Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Jasper’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

I hope you enjoy our interview with Canadian author and editor Charles Prepolec.

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

  1. Name, with bull pup moniker—

Charles Prepolec / ‘Jasper’

2. Current location—

Calgary, AB, Canada

3.How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Roughly 30 years.

4. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

The Sign of Four

5.What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.”

6. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Easy. JHW himself. I’d very much like to know why he felt the need to report the less than kind comments Holmes made about his observational failings. Surely some judicious self-editing would have been in order.

7. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

The Granada television adaption of ‘The Sign of Four’ is to me the single best television/film adaptation of any of Watson’s stories. Period. Full stop. The only elements that could have improved it were if David Burke had played Watson and if Watson had ‘got the girl’ as he did in the Canon.

8. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

Since 1987 I’ve enjoyed attending meetings of our local Calgary scion society The Singular Society of the Baker Street Dozen, however the group has fallen into limbo within the last year and is now on indefinite hiatus.

9. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

In 2016 I was a guest speaker at The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes Triennial Conference in Minneapolis, contributed an essay on ‘The Sign of Four’ to Chris Redmond’s wonderful non-fiction ‘About Sixty’ anthology, as well as a foreword to the first US release of the ‘Sherlock Holmes: Dark Detective’ graphic novel for Caliber Comics.  As of November 2016, I’ve begun work on editing my 4th professional anthology of new Sherlock Holmes/horror stories – Gaslight Gothic: Eerie Tales of Sherlock Holmes – for Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing for release in 2018.  Last, but certainly not least, on January 6, 2017 I received the Investiture of “The Man with the Twisted Lip” in The Baker Street Irregulars.

10. If you could change one thing in the greater Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

Hmm, tough call, but I think I’d like to see less criticism or discussion of media adaptations, or new material, whether of screen, stage, radio or in pastiches, that leads anyone to use ‘…but that’s not the canonical Holmes…’ or ‘…that wasn’t the author’s original intent…’ as the basis of their argument. One is an invalid argument, as there is no objectively right or wrong interpretation of the characters or stories, since we each bring our own very subjective experiences to our reading of a text; and the second is simply irrelevant as it isn’t the writer or creator who determines the success or failure of a work, but the audience who interprets it on their own respective terms.  I suppose what I’m naively asking for, and it applies not just to the Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, is that we all strive for greater patience, respect and understanding when encountering viewpoints different from our own.

One Reply to “Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Jasper’”

  1. I appreciate very much the “challenge” that Jasper issues in his last paragraph. You are not “naive,” Jasper; your thoughts in action would change the world. Daisy

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