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Sunday, May 22, 2016

About Sherlock Holmes

(For politics, please scroll down)



  1. Alas! my foul Flash Player again has failed.
    This is at least the fifth such time this year.
    'Twould do no good, or else I would have wailed
    And railed against the Powers we must fear.

    "And who are they?" you ask. I cannot say ––
    Nameless, faceless, hidden as they be.
    In plush palatial suites on us they prey
    Causing men to risk their sanity

    Dealing with accurs'd upgrades eternal
    Might a peptic ulcer cause to dwell
    In the stress'd digestive tract infernal
    Making rounds quotidian a hell.

    The blessings of modernity are mixed
    Had I been Czar, I would have had them nixed!

    ~ FreeThinke

When an irksome problem lands,
Don't think too much on it.
Instead, just use your head and hands 

    To fashion a new sonnet.

    1. FT,
      Too bad about your Flash Player. This video is quite interesting -- especially for those of us who love Sherlock Holmes mysteries.

    2. I'm sure I'd love it, AOW. I've read the complete Holmes several times. It never gets old.

  2. _______ SHERLOCK HOLMES _______

    Stories filled with stylish keen perception ––
    Hair-raising adventure well controlled ––
    Even in the grip of Evil’s wild deception
    Raising goose bumps ––– we love what we’re told.

    Lolling in an armchair by the fire,
    Opening a volume, we’re content ––
    Conan Doyle’s creation slakes desire
    Kindled by the need for amusement.

    Home for Holmes, those rooms in Baker Street,
    Overseen by Martha Louise Hudson,
    Laden with exotica replete
    Made cozy for Sherlock, all-but her blood son,

    Established –– with violin –– an atmosphere
    Suited to enjoy thrills free from fear.

    ~ FreeThinke (5/22/16)

    1. FT,
      Thank you! I can see that you well know the Sherlock Holmes stories.

  3. I've never thought of Sherlock Holmes as anything other than a largely fictional character. There are some great ideas there however. The one that always comes to mind for me is "Eliminate the impossible, and whatever remains must be the truth." Assuming there is only one item left after the process of elimination.

    I love simple equations to complex problems which I consider this to be.

    1. Kid,
      Sherlock Holmes stories emphasize reasoning. A good skill to cultivate!

  4. The blogosphere has become nothing but a Wasteland. No ine cares about anything but petty, party politics, and endless exchanges of hatred for and dissatisfaction with life.

    Much better to return to reading Sherlock Holmes and other classics that nourish the soul as well as entertain the mind by giving it a respite from the ugliness and stupidity with which we choose to surround ourselves most of the time at this point in history.

    1. FT,
      The blogosphere is going to be a much worse wasteland during this election season.

      Even my Facebook page has become a battleground! Yesterday, I had to slap my sister-in-law hard because she has been trolling my FB page and make the most insulting comments -- including telling me to shut up. Were she not family, I'd block her from accessing my FB page.

      Now, about Sherlock Holmes stories...

      In days gone by, my 6th graders used to read The Hound of the Baskervilles every year. Alas! Today's 6th graders find the novella too difficult -- probably because of what they consider to be advanced vocabulary.

  5. I've had this page open on my phone for days, hoping to listen to it.
    Still haven't had time.

  6. Well, that was fun.
    We visited William Gillette's "castle" in Connecticut a few years ago and heard most of this.
    I still have my collection of the original stories and don't much play with the adaptations, except the Robert Downey Jr movies.

    1. Ed,
      Glad that you enjoyed this break-from-politics blog post.

  7. It mentions William Gillette's performance as Holmes.

    His silent film 0f 1916 was considered lost but recently found in the vaults of the Cinémathèque Française and restored. Boutique label Flicker Alley released it and it might be available for streaming.

  8. About Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini:

    Conan Doyle and Houdini first met in 1920, during the magician's tour of England. The two of them became good friends, despite their opposing views on the supernatural. Houdini was delighted to learn that there was at least one intelligent person who believed in Spiritualism and found that man in his friend Conan Doyle. The author was convinced of the value of the movement to the world and had given up most of his lucrative writing career to lecture about Spiritualism around the world. He also found that Houdini’s knowledge of the spirit world was as vast as his own, although their attitudes differed.

    Doyle agreed with some of Houdini's methods in exposing fraudulent mediums because he believed that their existence damaged the legitimacy of the movement. Lacking his new friend's magical training though, he was less able to see how fraud was accomplished. Houdini worked to try and show the secrets practiced by the fraudulent mediums to Doyle but the author merely insisted that the mediums he knew were good and honest people who would never try and trick or cheat their followers. Besides that, Doyle stated, just because the feats of the spirits could be duplicated did not mean that they were not real. Just because Houdini could prove that fraud was possible was not enough to convince Doyle that it actually occurred....

    Much more at the above link.

    Doyle became interested in mysticism and seances following the death of his wife Louisa in 1906, the death of his son Kingsley just before the end of the First World War, and the deaths of his brother Innes, his two brothers-in-law (one of whom was E. W. Hornung, creator of the literary character Raffles) and his two nephews shortly after the war, Doyle sank into depression. He found solace supporting spiritualism and its attempts to find proof of existence beyond the grave.

    Paradox: Doyle was trained as a man of science (medical doctor), and "magician" Houdini had no time for the supernatural, which he saw as a big scam.

  9. Holmes, the epitome of the "modern" Enlightened man. Practictioner of the "birth of the clinic" methods, medical "gaze" and deductive reasoning.

  10. In the future, archetypes like Holmes will be much harder to recognize and discern, as there will be many MORE "ways out" of civilization's cage. ;)

    1. To leave Civilization's "cage," as you put it, is to start plummeting free fall into The Abyss –– the bottomless Put from which there can be no return.


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