marți, 20 aprilie 2010

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes

Two days ago I finished The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes/The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. I enjoyed it very much, and although I have seen some of the oldest movies with Sherlock Holmes and the new one I found the book very intriguing.

It sets the character in a perspective from which you wished you could have known him better. Holmes is the prototype of the modern detective, with an eye for keen observations and the fine intellectual equipment for astounding deductions. I must admit that since I started reading this novel I tried to see more with my eyes and to understand the small clues all around me.

The elegance and the parsimony of actions really makes him unique. His energy and sense of action make him a great helper of those in need. Mycroft(his brother)could indeed say that Sherlock has inherited all the energy in the family, because Holmes not only makes hypothesis about the facts, he also tries to test them in various ways, often implying the art of metamorphosis and acting to make his impersonations plausible.

Although his archenemy only comes to light in his memoirs in the last adventure it only sets a comparison to the mind and intelligence of this brilliant character. Prof. Moriarty is the renown mathematician who runs the criminal world in London. It would only seem fair that they would find their end together in their last meeting. Two great minds, one in the service of good and the other one in the service of crime, two complementary parts that could only be reduced by one another. For this reason Holmes chooses to remain in the service of good and to sacrifice his life for it.

A great ending to a great man. It almost leaves me with a feeling of sadness and yet with a feeling of universal harmony in things. Maybe that was just Sir Conan Doyle's literary style, but nonetheless a truly enjoyable book.

3 comentarii:

  1. Even though it's probably a great book, I can safely say it is highly unlikely I will have the patience to read it. But I do have something to ask about it. Do you think Holmes was in the service of good just because he felt the need to oppose someone who might have been just as intelligent? What do you think would have happened if there would have been no mighty adversary to defeat, no one that even came close to his brilliance? What would he have done? Do you think he might have been tempted to use his skills for less noble purposes?

  2. interesting questions. I must try and answer them as they go.
    First, it is really of magnificent revelation that Holmes finds that prof. Moriarty is behind all crimes in London. And only then he knows that his greatest achievement will be to catch him and bring him to justice.
    Second answer: If Holmes wouldn't have had such an adversary I think he might have become a bit troubled by a double personality, because then he would be his only enemy.
    To make my answer to the third question, I think that a combination of the incompetence of the police agents and the creative strategies used by the criminals made him choose this path, because, his imagination and observation skills needed to be put to action. And let's be honest, when police is not imaginative enough and criminals are, its easy to see from what direction the attraction might have come. I think he chose to be in the service of good because he was able at some point to see the truth and he did not want to be one of those who try to cover it.

    Thank you for you questions. They've created an opportunity for me to admire even more the character.

  3. That's exactly what I wanted to say: I think he was more in the service of truth than in the service of good (don't ask me about the difference :p) He used his skills to unpuzzle, not to complicate things. He wanted to know, not necesarilly to catch the villain. That was subsequent to knowing and necessary to being recognized as a brilliant mind. And he liked that, didn't he? :)
    I loved his Memoirs. And anything Sherlock Holmes. What would universal literature be without him?

    P.S. - If you're interested in something similar, try "The Moon Stone" by Wilkie Collins ("The Woman in White" has a lot of mistery in it too).