite of Brad Keefauver - a sherlockian blogger whose opinions I usually agree with and always respect - I’m a bit unsure regarding this post claiming that Belgravia draws heavily from Private Life. Yes in each we find a naked woman and Mycroft up to his neck in shadowy intrigue, but I feel that most of the similarities stop there. Wilder’s vision of Holmes is a radically self-reflexive one where Holmes realizes he is sometimes playing a character of himself, yet also seeks to maintain an actual private life:
HOLMES: (removing Inverness cape and deerstalker) “You have saddled me with this improbable costume, which the public now expects me to wear.”
WATSON: “That’s not my doing.” (indicating cover of The Strand) “Blame it on the illustrator.”
The BBC’s Sherlock Holmes - apart from the deerstalker scene in Scandal - appears to have no desire for a private life, nor is he concerned with maintaining a ‘dual life’ (both as a fictional detective/real person or sexual/asexual being). Do you think Wilder’s Private Life acts as a direct inspiration for BBC’s Scandal?
[Watson drawing Holmes’ attention to The Strand which presumably contains Watson’s latest adventure. Click for the full shooting script for The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (1970).]
Quick Sherlock Links:
The Sun gets the absolute maximum milage possible out of a single vague sentence uttered by Benedict Cumberbatch regarding CBS’s Elementary. BC said “It’s different. There may be some sexual tension.” Using this as their starting point, the intrepid journalists at The Sun take BC’s quote out of context (and around the block) and ‘deduce’ that BC actually meant: “the Americans will sex up things between Holmes and Watson in their TV version.” If their cleverness was ever in doubt, they also make the puns “Holmes sexual” and “no shock, Sherlock.”
Daily Mail takes a look at Dangerous Work: Diary Of An Arctic Adventure, the soon-to-be-published (October 2012) diary of an extremely young ACD, edited by Sherlockian scholars Jon Lellenberg and Daniel Stashower.
Deccan Chronicle ran a short piece on Indian actor Anoop Menon who will be staring in a movie called “Sherlock Holmes” but with one caveat: “The movie has nothing to do with the detective Sherlock Holmes, but as the title suggests, it is a murder investigation story.” Got it?
Daily Motion posted a video of Noomi Rapace (from the Swedish Girl With the Dragon Tattoo) talking about her role in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and what it’s like ‘entering’ the world of Sherlock Holmes, opposed to appearing in a film with no inherent fandom baggage.
Kieran McMullen finds yet another Watson to add to his ongoing ‘The Many Watsons’ series - I hope his endgame involves a book of some sort. Anyway, this week Mr McMullen focuses on Forest Holger-Madsen who appeared as Watson once in Den graa dame (1909), though also playing Raffles once (in a 1908 Sherlock Holmes short) before embarking on a very distinguished directing career.
CNN posted this video entitled “John Zarrella reports on the Sherlock Holmes of Mars rovers“ which is enough to qualify it for a mention on Always1895, but more importantly gives me the chance to suggest how awe-struck we should be considering human beings just landed a rover the size of an SUV on Mars! Truly an event that the author of The Dynamics of an Asteroid and even someone who claimed ignorance of the Copernican heliocentric theory would be in awe.
Reddit posted an amusing Batman vs. Sherlock Holmes comic strip where we see the Great Detective being perhaps just a little too great at perhaps just the wrong time. Click image for the full strip….
[Click the image to see what Holmes deduces about the Batman and how Batman responds…]
Dan Andriacco posted a random selection from his personal research files about Sherlock Holmes in Scandinavia. It’s always edifying seeing/reading the odd tidbits of information fellow Sherlockians collect throughout their travels, either physical or cerebral.
BSI Archival History linked to a recent review of Lellenberg’s Baker Street Irregular (2010, Arkham House Publishers) by Dan Andriacco ”Irregular, but Wonderful” - my thoughts exactly. Mr Andriacco posted a follow-up on Friday called “Irregular History Online” about the reemergence of BSI Archival History.
Geeks of Doom have alerted us to the most recent Titan release by Guy Adams: Sherlock Holmes: The Army of Dr. Moreau - “an all-new Sherlock Holmes adventure that delves into the world of H.G. Wells’ Dr. Moreau” - along with an excerpt which is sure to peak the interest of many a Victorian sci-fi/Sherlockian fan. If you’ve enjoyed previous literary mash-ups between Holmes and the world of H. G. Wells, you’re going to want to check this out.
[Guy Adams speculates on what might happen if Sherlock Holmes and Dr Moreau.]
[I wish my study at home looked just like this.]
Huffington Post - posted ten rather whimsical though subtly biting questions for CBS’s Elementary that formally states those concerns that many a Sherlockian is thinking but has yet to say in the interest of ‘open mindedness’ and the like.
Cult Britannia reviews Alistair Duncan’s Eliminate the Impossible on MX.
Baker Street Blog reviews Dr. Watson’s American Adventure - “Watson teams up with Teddy Roosevelt for a rip-roaring Western adventure!” Presumably President Roosevelt taught Watson how to walk softly and carry a big Penang Lawyer or tantalus or something characteristically British which parallels TR’s traditionally named “stick”. Also, check out this awesome cover art!
[The Master has Holmes On the Range (2006) - now the Doctor has his own amazing cowboy-themed adventure?]
Bunny Manders - a blog named after Raffles’ eternally faithful sidekick Harry ‘Bunny’ Manders - rounds off this Friday’s links with my favorite animated GIF of the week featuring a scene from the slightly obscure and much maligned Holmes film Incident at Victoria Falls featuring a soon-to-be-retired Holmes (played by an older Christopher Lee who last played Holmes in 1962’s Sherlock Holmes and the Deadly Necklace) discussing with Watson those funny looking horses in striped pajamas:
[Click on image for Holmes/Lee’s deadpan response to Watson’s “imaginative” thinking…]
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