Re: Hardboiled Holmes (was Re: RARA-AVIS: Digest V3 #867)

Date: 07 Sep 2001

In a message dated 07/09/01 20:10:55 GMT Daylight Time, writes:

 I've always thought that villains in the Holmes milieu (maybe Victorian
 fiction generally) had made a choice to be bad: Moriarty is after all just
 Holmes with an evil cackle. But in H-B fiction people are just mean,
 whether because they are born bad, or because something happened to them in
 the past that they can't back out of. On the other hand, as I've mentioned
 here before, Doyle does mention Pinkerton detectives now and then. The
 American scenes in THe Valley of Fear could come straight out of the
 hard-boiled canon.
 Chris >> To be a bit finickety a lot of Holmes is Edwardian. Not sure that Holmes believed that his world was correctable - he always seemed fairly accepting of this, see the opium den in "the Man with the twisted lip" and his opinion of London and atypically the countryside. He only acted when commissioned - whether for cash or the challenge. He was quite happy to cut a deal with a crook if necessary and so on. I think Holmes is not allowed to eat at the hardboiled eatery cos of his era, and that's something I am quite happy with, I think there are a lot of similarities though as I have said, and would love to hear if anyone can educate me as to any acknowledged debt/opinion from hardboiled masters to Doyle. Any parodists out there might wanna try a tough, wisecracking and truly hardboiled Holmes - A Scandal in Bohemia becomes That One Bad Luck Dame and the Eastern Prince, say. Going back to earlier, What is Hardboiled? discussion, I think it just stretches the genre a little too far, as does the inclusion of GGreene, although I love hime dearly so I do. Holmes as a serialised mass market magazine hero has a lot of claims but just as a Thomas Moore writer can't really be a Utopian......... Mind you, that Hamlet - moody, a loner, death, corruption, mmmmm. Elementary? So long for now Colin - 221A Baker Street, and shut that F******* violin up!

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