5. Conclusion: My View on Sherlock Holmes
My approach to the Sherlock Holmes’ narratives – a proposal. Conclusion.
With these final remarks, my expedition into the
World of Sherlock Holmes draws to a close. The common aim
behind the various lines of
thought I pursued in every chapter was to cast some light on the
factual background of the fictional realm Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
conjured in his master-pieces.
Accordingly, I drew the reader's attention to some historical circumstances and abstract conceptions that had a decisive influence on the Canon.
At every stage of my research on Sherlock Holmes it were mainly my own ideas and doubts about the Canon, most of which date back to my first encounter with the detective, that have guided my analytical reflections.
In so far, I reached my original aim, as I managed to cast a
critical glance on several major elements of the World of Holmes,
putting them into a wider context.
Nevertheless, I am well aware of the fact that there would be many more connections to be unearthed, many more details and developments to be taken into account to arrive at an adequate interpretation of Conan Doyle’s stories: for every question I answered in the course of my investigation, many others appeared.
As I had no choice but to concentrate on some aspects, I can only hope that my readers are eventually left with a profound impression, and turn to Holmes himself for consolation:
“You see,” he explained, “I consider that a man’s brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out […]. Now the skilful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic.” (from: A Study in Scarlet)
In my view, the fact that there are so many fascinating details to the Sherlockian stories, which frequently contain intelligent insights on various aspects of life is proof enough that the Canon as a whole is all but trivial - even if my opinion is likely to upset the majority of literary critics. For all the background I have recently gained – and despite all my personal “Adventures With Sherlock Holmes” (1) - the detective's reality has lost nothing of its splendour for me. I still enjoy to think of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as two conscientious man, living in a confusing and yet comfortable environment, where there is always enough time to discuss the events of the day from two comfortable armchairs in the sitting room, and solutions may still be found by patient inquiry. If there was ever a chance, I would even love to have tea with them at Baker Street myself.
Looking back at my work, I would be glad if I had not destroyed this
emotional access, but rather opened up an additional way of
understanding the stories to my readers.