Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Circumstantial homosexuality

Apparently Robert Downey Jr. was at Comic-Con promoting the Holmes movie, probably because it's based on a graphic novel. Wired has an interview with him about it. He clearly does know about the canon Holmes vs. the popular iconography of the deerstalker and meershaum pipe. This is what all us Sherlockians and purists know.

I love how Downey discusses Holmes and Watson's relationship. First he jokes about their "circumstantial homosexuality," then he says:

We kept talking about getting into the spirit of 'What does it mean when two people are so close they almost can't stand each other, but they can't stand on their own without each other?'

It means love of course. Whether you believe it is merely platonic friendship or passionate romance, it is certainly a deep and lasting love.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Re-reading and e-reading

Lately I've been re-reading my favorite book from my adolescence, Jessamyn West's Cress Delahanty. It still speaks to me after all these years, and if anything, I can see more in the book now as an adult. (If you aren't aware, my internet name of Cress is after the title character, a young girl living on a California ranch.) Cress Delahanty comes of age amidst the usual problems with love, school, and her parents. She's also a poet, and prone to introspection and imaginative romanticism. It's so odd how a book written in the 1950s can be so universal and yet so specific too. How could West so pinpoint what I, an Asian girl living in Texas thirty years later, felt as an awkward misfit?

But that's the magic of books, allowing intimate communions of the mind like this. I suppose West must have felt similarly when she grew up. She clearly knows what's in the heart of a lost girl, struggling to define herself.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

TV Holmes movies

As I said, the "Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes" TV special only went up to 1985. Someone needs to do an updated special about films since then. Maybe they're waiting for the Robert Downey Jr. movie to come out.

One place to find more obscure Holmes TV appearances is on this list, in the Doyle section.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Outline of DIM

When I've posted excerpts of DIM here previously, I included chapter numbers based on my outline of the novel. This outline is a numbered listing of the chapters along with canon quotations that I intended to use.

I've recently revised the outline a lot, due to my changes about Helen Stoner and the love triangle. The addition of Holmes and Watson's "strange, brief affair" changes much of the plot, and I've decided that Holmes shall confess some things to Watson, but not to Mycroft. So I'll post the outline here to make the plot clearer, so that you can see it in its proper order.

I originally thought I could make Holmes two years younger than normal, born in 1856. However, because I put Holmes into two different universities, I've used up enough years that I have to put him back in 1854. Most chronologists put Holmes in only one university (Oxford or Cambridge), and make up something else to explain the extra seven years before he meets Watson in 1881--a trip to America, a job as an actor, etc.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Many Faces of Sherlock Holmes

I found this video on YouTube, in the area where they add commercials. It's an overview on various stage, film, and TV portrayals of Holmes, hosted by Christopher Lee. It only goes up to 1985, and does not really cover Jeremy Brett at all, but I did appreciate the glimpses into obscure Holmes movies that I haven't been able to find on video or DVD. Near the beginning they also have a short clip of Doyle talking about Joseph Bell as his inspiration for Holmes. Hearing his voice really makes him much more immediate than just seeing pictures of him.

Christopher Lee (or his writer) is wrong, though, to say that Irene Adler is the only "person" to best him. Holmes said in FIVE that he had been beaten by three men and one woman. (And some chronologists who date FIVE before SCAN argue that the woman is not Irene, whom he hasn't met yet.)