This week, we are trying something a bit different: you create the topic or topics for the week’s discussion. They can be on the Canon, the characters, fandom, TV, radio, film, cosplay, London, or whatever enchants your imaginations.
Please add a comment and ask a question or comment on a topic and let’s see who responds. We can have as many topics, comments, replies and re-replies as members care to provide. Here is your chance to participate with that one burning topic you have been wanting to talk about for years! Go for it!
11 Replies to “Weekly Forum: 2015 #8 Something Different!”
What are a few of everyone’s favorite Watsonian experiences?
By that, I mean: what is something wonderful that once happened to you primarily due to your enthusiasm for Sherlock Holmes/John Watson/the Canon/etc?
For example, one of my favorite experiences occurred precisely a year ago while working on my first submission to the Watsonian. I contacted someone I greatly admired (Bert Coules, writer of the BBC Radio 4 Sherlock Holmes series) and he not only responded to my e-mail but volunteered to read over my essay for me. That was amazing!
Another example: working on the 2014 Treasure Hunt with “Gwen” “Faith” and “Daisy.” It was one of the most challenging mental exercises I’ve been through, but it was a lovely experience due to enjoying with dear friends. I really enjoyed being a part of a team. 🙂
My favourite was the very first time I ever corresponded with a REAL Sherlockian: Prof. Donald Pollock “Hound.” I was 67 then and had been reading the Canon for 59 years, but had never met or corresponded with a true Sherlockian. Don Pollock was so kind and helpful, introducing me to others of great generosity, such as Prof. Donald Yates “Pal” and Jon Lellenberg “Towser,” that the experience of Don Pollock’s kindness and friendship was the true beginning of what led to the formation of The John H Watson Society. If it had not been for Don Pollock’s generousity to an old, first-time Sherlockian author, there would never have been a Society dedicated to Dr Watson.
I like reading your stories! I think my favorite Sherlockian memory might be when I discovered  that Sherlockian societies existed on the internet and that I could actually converse with other people afflicted with a Sherlockian obsession. I was astounded that a wonderful Sherlockian world existed–I honestly didn’t know–and that I could be a part of it. I had no idea of the size of the Sherlockian world, or that it had existed for so many years all over the world. After my first two weeks of conversation in the Welcome Holmes internet group, I bought a Baring-Gould, and then, luckily, it wasn’t too long until Klinger came along. When I moved to the Pacific Northwest in 2006, I headed straight for the Sound of the Baskervilles so I could continue the conversation face to face. I feel blessed to have formed some lovely friendships; perhaps that is the hook: we get to be friends, like Holmes and Watson.
Margie, I love your last sentence so much, I want to hug it. 🙂
This is such a good topic! Well, my first taste of what could be a Holmesian/Watsonian experience was in late 1988. I was at college back then, and instead of going to the University Library to read books relevant to my degree, I’d rather go to the Municipal Library, which had a wonderful reading room, and read authors such as Chesterton, Asimov, Rex Stout, and others. In the library catalog I found a book called “The Sign of Three: Holmes, Dupin, Peirce”, a wonderful collection of essays about the scientific and logical methods of Sherlock Holmes. And from that book I learned that I wasn’t alone in my passion for the details of the Canon, but that there were hundreds of Sherlockian societies all over the world, that there were magazines such as “The Baker Street Journal” and “The Vermissa Valley Herald”, that there was a four-letter code for every story of the Canon. Had I but known then that just one year before the first Italian society had been founded in Florence! But that was long before the World Wide Web, alas! Then early in 2000 I had another revelation when I found out Uno Studio in Holmes, signed up for the mailing list, joined the discussions and within a month I signed up as a member. And that was the beginning of many beautiful friendships that still last today.
(if someone is interested in the book: http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/product_info.php?products_id=21471. It is quite advanced and some chapters are very difficult for the layman, but if you’re into the logical thinking of SH, it is an invaluable reference).
I am intrigued by your story. I swore when I finished The Name of the Rose that I would never attempt (and attempt is the right word) to read Umberto Eco again. However, now you have tempted me. Actually, I would like to re-read The Name of the Rose–at the time that I attempted it, I had little time to spend with it, was very out of practice in reading something requring concentration and dedication, and trying to meet a book club deadline. I’m sure William of Baskerville’s world would not seem so difficult to fathom today. Well, maybe.
Well, Margie, I don’t know about the English translation, but in Italian Eco has a quite “heavy” style as a novelist. Wonderful plots and characters, but sometimes he indulges a bit too much in lengthy descriptions and Latin quotes. His writing is much clearer and straight-to-the-point in his essays.
However, “The Sign of Three” is a collection, and Eco is just one of the editors; actually, he only wrote one of the essays in the book (an excellent comparison between Voltaire’s Zadig, Holmes’s SIGN and Aristotheles’s syllogism). A couple of the essays in the book, especially those dealing with formal logic, are Triple Dutch to me, but others are totally enjoyable Sherlockian pieces.
Triple Dutch? I’m not familiar with the phrase.
Triple Dutch is an older saying that means “very difficult to understand” supposedly as the Dutch language (Flemish) is difficult to understand but three times harder.
And this is the trouble of getting my English mostly from late 19th and early 20th century books… I didn’t know this expression was so out-of-date! 😀
“Triple Dutch” and “Double Dutch”, to mean something very difficult, is often used in R.A.Freeman’s Dr. Thorndyke stories, for example. Today in Italian we would say “It’s Chinese” or “It’s Arabic to me”.
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