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Tony Grist

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Me For Sherlock [Nov. 23rd, 2009|10:30 am]
Tony Grist
There's a game they play on the Book Show, where they ask their writerly guests which character in fiction they'd most like to be. Last night I caught an episode where Ben Elton opted for Bertie Wooster because he is so sunny. Apparently in an earlier episode Seamus Heaney chose Jeeves.

So who would I like to be? The answer that immediately pops into my head is Sherlock Holmes. Really? Yes, really. Most of the people in books who aren't Mary Sues are sorry and suffering individuals- victims or one thing or another, or forced to jump through hoops in order to learn Life's Big Lesson. Holmes, it further occurs to me, is the only fully convincing portrait of a genius in fiction. I can't think of another. Can you?

[User Picture]From: brttvns
2009-11-23 07:15 pm (UTC)
He was always my childhood hero, and still remains a cracking read. Also I have to agree that the definitive screen Holmes was Jeremy Brett (the only one, for me, who has played Holmes as he was written). Have you read producer Michael Cox's A Study in Celluloid? I recommended it if you're a fan.

Other geniuses in fiction - well, George MacDonald Fraser's take on Flashman being so highly decorated but being a coward and a cad is down to luck I suppose (good fun though).

Poe's Dupin?

Wodehouse's Jeeves? More of a walking encyclopedia perhaps.

Interesting question.
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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-11-23 07:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the tip. I'll go looking for that book.

Dupin is just naked intellect- and not a rounded character like Holmes.

Jeeves is a wonderful comic creation, but he exists- and can only exist- in the highly artificial world of Wodehouse. Holmes, on the other hand, is so convincing that many people have believed him to be "real".
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[User Picture]From: brttvns
2009-11-23 07:35 pm (UTC)
True - Holmes is a rounded character, genius and flawed. I know some people have thought Holmes to be real, but Jeeves? Nothing can be accepted as real in Wodehouse's wonderful world, surely.

A Study in Celluloid is out of print, I think, but I found mine on ebay about two years ago. Well worth finding, every episode is sperated into chapters. Also there is 'Bending the Willow - Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes' by David Stuart Davis, again, may be difficult to find.

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[User Picture]From: poliphilo
2009-11-23 08:42 pm (UTC)
I'll ask for it at the public library. If a book exists anywhere in the system, they'll track it down for you.
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