astudyinsherlockholmes:

So it appears I was wrong about the Jefferson Hope backstory being Watson’s writing, but I’m just as pleased by the cheeky little ending:

As to what occurred there, we cannot do better than quote the old hunter’s own account, as duly recorded in Dr. Watson’s Journal, to which we are already under such obligations.

It might just be me, but ACD’s writing is so genuinely funny and sort of sarcastic sometimes. It’s fun to read and I just love getting lost in his lovely storytelling. There’s not only humor in the characters and their dialogue, but just his writing in general. 

No, I agree: it is funny. Sometimes intentionally… Sometimes possibly not so intentionally…? For example, I genuinely laughed out loud when I read:

"Then mother’s a deader too," cried the little girl, dropping her face in her pinafore and sobbing bitterly.

Because, um, ” a deader.” Really, Arthur? “a deader?” Are we getting our adjectives and our nouns mixed up again? 

Sorry. No, in all seriousness, it is funny. That is one of my favourite things about the canon. Holmes also laughs more often than I remembered.

(Source: )

Object of Reverence

missilemuse submitted

‘There is a stage of worship which makes the worshipper himself an object of reverence.’….. Read on


I completely agree with you. And I really, really like that quote in relation to Holmes and Watson.

A Study in Saturday

(Which, if I’m being honest, should probably be titled: A Study in Why Haven’t You Quite Finished Reading the Book Yet You Darned Lazy Creature It’s Saturday. But the other one seemed more snappy.) 

Hello! 

So today marks the end of the first week of Holmes In 84 Days, and the conclusion of our  reading of A Study in Scarlet. Did everyone finish? I’m almost there: I’ve only got about five pages left, but I thought I had better make this post now. I hope everybody finished, and enjoyed themselves. 

Although, technically, as of today we should be reading and discussing The Sign of Four, I’d like to extend the discussion of A Study in Scarlet through this Monday, March 19th. This gives everybody time to post/submit/ask any final things regarding A Study in Scarlet. 

As of Tuesday, March 20th, this blog will be dedicated to all things Sign of Four-ian. So, if you have anything you wish to contribute regarding the first book, please do so quickly! From here on in, the pace is really going to pick up! 

If anyone wants to review the book, it would be great to get some different opinions of the story.

I Jefferson hope everyone enjoyed the book, and is still with me as we move into week two! (I’m sorry. I’m so, so sorry.)

-Kate

And then, quite unexpectedly, a Western!

I have a distinct memory of reading Study in Scarlet for the first time, getting to Part Two, and honestly thinking for a second that there had been a printing error and the second half of my Sherlock Holmes story had been replaced with a different book. 

Basically, my literary insight, as far as the beginning of part two is concerned, boils down to an eloquent WTF? (It all makes sense in the end, but I was so confused at the start. Also, Conan Doyle’s American dialogue writing is sort of hilarious).

nympheline:

i know i’m supposed to be concentrating on the meat of the story, not picking at the garnish. however, i can’t get this inconsistency out of my head:

“on his rigid face there stood an expression of horror, and as it seemed to me, of hatred, such as i have never seen upon human features. this…

Really? Oooh, interesting. I don’t have an explanation, but you’re absolutely right: that is a curious inconsistency. I suppose I’d just put it down to the “romance” of the story: it makes a much better murder scene if the victim is strangely contorted rather than simply limp. 

Watson Deduces

(So this is hardly the most earth-shattering of observations. It’s simply something that I find amusing and slightly curious from the beginning of A Study in Scarlet.)

End of chapter one:

"Oh! a mystery is it?" I cried, rubbing my hands. "This is very piquant. I am much obliged to you for bringing us together. “‘The proper study of mankind is man,’ you know."

"You must study him, then," Stamford said, as he bade me goodbye. "You’ll find him a knotty problem, though. I’ll wager he learns more about you than you about him. Goodbye."

"Goodbye," I answered, and strolled to my hotel, considerably interested in my new acquaintance.

