Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Study in Style: Famous Authors Handle Sherlock

It struck me recently that it would be rather fun to do a sort of study comparing how famous authors of the past might have taken various approaches to the same piece of writing.  For fun, I experimented with the concept, and came up with some samples that amused me.  (Disclaimer: I am frequently amused by things as insignificant as Random Capitalization.  If I say it's funny, take it with a grain of salt.)  Naturally, I had to blog about them, because that is how I roll.   And so without further preliminaries, I present for your pleasure "BBC Sherlock, By a Variety of Classic Authors (but really by Miss Dashwood."

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Duh.  Read the books.

Ernest Hemingway

The detective stood in the center of the floor.  A woman lay dead at his feet.  He took in the circumstances of her death at a glance.  Her child's name was scratched into the floor beside her.  He remembered his own childhood, in which his great capacity for intelligence had been sometimes mocked. A spider crawled on the wall.  The woman was still dead.  Her suitcase was missing, and to the detective everything became clear.

Anderson was at the door.  "Rache," he said.  "German for 'revenge.'  She could be trying to tell us something."

"Yes. Thank you for your input."  The detective closed the door and Anderson was silenced.

On the floor the woman was still dead and outside the night grew colder.

-A Study in Pink

L.M. Montgomery

Hills and flatland and waving, dancing grass covered the moor, and a big, friendly boulder rose up in the midst of the glimmering green.  Carefree and young again, Sherlock stood on the boulder, surveying all the land below, while John prosaically waited at the foot of the rocks with a map.  There was little poetry in John's soul, and though he was a faithful friend there was yet a part of Sherlock that even he could not understand-- a curtain of thought and imagination and deduction that no one but Mycroft could ever hope to see through.  Mycroft alone possessed the key to Sherlock's brain, for only the blood tie that existed between brothers cut of the same cloth could link one great intelligence with another.  John could only observe, and read the map.

"There's Baskerville," said John, pointing into the distance where a low line of buildings could be seen, disarmingly cozy and warm against the skyline.  To a casual observer they were like a friendly clump of mushrooms, sharing fairy secrets with the Wee Folk that must surely people the surrounding valley.  "That must be Grimpen Village," continued the practical John, "and that's Jewer's Hollow."

Jewer's Hollow-- a strange, mystical name, conjuring up visions of old legends and ghosts and perhaps even a white lady who walked through it at night, wringing her hands and wailing.  A shiver went down Sherlock's spine.

-The Hounds of Baskerville

William Shakespeare

Without I stand, without the lock'ed door;
Once more left i' the lurch, while greater minds than mine
Do search and pry and deduce all manner of crime.
To thee a faithful friend I have forever been,
A loyal serf, a follower to thy schemes
Patient and obliging; and yet for this
I am rewarded by abandonment?
If thou wilt cease from doing such as this
And let me join thee in the game of wits
An aid shall I be and helpful i' the extreme
But why should I expect such grace from thee?
"Sherlock Holmes am I, and none that walks this earth,
Can match the greatness of th' intellect which I have had from birth."

-The Blind Banker

Victor Hugo

We will now follow the unhappy Watson and Holmes into the very heart and belly of London; that is, the Underground.  The reader will perhaps benefit from a brief discourse upon the history of train travel and subway development in twentieth and twenty-first century England.

*insert eighty-five pages of London tunnels*

The detective and his friend now approached an empty car and boarded it, torches in hand.

"It's empty," said Watson. "There's nothing."

But Holmes had already found twisted cables and a seat that lifted out to reveal a deadly timepiece.  "Isn't there?" he inquired.

The reader is in all likelihood uninformed of the methods and ways in which one may set off a bomb beneath Parliament-- we will pause for a short history of explosives and practices of detonation.

*insert thirty-two pages about bombs*

-The Empty Hearse

Jane Austen

*opening credits*
Two gentlemen spoke of matters concerning gentlemen; we need follow them no farther.
*closing credits*

-basically any episode, really.


Naomi Bennet said...

I say! This is brilliant!

You did the L.M.Montgomery one very well. I read her books so many times and I know her style very well- you copied it splendidly.

