Monday, May 19, 2014

"The Whole Sherlock Holmes Saga Is a Triumphant Illustration of Art's Supremacy Over Life"

Christopher Morley (1890-1957), Holmesian par excellence, published his own highly individualistic obituary of Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), who had just passed away July 7th of that year. A few excerpts:
[Concerning all of the untold adventures to which Watson alludes] We hoped against hope for some of these stories; we can never have them now.
It is not that we take our blessed Sherlock too seriously . . . Holmes is pure anesthesia.
Rashly, in the later years, Holmes twice undertook to write stories for himself. They have not quite the same magic.
It is a kind of piety for even the least and humblest of Holmes-lovers to pay what tribute he may to this great encyclopædia of romance that has given the world so much innocent pleasure.
The character of Holmes, Doyle has told us, was at any rate partly suggested by his student memories of Dr. Joseph Bell of the Edinburgh Infirmary, who diagnostic intuitions used to startle his patients and pupils. But there was abundant evidence that the invention of the scientific detective conformed to a fundamental logic in Doyle's own temper. — Christopher Morley, "In Memoriam: Sherlock Holmes," THE SATURDAY REVIEW (August 2, 1930)

Category: Detective fiction

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