Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Watson's lies vs. his errors

Okay, so the reason I was babbling about how Watson lies is to explain how, in my novel DIM, I will fix some problems in the canon that I've already pointed out--Watson's marriage, the nonsense explanation that Holmes gives in EMPT for being gone three years, and other difficult cases like SPEC.

I've tried and tried to make "the speckled band" make sense, and it just doesn't, so I'll have to assume that Watson altered some of the tale, perhaps to keep anyone from imitating Dr. Roylott and succeeding in killing someone; thus he might hide the true name of the snake and omit to mention that the clamped bed actually had tall bedposts for the snake to climb up and down, rather than a freely swinging bell-rope. (I got this idea after watching the Speckled Band movie.) So in effect Watson is giving the public the gist of the mystery, but fictionalizing certain details. That's the revisions that I'll have to make to Helen's "Reminiscences," along with some attempt to show more of Watson, instead of leaving him a silent cipher in that chapter.

Rick Perry is a goober

Jim Hightower sure says it right, in his article on Why is Texas So Psycho?.

And just yesterday I saw something advertised on TV about some debate/discussion being held to mark Obama's first 100 days, moderated by Rick Perry. Moderated by Rick Perry! My God!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Scott Brown on Holmes

This is a cool article on Wired about the Holmes fandom. Very nice, although I wonder what he is referring to when he says that ACD once bought a fanfic for 10 pounds.

That's odd. I added a link to the article on the blog, but it didn't change the title's appearance to be underlined. I'll have to go into the CSS code later.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Watson Lies

One of my difficulties with my novel DIM is deciding how much Watson knows at any point about Holmes's cocaine use and his love for Helen Stoner. Even though Watson is his closest, or even only friend, Holmes is annoyingly secretive. For example, if we accept that the Greek Interpreter story is set in 1888 (because Mycroft implies that Watson has published at least one story, STUD in Dec 1887), then Holmes has waited seven years to tell Watson that he has a brother. And in the second Mycroft story, Sherlock also confesses that he lied about what job Mycroft had. "I did not know you quite so well then." Really, you didn't know Watson enough in 1888? Holmes is such a lying bastard.

However, not many people notice that Watson is secretive too. SIGN is probably set in 1888 as well, and yet Holmes says that he had no idea that Watson had a brother until making his deductions from the pocketwatch. (It's odd that Holmes somehow knows that Watson's father has died some years ago, and yet he does not know of the existence of Watson's brother.) So either Watson withheld this fact due to shame about the brother's alcoholism, or Watson has lifted an anecdote from a much earlier year and inserted it into SIGN. He could very well be lying to us, the readers, even if he's incapable of lying to Holmes.

Monday, April 20, 2009

BBC Radio Holmes, Bert Coules

This weekend I bought a copy of the Bert Coules adaptation of A Study in Scarlet (STUD), which is listed under audiobooks in iTunes, and I listened to it. In general, I like the BBC Radio adaptations, because Watson is treated fairly and sensitively in them, but I don't particularly like Clive Merrison's Holmes--the voice never sounds right to me, and he's apt to loud fits of manic laughter, which may be scripted by Bert Coules I suppose.

The thing about the BBC Radio dramatizations is that they are halfway between canon and pastiche. That is, Bert Coules will try to render the story faithfully, but he'll use artistic license to add or reorder scenes so that they work as a radio play. His version of STUD, for example, intercuts the beginning Holmes and Watson scenes with scenes of Drebber and Stangerson at the Charpentier lodging house, and Coules also condenses the Mormon section of the novel, making it part of Jefferson's Hope confession at the police station. Those were quite effective changes.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Twilight at the Falls fic

And now we turn to the second half of chapter 16, telling what happened after Holmes in effect faked his death. He left with Struthers, and has come back. I posted this Twilight fic on my old website, and I have revised it slightly regarding Irene Adler. This will also explain the references to how Helen intervened in SCAN.

FINA and Reichenbach fic

I'm archiving a copy of my old Reichenbach fic, which is chapter 16. It's been posted before on my old website and other places. I've been wanting to revise it for a long time because I wanted some of Holmes's dialogue with Watson to be whispered and accompanied by tender touches, or a kiss of his cheek, but all these things are inappropriate for Struthers to witness. Not that she could hear whispers, given the roar of the Falls, but it's the principle of it. I've decided instead that Holmes and Watson will have their private scene before Reichenbach, while Watson is trying to help Holmes recover from cocaine yet again. So I'll attach that sketch here, which is new.

Reunion with Helen Stoner sketch

Another Helen Stoner sketch, this time playing up the triangle with Watson. It expands somewhat on what I wrote in the Helen Stoner notes earlier. Helen is just a little too insightful for Holmes's comfort.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Bull Pup Problem

Okay, here's a bit of fun about Holmes and Watson, with none of the angst of their later interactions. This whimsical sketch is for the chapter about how they met in STUD. As with my other sketches, it's in present tense and not fully written out.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sherlockian writings and a movie

I've been on a kick lately seeking out Holmes pastiches, Sherlockian books, and even movies. On impulse I picked up the British TV video, Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars starring Jonathan Pryce. I also found Nicholas Meyer's Seven-Per-Cent Solution and bought Christopher Redmond's In Bed With Sherlock Holmes after reading several passages on the Google preview. It's a shame that Redmond dismisses Holmes and Watson as gay in Chapter IX. He'd been doing so well pointing out subtexty moments in SPEC for example, and he called the Three Garridebs wound passage a "love scene," but then he just comes out saying "The bald fact is that the detective and his partner are not portrayed as homosexuals." Sigh. But I guess that's the way of most Sherlockians.