Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sherlock meet Sigmund

The desperate few who read this blog will know that I'm a fan of crime fiction. When I was younger and didn't know any better I thought Agatha Christie was a cut above the rest. I was wrong: Arthur Conan Doyle is the undisputed king of the British version of the genre - and by the way high level genre writing is OK with me - but I didn't get to him until I was about 30.

So, I'm looking forward to the Adventures With Sherlock Holmes exhibit at the Toronto Reference Library that runs until March 10. Equally appealing is the talk by Doug Wrigglesworth, Chair Emeritus of the Friends of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at TRL, on the life and times and far-reaching influence of the Scots-born doctor who ended up a wholesale believer in fairies at the bottom of his garden. The talk's on Feb. 12 at 1:00pm.

And yesterday, while browsing one of Hogtown's discount bookstores, I found a cheap paperback of David Lodge's The Art of Fiction, so far worth every bit of my tiny investment. In it Lodge, a very funny and accomplished writer, says this: "A solved mystery is ultimately reassuring to readers...whether in the tales of Sherlock Holmes or in the case histories of Sigmund Freud which bear a striking and suspicious resemblance to them." Let's hope Doug Wriggleworth explores any connection there may be between Bergstrasse and Baker Street. It is well known the Viennese genius liked Conan Doyle's crime writing. I wonder what he made of The Hound of the Baskervilles?    


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