le 6 octobre 2007
On croit déjà tout connaître tant on a lu et vu Sherlock Holmes, mais la lecture de l'intégrale est un immense plaisir. Partager l'intimité de Holmes et Watson, s'amuser à trouver la clé de l'énigme avant Watson, observer les visiteurs étranges de Baker Street et démasquer des coupables machiavéliques, ce sont des heures de bonheur dont il ne faut surtout pas se priver.C'est en même temps très bien écrit et facile à lire même si on n'est pas agrégé d'anglais.
The first Sherlock Holmes book I ever read was given to me as a gift for my thirteenth birthday. It was a collection of the short stories, with a wonderful leather trim and gold leafing, and I thought it was fantastic. I read the first story, and was instantly hooked. Within a few days, I was disappointed with my wonderful new book because it was incomplete. I had devoured all of the selected stories, and was ready for more.
Shortly thereafter, I purchased what purported to be the 'only complete Sherlock Holmes available', compiled by Christopher Morley. This became my favourite book. However, I have continued to collect editions of the Sherlock Holmes stories, and this is one of those collections. It does contain all the short stories and all the novels. It does not have illustrations or other commentary, and the print (in a double-column format) is rather small, but it is nonetheless a useful text for those who don't want to have a heavier book in their hands.
The original stories, which appeared in The Strand magazine, were illustrated, by the great illustrator Sidney Paget.
From the beginning introduction of Holmes and Watson to Holmes' gentle retirement to beekeepping on the southern coast of England, this book contains all the essential stories (none of the apocryphal, anecdotal, or tribute-written pieces are contained here). Holmes was often thought to be a real person, and Sherlockians the world over still search for 'evidence' to prove that he was. During his 'lifetime', the post office for the Baker Street area regularly received mail addressed to Holmes or Watson at 221B Baker Street. While such an address does not (and did not during the late Victorian era) exist, there is a business on the site that would be 221B, and they have dedicated a desk to Holmes, and strive to answer mail received in the great detective's name.
Perhaps the two elements that made Holmes and Watson the world-renowned figures that they became are, first, the dominance of the British Empire globally at the time Conan Doyle was writing, which made English things sought-after, admired, and to be emulated, and secondly, the introduction of a method of detection hitherto unknown, both in the annals of detective stories (save perhaps in a proto-form in Poe and a few other obscure pieces of dubious literary merit) and in real life.
Holmesian tales became required reading in the training of police and detectives in many parts of the world. It is still recommended even when it is not required.
Holmes permeates other literature and venues as well. When Data on Star Trek: The Next Generation looks for images of Holmes, he is being guided by the descriptions in the stories as well as by the illustrations in The Strand. When the BBC produced Jeremy Brett's rendering of Holmes, the same holds true. When Basil Rathbone's films were cast, these illustrations and stories were uppermost in the directors' minds.
So, pull some tobacco from your persian slipper, stoke your pipe, scratch out a tune on your violin, and re-enter the gas-lit world of the foggy London, where danger is afoot and one detective can always save the day.