Victor Hugo. Insert 23 pages. Precisely.

I think Jane Austen would have written somewhat more than just one sentence, but still, it's very well done.

I wish you did P.G.Wodehouse. I'm sure you'd be able to, being so witty and all that. Then you'd have Sherlock saying What-ho!

Kathryn said...

Oh, m'dear, this is sheer brilliance. I was laughing so hard, especially at the Victor Hugo version. PLEASE do more of this.

Melody said...

Okay, that was actually really mean to Jane Austen.
But any truth in it reminds me why I like her so much. AHAHAHA. She wrote about plenty of things concerning gentlemen, though--they were just from a woman's point if view, as they ought to be. ;D
I was kind of hoping for something Real there, though. Because you're good at writing like JA. :P

All the rest was brilliance. :D How are you so clevah?

Miss Jane Bennet said...

The Victor Hugo one though.

Hayden said...

Oh, good gracious! This is my new favorite thing- please tell me you'll continue! All the styles were perfection. (I know you don't watch Doctor Who but a classic author's take on that would be hysterical:)

loved this!

Alyianna Baggins said...

This is fantastic! You had me at L. M. Montgomery...but Victor Hugo. That was just perfection. :D

God bless,
- Anna

Alexandra said...

Um, this was brilliant. Especially Victor Hugo and Jane Austen. Do P. G. Winehouse. :)

Danielle Fredrickson said...

This is brilliant! I love the Shakespeare one! Very good! :)

Arwen Undomiel said...

*wipes tears of laughter from her eyes* Oh, that was too perfect. Your impression of Ernest Hemingway- I just can't;) That's exactly how I felt reading "The Old Man and the Sea." XD

Haha "insert eighty-five pages of London tunnels* SO TRUE!!!😂 That's what made it so hard for me to get through "Les Miserables."

Perfection. Utter perfection, all of it:D Like the others - please do more!!!

Evie Brandon said...

This is simply amazing!! I really like the L.M Mongomery one and Jane Austen! Although they were all stupendous!! :D
Great Post Miss Dashwood

Sara Lewis said...

I enjoyed this immensely! Especially Hemingway and Shakespeare! You should definitely do something like this with other TV shows (or books, or movies, or whatnot). :-)


Katherine Sophia said...

<3 XD
That was absolutely and completely delightful.

Kate said...

Shakespeare. And Victor Hugo. Brilliant.

Marie said...

This. Was. Awesome. Oh my goodness, the Shakespeare one was brilliant!

Miss Elliot said...

Oh, so funny, so funny. "Two gentlemen spoke of matters concerning gentlemen; we need follow them no further."
You are brilliant, m'dear.

Molly said...

This was really good! I liked the William Shakespeare one! :D

Michaela Guerrero said...

I nominated you for an award on my blog:

Carissa Horton said...

Kasnort! If I'd been drinking anything when I started reading your post, I would have choked. This is so hysterically brilliant. Bravo, my dear! They're all excellent, but it was Victor Hugo and Jane Austen that sold it for me, 100%.

Emma Jane said...

Ohhhhh my goodness, this is genius. You are so very clever! especially love the ones of Ernest Hemingway (yack-- I do NOT like the man), Victor Hugo and Jane Austen. The *insert 32 pages about bombs* is perfection. :-)


Elizabethany said...

Hilarious and amazing!

Lizzie said...

All the perfect adjectives to describe these lovely pieces of brilliant wit have already been used, but I simply must add my praise to the rest (even if it's redundant)... I love how you did Austen, because it is true that she never really wrote about men alone!

Zoë said...

Hmm, everyone else has already said what I intended to say while reading this post. Bother... Well, it can't hurt to say it once more... Miss Dashwood, this is marvelously and brilliantly well-written! Thank you for posting it and thereby providing us with a wonderful entertainment!

Your Shakespeare version is excellent! The Jane Austen version is hilarious - though perhaps more reminiscent of a JA movie adaptation style than JA's writing style itself. :)

Random Capitalization is great, isn't it? ;]