Sunday, October 12, 2014

A world without Sherlock Holmes -- 1884 to ABORT! ABORT!

Sometimes an idea can be intriguing to start with, but eventually just not seem worth the effort.

Case in point: A world without Sherlock Holmes.

As I was thinking of the sacred sixty, the original Watsonian works on Sherlock Holmes, I was thinking about how every one of them is a story about people who aren't Sherlock Holmes. It's what makes them so great, and a side to it that modern Holmes tale-tellers often miss: The characters in the story who aren't Sherlock Holmes are what make an individual story better or worse. Holmes is our reason for being there, and our focus, sure. But without those other folk, he'd just be working in his little lab or laying on the couch.

So I decided that it would be interesting to look at the stories of all those folks in Sherlock Holmes had not come into their lives.

It's an interesting thought, yes, but . . . oh, so very sad, even as a mental exercise. (A fact I was quickly reminded of by Baker Street Queen on Twitter.)

And the point of being a Sherlock Holmes fan, to make the "duh . . ." statement, is being in it for Sherlock Holmes. One can wander off to related topics, yes. Conan Doyle. Movie actors. The history of Holmes fans themselves. But those are the past-times of Sherlock Holmes fans who have time on their hands, even if it's just a little bit extra. When time is short, when all else is running you ragged and you only get a moment to pause and think about one thing . . . well, then, it's all about Sherlock Holmes.

So, for now, I'm letting my little mental exercise on the world of Sherlock Holmes without Sherlock Holmes go. Feel free to take it up, if you'd like, but man-oh-man, there is definitely a reason we have Sherlock. And will continue to have Sherlock.

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