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.
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
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
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
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
Two gentlemen spoke of matters concerning gentlemen; we need follow them no farther.
-basically any episode, really.