Directly preceding Watson’s list of Holmes’ limits:

I pondered over our short conversation, however, and endeavoured to draw my deductions from it…

I love Watson’s curiosity about Holmes at the beginning of Study in Scarlet. It’s charming, and more than a little interesting that Watson, in the early part of the book, acts a lot like Holmes. If I didn’t know who was narrating the passages I’ve quoted here, I’d guess Holmes. It’s odd: Watson clearly loves a mystery (as his knowledge of detective fiction also shows), but when Holmes tells Watson what he does, Watson is incredibly distrustful. 

Whether it is just an example of Conan Doyle’s bad continuity, I don’t know. I would prefer, however, that it is meant to illustrate that Holmes and Watson are not so very different, that they have similar interests and passions, but that for Watson deduction and detective work are simply a game and a story. For Holmes, they are a Game and a science. I like watching Watson’s induction into Holmes’ way of thinking, as these things come out from the story and become a real part of his world. Again, it ties into that wonderful line: “I had no idea that such individuals did exist outside of stories.” 

And then Holmes was like, “Calm your tits, fanboy.”

thatjessjohnson:

I’ve always had an affection for the bit in A Study in Scarlet when Watson and Holmes discuss other fictional detectives. Aside from sparking one of my favorite little canon quotes - which I put on a t-shirt once - I think it’s a delightfully smart exchange.

It’s the “So… What sort of books do you like?” stage in the getting-to-know-you process. Watson’s appreciation for detective fiction and Holmes’s criticism of it is lovely character building. What it says about Holmes is interesting enough, but I particularly like Watson’s reactions in this scene.

I felt rather indignant at having two characters whom I had admired treated in this cavalier style.

Oh, Watson, every nerd who has ever loved a thing knows that feeling. I love how this bit establishes Watson’s investment in stories, while Holmes swans around smoking and delivering the Victorian equivalent of, “Yeah, I guess that band is good, if you’ve never heard music before.”

It’s also just a smart way to take care of the acknowledgment factor. Having two characters express disparate opinions about the works that helped inspire their existence is such a nice way of saying, “This may have come from that, but it’s also not that.” Affectionate acknowledgment and dismissal all in one.

You’re one meta bastard, Sir Arthur, you really are.

Holmes, you old hipster you. Watson, you fanboy.

Yes, it’s a brilliant little passage. Though just a tiny little bit vain on the part of good old Sir Arthur, having his detective scorn other fictional detectives? You make a good point, however, “This may have come from that, but it’s also not that.” Still, it seems like there is a little bit of “my detective is better/cleverer/quirkier than your detective” going on. 

And I like that Watson is a fan. That for him, stepping into Holmes’ world feels a little like stepping into a story. I like how unsure Watson is that people like Holmes really exist, that this is a life he could really have. It’s sort of the ultimate fan dream, isn’t it: to discover that the story you love is true. “I had no idea that such individuals did exist outside of stories.” Yup, that was the part where I died from the meta. (SO MUCH META! It’s glorious.)

Also, “That book made me positively ill!” Is a phrase I shall be using in the future. 

nympheline:


There I stayed for some time at a private hotel in the Strand, leading a comfortless, meaningless existence, and spending such money as I had considerably more freely than I ought. 
I had no friends who would call upon me and break the monotony of my daily existence. 

