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October 31, 2015

The Hound of the Baskervilles Thread

I haven't finished. I'm finishing tonight. But if you want to comment, please do so here; this thread will be bumped tomorrow afternoon (and I'll put up more in this post).

So far, I'm just in London, and Watson has only now departed for Devonshire. A commenter mentioned that Holmes isn't in the story much; I guess what's going to happen is that Watson -- that oaf! that clod! -- will be left at the Baskervilles estate to be scared by noises and sightings out on the moors, and will come to all sorts of clotwitted conclusions that ghosts are real and the Hound is the devil's hunting dog.

And then Holmes will show up in the last three chapters to say "Why no, my splendidly cretinous buffoon; you've got it all wrong. The Hound is really none other than ____."

Doyle has to do this this way, I think, because Heroism is the antithesis of Horror; a Hero is confident and in control, whereas the entire premise of Horror is that you are afraid and at the mercy of something you don't understand.

If Holmes were around for the Baskervilles section, he's be providing reassurances, and his courage and let's-get-after-them attitude would dispel the sense of fear.

So, I'm just on chapter six or so, and I imagine the poor, poor stupid semicretin Watson is about to have a time of it being scared by owls and such.

By the way, I have to say, I like the way Holmes is portrayed in modern depictions more than he's depicted here. In modern depictions, it is underscored that he is rude and kind of a jagoff. In Doyle, sometimes I don't know, are his constant insults of Watson supposed to be taken as rude, or just funny...?

I know in a previous Holmes story, Watson commented upon his rudeness, but Watson doesn't call it out here; he just takes Sherlock's constant insults as normal.

I don't know, am I as the reader supposed to laugh along with Sherlock at the dribbling imbecile Watson?

Because I'm not laughing; Holmes is just an asshole.

I know Holmes is an asshole; but does the story itself know? Were readers at the time supposed to understand that this guy is a total asshole to the only person in the world willing to be a friend to him?

So anyway, to be honest, I'm kind of happy to see the back of Holmes for a while. Let him show up in the last few chapters to do some Rude Explaining, but let me enjoy some time with people who aren't assholes for a while.

Just let me be at peace with ghosts and murderers, without Holmes' constant insults of his slow-witted moron chum.

I'm still reading. Sorry, I didn't get this done. I will bump this up again tomorrow, if anyone wants to talk about it then.


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posted by Ace at 08:41 PM

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