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The Lower Criticism

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My friends, I invite you all to join me in an exciting venture, in which we shall carve out for ourselves a small niche in the corners of Holmesian (or is it Sherlockian?) fandom and scholarship. No longer shall we be browbeaten by the exponents of the Higher Criticism. I ask you to join me in.... the Lower Criticism!!

 

To explore the mysteries and joys of the canon by recourse to chronologies, railway timetables, cartographical works and other such detailed texts simply will not suffice. The Lower Criticism shall embrace confusion, oddity, childishness and silliness in a tangential approach to the adventures of our two heroes... coming at the truth, perhaps, from other angles!

 

The Lower Criticism accepts as sources the thoughts of The Man In The Street, Your Mum, Disgusted of Tumbridge Wells and the estates of G. Lestrade, S. Hopkins, J. Moriarty (railwayman) and others. Yes of course you can make them up! It never stopped Watson, did it?

 

We accept as substantiating evidence the non-canonical writings of generations of writers other than Watson and Doyle, and accept also as definitive, in the absence of primary sources, the many and contradictory media representations of our heroes. Be it comics, cartoons, tv or novels these non-canonical works equal the afore-described 'Holy Writings'... and may even be considered in some cases as superior.

 

We delight in schoolroom sniggering at apparently outdated slang and terminology and positively erupt in giggles every time Watson "ejaculates" in the Baker Street rooms. I exhort you to share your favourite examples.

 

Most importantly, we accept as scholarly practice the random and wild theorising without the facts that was held in only apparent disdain by Holmes himself.... even if, and especially when, our theories completely contradict our previous utterances (and will be contradicted by our next ones).

 

The symbol of our movement shall be a trifle, for reasons which do not need explication. Please begin any and all postings towards our little group here with a pictorial example of such.

trifle_zpsdmddwkdo.png

 

My friends, are you with me???? I beseech you to join me if convenient. If inconvenient, join in all the same.

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trifle_zpsdmddwkdo.png

It brings me great pleasure to reveal some long lost evidence in the form of a letter, alluded to by Holmes in the beginning of The Copper Beeches but long since mislaid. I think it will prove instructive. It was found by a friend of a friend in a relative's attic some decades ago and has only now come to light.

 

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pencil_zpsoxnhpens.jpg

 

A fantastic find, and a real eye-opener I think as to how far Holmes' fame had spread so quickly!

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The Copper Beeches also contains an interesting phrase from Holmes: "I think that I have touched bottom at last."

This will no doubt excite speculation from students of the Lower Criticism. A Freudian slip on Holmes' part? Or a cheeky clue laid by Watson as to the true events which transpired at Winchester?

 

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Students are also recommended to the exciting moment, splendidly illustrated by Paget, when Watson stepped up to the huge mastiff "[and] blew its brains out". Is this evidence of the canineophobia so prevalent, yet subtly repressed, by Watson throughout the canon? Did the poisoning of the landlady's dog in their first ever adventure together give him confidence that his violent feelings towards dogs, so much hidden by him for so long, could now find an outlet? Was the titular Hound of the Baskervilles really dispatched with a few shots to its flank by Holmes, or did Watson go gun-crazy and perform more brains-blowing feats with his old service revolver which the editors of the Strand felt a little too outré?

 

We demand to know. And we shall know!

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is the text of the above letter eligible? I would hate to have this vital piece of totally genuine evidence be lost to the ages thanks to the vagaries of Photobucket's resizing/ editing tool.

 

Incidentally, two good Watsonian "ejaculations" in Sign, one of which is in front of Miss Mary Morstan..... I say...!

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You are demented. :p I love it!

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is the text of the above letter eligible? I would hate to have this vital piece of totally genuine evidence be lost to the ages thanks to the vagaries of Photobucket's resizing/ editing tool.

 

I was able to read it, but would not dignify it with the term "legible."  I think it's not so much the size of the text as it is the font, and particularly the rather skimpy spacing between lines.  I'd be interested in seeing how it looks with 1.5 spaces between lines.

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honestly madam, can I be blamed if Mr Watt's handwriting was so close... :p

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trifle_zpsdmddwkdo.png

 

MORE ON WATSON'S RABID CYNOPHOBIA!!!! (fear of dogs)

 

This past week I have been lucky enough to aquire some tatty old copies of Classics Illustrated's versions of the Holmes stories. They are very worthy of analysis in their own right, and proper scanning, but a quick post with some cameraphone pics will suffice for the moment.

 

In pondering briefly The Copper Beeches, a few posts above, I had cause to mention Watson's hatred of dogs, a repressed emotion brought out into the open through his association with the great detective. Well, the visual artists of Classics have given us exponents of the Lower Criticism yet more grist for our mill. In rewriting the climactic battle with the deadly Hound Of The Baskervilles, they depict Watson thus:-

20160109_171940_zpslpzky9mh.jpg

 

What savagery! What Herculean strength! This is not merely someone who is "reckoned fleet of foot" but someone with massive untapped reserves of power.... normally dormant, but which erupts when confronted with the object of his hatred.... canines.

 

In lesser vein, here is Watson as the artist 'Zansky' (an ancestor of Banksy??) represents him in 'The Sign of the Four', when sent to fetch Toby:

20160109_171856_zpsadxumkpk.jpg

 

Can't you jet hear the bitterness and anger in his voice, the absolute resentment, not only at having to work alongside a dog, whom he considers a base and lesser creature, but also at having to be sent to fetch the beast?

 

This is food for thought and may possibly serve as the basis for a Trifle Monograph.....

 

OUR QUEST FOR TRUTH CONTINUES!!!

 

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It's a good thing Mary is a cat lover, then, not a dog lover! :p

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Odd.  I never got the feeling that Watson disliked dogs.  Of course, I never looked for such evidence!

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"you see but you do not observe" :D

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I forgot i'd posted these.

 

It's a bit tragic when you get tired of your own joke after a couple of attempts *lol

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Hilarious stuff! 

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Good heavens, I'd completely forgotten this thread. We need softmachine to come back and revive it.

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Too bad that letter is now completely illegible!  Good ol' BotoPh*cket!

 

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