i am constantly amazed at how much an author can convey of a life he has never known.
my pool of data isn’t huge, but i’ve known some soldiers who came back from iraq and kosovo. although they celebrated to the point of unconsciousness upon their discharge, there was one feeling that characterised the days immediately following their return to america: boredom. they were, one and all, without cessation, bored. a typical phone conversation went something like this:
me: hey, what’s up? how’re you doing?
them: bored. i’m bored.
me: it’s friday night.  you’re downtown with a bunch of army buddies, right? drinking and carousing and flirting with chicks?
them: yup.
me: and you’re bored?
them: yup.
me: why didn’t you stay home and watch a movie, or build a birdhouse, or something?
them: because it’s boring.
me: well, what could we do that wouldn’t be boring?
them: everything’s boring. oh, maybe i’ll get in a fight.  wanna come downtown so i can get in a fight over you?
and though i can’t approve of watson “spending such money as [he] had considerably more freely than [he] ought,” neither can i exactly blame him. every soldier i’ve known has blown tens of thousands of dollars when he came back. in one extreme case, the ex-army man bought a new computer, then a car, and finally a new house and all the furnishings to fill it. in a week. and then, because he was so bored, he decided to re-enlist and try to get sent back to kosovo.
i always thought holmes was one bored by the flavour of mere existence, forever spicing his life with cases and cocaine, but i forgot about watson’s frustration at the drudgery of ordinary days. poor john watson, wandering through london waiting for the war to come to him.
in summary, i’m struck by two things:
1. a.c.d.’s ability to so perfectly capture the tone of a life he never lived,
and
2. that john watson feels the weight of boredom more than sherlock ever could, but (with knee-jerk dependability) it is always sherlock holmes whom i characterise by boredom.

This is really interesting, and I think you are absolutely right. Especially in your second point. If I’m particularly noticing anything on this re-read, it’s that many of the assumptions and characteristics I’ve built up in my head about Holmes and Watson are shockingly off the mark. They are more complicated, and to a degree more similar, than I usually think. 
Thank you. 

nympheline:

There I stayed for some time at a private hotel in the Strand, leading a comfortless, meaningless existence, and spending such money as I had considerably more freely than I ought. 

I had no friends who would call upon me and break the monotony of my daily existence. 

i am constantly amazed at how much an author can convey of a life he has never known.

my pool of data isn’t huge, but i’ve known some soldiers who came back from iraq and kosovo. although they celebrated to the point of unconsciousness upon their discharge, there was one feeling that characterised the days immediately following their return to america: boredom. they were, one and all, without cessation, bored. a typical phone conversation went something like this:

me: hey, what’s up? how’re you doing?

them: bored. i’m bored.

me: it’s friday night.  you’re downtown with a bunch of army buddies, right? drinking and carousing and flirting with chicks?

them: yup.

me: and you’re bored?

them: yup.

me: why didn’t you stay home and watch a movie, or build a birdhouse, or something?

them: because it’s boring.

me: well, what could we do that wouldn’t be boring?

them: everything’s boring. oh, maybe i’ll get in a fight.  wanna come downtown so i can get in a fight over you?

and though i can’t approve of watson “spending such money as [he] had considerably more freely than [he] ought,” neither can i exactly blame him. every soldier i’ve known has blown tens of thousands of dollars when he came back. in one extreme case, the ex-army man bought a new computer, then a car, and finally a new house and all the furnishings to fill it. in a week. and then, because he was so bored, he decided to re-enlist and try to get sent back to kosovo.

i always thought holmes was one bored by the flavour of mere existence, forever spicing his life with cases and cocaine, but i forgot about watson’s frustration at the drudgery of ordinary days. poor john watson, wandering through london waiting for the war to come to him.

in summary, i’m struck by two things:

1. a.c.d.’s ability to so perfectly capture the tone of a life he never lived,

and

2. that john watson feels the weight of boredom more than sherlock ever could, but (with knee-jerk dependability) it is always sherlock holmes whom i characterise by boredom.

This is really interesting, and I think you are absolutely right. Especially in your second point. If I’m particularly noticing anything on this re-read, it’s that many of the assumptions and characteristics I’ve built up in my head about Holmes and Watson are shockingly off the mark. They are more complicated, and to a degree more similar, than I usually think. 

Thank you. 

"

“It would be robbing you of the credit of the case if I was to presume to help you,” remarked my friend. “You are doing so well now that it would be a pity for anyone to interfere.” There was a world of sarcasm in his voice as he spoke. “If you will let me know how your investigations go,” he continued, “I shall be happy to give you any help I can. In the meantime I should like to speak to the constable who found the body. Can you give me his name and address?”

