Friday, May 22, 2009

Happy Birthday, Arthur Conan Doyle

We are big Sherlock Holmes fans here at the Bonzuko hombu. If you haven't had the pleasure of reading these fantastic Victorian CSI stories, today would be the day to get started. Holmes and Watson are some of the most globally recognizable characters in literature, of any culture. Everyone knows that famous silhouette. Many even believe in Holmes so thoroughly they think he's a real person! When Doyle was sick of writing Holmes stories, he killed him off ("The Final Problem" came out in the 1890s), and the reaction was insane! People wore black armbands in mourning, and the letters Doyle got! Emotional letters, calling Doyle a murderer, asking how dare he...can you imagine? The only other literary phenomenon that even comes close to this today would have to be Harry Potter.

Do whatever you like to celebrate the birthday of a great writer today, but some of it must include reading his work! So school's out--this is fun reading, not work reading. :)
Image is the original illustration of Holmes and nemesis Moriarty from The Final Problem.
Videos are: 1) Doyle himself talking about Holmes and his interest in psychic phenomena; 2) Part 1 of a Bonzuko fave: The Solitary Cyclist. Jeremy Brett was the best film Holmes ever.


Anonymous said...

Indeed, if you've never read a Holmes story now is the time to try one! And the good news is that there are 56 short stories, so you can get a taste without even having to read an entire book.

You can see this list of the best Sherlock Holmes short stories online (scroll down to the 1999 poll results). Of if you decide to read a collection of the short stories, you should start with "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes."

The 4 long Holmes stories are also worth reading, and most people find both "The Sign of the Four" and "The Hound of the Baskervilles" to be especially good.

Bonzuko said...

My personal favorites of the short stories are: The Speckled Band, Silver Blaze, the Solitary Cyclist, and the Naval Treaty.