Tuesday, 6 January 2015
Happy Birthday, Sherlock Holmes!
So, it looks like someone has a birthday today! Hamlette is celebrating at The Edge of the Precipice, and she graciously invited the rest of the Blogiverse to join in – thank you for hosting, Hamlette, I love your blog parties in case you didn't know! As it happens, I've been preparing a couple of Holmes related blog posts myself, so somewhere during this week you might expect a couple of Sir Arhur Conan Doyle book reviews, my opinions on the Guy Ritchie films, The Hound of the Baskervilles screen adaptations across the ages, and a couple of words... or a lot more than that... about BBC's Sherlock and CBS's Elementary. But first in order are Hamlette's party questions.
1. When and how did you first encounter Sherlock Holmes?
Sherlock Holmes is such an iconic character that I think everyone has some sort of an image of him, even if they don't intentionally seek him out. I was like this for the first 23 years of my life. I think I can call myself one of the "Cumberbatch generation" Sherlockians because, quite honestly, it wasn't till I got excited about Sherlock last March that I had any interest in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's works. Before Sherlock, I think the only thing even close to Sherlock Holmes that I had ever consumed was Disney's The Great Mouse Detective – I still love that film, by the way.
2. Please share a fact or two about yourself related to Holmes. (You've read the whole canon, you've been to Baker Street, you're an official BSI member, etc.)
The aforementioned fact that my first Sherlock Holmes was the modernized one might already be shocking enough for an old-school Sherlockian... Alright, I'm still going to add that Holmes' fixed association with the deer-stalker hat annoys the heck out of me. Only few months ago I read a (supposedly prestigious) film critic who went on about how Sherlock Holmes ain't a true Sherlock Holmes without that damned hat.
3. What are three of your favourite Holmes adventures?
I've only read the books in publishing order till The Hound of the Baskervilles, but I do have a couple of very strong favorites. The top three would be The Adventure of the Copper Beeches, The Final Problem and The Adventure of the Musgrave Ritual.
4. What draws you to the Sherlock Holmes stories?
Initially, I wanted to see exactly how Sherlock compared with its source material and why the writers had felt like this character and his adventures would work particularly well in a modern setting. Then, I found out that the stories were hugely entertaining, especially regarding the main character himself. I love all of his snarky lines.
5. If you were going to give Sherlock Holmes a birthday present, what would it be?
I would give him a top hat because I'm obsessed with them myself. It's also much more fitting for a Victorian London gentleman than... you know, that hat.
6. If you could climb into a Holmes story and replace any one character for a day, who would you like to be?
I would want to be one of the Baker Street Irregulars. I would totally be in for one day on the grimier side of London, and I'd get to do seemingly random but very important stuff for Holmes, like dig for newspapers and tail people.
7. Please share some of your favorite Holmes-related quotes.
"-- I naturally gravitated to London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained." (Doctor Watson in A Study in Scarlet)
"The chief proof of man's real greatness lies in his perception of his own smallness." (Sherlock Holmes in The Sign of Four)
"We solve crimes, I blog about it, and he forgets his pants. I wouldn't hold out too much hope." (John in BBC's A Scandal in Belgravia)
My Holmesy blog posts:
The Hound of the Baskervilles
Sherlock: Chronicles by Steve Tribe
My Top 10 in the Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
5+1 screen adaptations of The Hound of the Baskervilles