Lestrade glanced at his note-book. “John Rance,” he said. “He is off duty now. You will find him at 46, Audley Court, Kennington Park Gate.”

Holmes took a note of the address.

“Come along, Doctor,” he said; “we shall go and look him up. I’ll tell you one thing which may help you in the case,” he continued, turning to the two detectives. “There has been murder done, and the murderer was a man. He was more than six feet high, was in the prime of life, had small feet for his height, wore coarse, square-toed boots and smoked a Trichinopoly cigar. He came here with his victim in a four-wheeled cab, which was drawn by a horse with three old shoes and one new one on his off fore leg. In all probability the murderer had a florid face, and the finger-nails of his right hand were remarkably long. These are only a few indications, but they may assist you.”

Lestrade and Gregson glanced at each other with an incredulous smile.

“If this man was murdered, how was it done?” asked the former.

“Poison,” said Sherlock Holmes curtly, and strode off. “One other thing, Lestrade,” he added, turning round at the door: “`Rache,’ is the German for `revenge;’ so don’t lose your time looking for Miss Rachel.”

With which Parthian shot he walked away, leaving the two rivals open-mouthed behind him.

"

What I love most about the Sherlock Holmes stories are the deductions. His capacity for perception is incredible, and hearing him list off his answers is always such a rush. I find myself trying to analyze the scene through the narrator’s (Watson’s) eyes to try to beat Sherlock to the solutions. When that proves impossible, I simply try to keep up! (via elizabethkate)

Oh, I agree! I love the deductions. I’m afraid, however, that I fall more at the “simply try to keep up” end of the spectrum, but that is a big part of why I like them so much. It’s a skill that I don’t have, that I’ll never have. It’s fascinating to watch. Part of the reason that I love these stories so much is that I (usually) have no idea how they’ll turn out, and that I actually sort of don’t want to figure it out for myself. I like watching Holmes play the game, and knowing that he is roughly eleven thousand times better at it than I would be. I sort of like being baffled. That is not a usual feeling for me, I’m continually impressed that Conan Doyle manages to change the way I like to read mysteries. 

platonicteamugs:

Something’s just occurred to me while re-reading A Study in Scarlet for holmesin84days.

It’s so heart-breaking how both sentences start out so casual, but turn so bitter by the end. Being “as free as air” would sound amazing to a young bachelor; if he weren’t so short of money. Moving to London should be a great adventure too; if the man in question had a choice. There’s just something very sad about Watson’s bitterness here, as I’m pretty sure was talking about loungers and idlers because he himself felt like one. I think he not only felt like a failure for being sent home from service, but he must have felt useless for being unable to “take care of himself” too. This is especially sad coming from someone who used to be so energetic and vigorous.

One of the things that really struck me on this reading was the subtlety of Watson’s unhappiness on returning to London, it’s not overstated, but there are a few passages, like this one, where his situation really comes through. You’re right: it is a bit hear-beaking: there is a definite sense of bitterness and self disappointment.  Watson seems to be quite good at putting on a brave face, but there is a sadness that comes through in a few places. Continuing on directly from the passage you quoted:

There I stayed for some time at a private hotel in the Strand, leading a comfortless, meaningless existence, and spending such money as I had considerably more freely than I ought. 

Just after the start of chapter two, Watson says:

I had no friends who would call upon me and break the monotony of my daily existence. 

Which is pretty bleak. It’s odd, because I usually think of Holmes as being the more “friendless” of the two, it’s good to be reminded just how lonely and futureless Watson’s life seemed before his association with Holmes began. 

Thanks for pointing this out.

(Source: sandwichpress)

nympheline:

good night, dear holmesin84days,

good night absinthe, and green fairy haze.

good night, inventions by johann s. bach,

good night, lestrade, discovering rache.

Ha! Poetry! Excellently done, especially the “Bach”/”rache” rhyme.