If I use the words "the new Sherlockian," what comes to mind?
Some wide-eyed neophyte, grinning in the first wash of truly understanding how great Sherlock Holmes really is? Perhaps some Sherlock Holmes fan who is making first contact with the established Sherlockian world at an event or meet-up? A novice student of Sherlockian lore, eager to be shepherded at the knee of a grand mentor of the hobby?
There is a meaning to the phrase "the new Sherlockian" that isn't any of those, and one that doesn't get considered too often when the established sets out to recruit the up-and-coming.
The new Sherlockian isn't just the larval stage of Sherlockians that already exist. The new Sherlockian can also be exactly what the words mean when applied to any other frame of reference . . . a new car, a new phone, a new computer . . . it can also mean the upgraded version.
Sherlockian 10.0. (Oh, we are long past the "2.0" models. Loooonnnggg past.)
I was struck by this though this weekend when the hashtag "#IAmASherlockian" started becoming more and more popular on Twitter. It wasn't exactly trending, as actually trending numbers go, but for Sherlockiana, it was hitting a pretty good level. Started by the Baker Street Babes, it definitely stood out as a Sherlockian behavior that didn't exist in previous generations. Calling out to the internet for a few words from Sherlockians worldwide to share their origins together, showing the full bloom of diversity that exists within this Holmes-centered sphere, and just letting it happen. No controls over what would result, just a well-worded call using a technique that is now a standard tool in our communication worksack.
It was a tool of the new Sherlockian. Not someone who wasn't an expert in our field. Just someone who evolved in a world of new ways of being a Sherlockian.
A new kind of Sherlockian.
Not that there's anything wrong with being an old, reliable model, with proven performance and not too many surprises. Those get the job done. But being in that category myself, I can't help but have a great appreciation for the newer versions in the showroom, that have gadgets and abilities and ways of making things happen that weren't even a thought in decades past . . . even if it is a little mind-boggling at times to try to wrap the brain around what's going on.
One could look at it as generational, but it's really more than that. Even in a single generation we get all sort of new Sherlockian talents, different from others in their same age and demographic. So many people bringing something new to the big ol' Sherlockian table.
Expecting some of that this coming weekend, if you haven't picked up on that yet. New Sherlockians who aren't necessarily new to Sherlock, but bringing something new to Sherlockiana.
Always glad to see them.