The Once and Future Muse

What happened at the Reichenbach?

“Crime is common. Logic is rare. Therefore it is upon the logic rather than upon the crime that you should dwell” (COPP).

       Beginning with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the first to write his stories, as a muse, Sherlock Holmes has lived over many lifetimes and inspired many, many writers, musicians, and artists over so many generations. He leads us on with the excitement of the chase and the joy of the adventure. As long as there are muses, he will be heralded as the most prolific. Sometimes he wakes me early, “The game is afoot!” And runs me here, to key in the dialogue he is spouting in my head. He is a worthy friend and gentleman with a keen sense of justice and mercy. Some say he never lived, I beg to differ.
        To create from reality and imagination, one must accept an invitation to leap the cliffs of commonplace thought and trust in the wings of intuition. Like his first Boswell, I am usually found scribbling on the run to catch up with him. And like Dr. Watson, I am an author who writes Sherlock Holmes’ stories to set the record straight and bring a little justice into the world.
        I play the Game. Like most Sherlockians and Holmesians, there are two histories I live by the history of Victorian/Edwardian times, and the one created in the Sherlock Holmes stories referred to as the canon. They begin with these immortal words: “Being a reprint from the reminiscences of John H. Watson MD, late of the Army Medical Department” (STUD). We tend to take Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s word that Watson wrote the stories and refer to Doyle as Watson’s literary agent. I’d find this disconcerting if it were me, but we Sherlockians and Holmesians are still a bit touchy about the waterfall.
        A mystery writer has to decide whether they will bring more darkness or light into the world. There are many, many types of darkness, I choose to define it and light the lantern my hero uses to determine the way in and the way out. 

“I could not wish anything better than to be associated with my friend in one of those singular adventures which were the normal condition of his existence” (TWIS).      

Schatell, Norman. “Holmes, you cheated!” The Armchair Detective, 10, No. 3 (July 1977), 209. Thank you for your Reichenbach bungee jumping Sherlock Holmes.

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