Sherlock Holmes and Conan Doyle: Multi-Media Afterlives
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Sherlock Holmes is an iconic figure within cultural narratives. More recently, Conan Doyle has also appeared as a fictional figure in contemporary novels and films, confusing the boundaries between fiction and reality. This collection investigates how Holmes and Doyle have gripped the public imagination to become central figures of modernity.
conspiracy is Sherlock Holmes in Cinema 73 deep social dysfunction, rooted in class distinction (a clear mirror of contemporary twentieth-century ideological struggles between models of socialism and capitalism), and Holmes discovers, ultimately, that he is powerless to really resolve anything. He fails to prevent any of the murders and his defeat of one of the two rippers in the film’s climactic fight scene takes place when Holmes is actually lying on his back on the ground. He is
temporal, spatial and narrative structure when coupled with those in the many Holmes pastiches. The collective range of Sherlockiana, both canonical and non-canonical, plugs into different areas of enquiry, and 114 Souvik Mukherjee the result of trying to chart the narrative progression of Holmes’s stories is as chaotic as the usual mess in his room at 221b Baker Street. Traditional theories of narrative struggle to cope with the phenomenon of multiplicity. The purported death and the return
frameworks encounter significant problems as Hodgson’s analysis reveals the inherent multiplicity of the events in the Holmes timeline. Tzvetan Todorov’s (1975) Structuralist analysis sees the detective story as a duality: the story of crime (that Hodgson reads as fabula, the ‘story’ that the reader interprets) and the story of the investigation (for Hodgson, this is syuzhet, the ‘discourse’ or the unchanging plot written by the author). Finding deeper implications in the Holmes stories, Hodgson
1878–80. This Watson keeps a blog instead of writing his memoirs, while Sherlock Holmes maintains a website, ‘The Science of Deduction’, and uses a nicotine patch instead of a pipe (one case is, inevitably, ‘a three-patch problem’ [‘A Study in Pink’]). Other features are cleverly preserved and updated, such as the duo repeatedly hailing taxis to hurtle from one city location to another, or enlisting the help of a graffiti artist just as the original Holmes called upon the ‘Baker Street
emotion is absent from the contemporary crime thriller. Far from it: characters cry at the death of a loved one, rage at someone who stands in the way of their desire, express terror as they are persecuted or tortured, and so on. We watch such expressions of emotion on screen continually in every crime drama. But we do so largely unmoved, because we know that what really matters is the plot. More precisely, detective fiction is itself symptomatic of the modern scientific, positivist, digitised