Sunday, May 22, 2016

Slappy birthday, Conan Doyle!

There's a certain happy disrespect for Conan Doyle in some provinces of Sherlockiana these days. And I kinda like it.

Sherlockiana started out with a healthy bit of disrespect for the curious celebrity spiritualist by his contemporary fans, demoting him to the role of Watson's agent and all. And really, for all we owe him, we owe Doyle's imperfections just that much more.

Conan Doyle grew to hate Sherlock Holmes and killed him, when he could have realized what he had in his hands and just kept writing his consulting detective. On the surface, not a great move. As it turned out?

Accidental marketing genius! Absence makes the fans grow fonder, and a dead-and-risen Sherlock exploded in a way an ongoing Holmes never could have.

Conan Doyle paid little attention to continuity, leaving discrepancies and contradictions in his stories. On the surface, shoddy workmanship. As it turned out?

Fodder for fan imaginations. Grist for the Sherlockian study mill. Fertilizer for the growing irregularity.

Conan Doyle dove deep into the supernatural. Seances. Fairies. Future predictions.

Okay, that stuff was just a little "okay in the wacky uncle no one knows about, but memorable in a celebrity." Not really any help for Sherlock there. But it adds color. And we do like our celebrities a little bit colorful, to say nothing of ironic.

As I said, I have a little enjoyment for a certain Sherlockian disrespect of Conan Doyle. He's our home boy, so to speak, and those pokes come with an accepted admiration for his work.

A certain Fox TV series, on the other hand . . . ?

Well, in any case, today is his day. Light a candle on a cake and see if he blows it out for you.

No comments:

Post a Comment