Welcome! Like the book of the same name, this blog is an eclectic collection of Sherlockian scribblings based on more than a half-century of reading Sherlock Holmes. Please add your own thoughts. You can also follow me on Twitter @DanAndriacco and on my Facebook fan page at Dan Andriacco Mysteries. You might also be interested in my Amazon Author Page. My books are also available at Barnes & Noble and in all main electronic formats including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and iBooks for the iPad.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Quintessential Quote #54

"I never get your limits, Watson. There are unexplored possibilities about you."
-- Sherlock Holmes, "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire"
We are in deep waters here, for this quote is doubly ironic.

On the first level there is the intended irony -- or perhaps even sarcasm -- on the part of Holmes. The detective would seem, out of context, to be paying a high compliment to his old comrade in arms. But he's actually putting him down. He's saying that Watson is incredibly naive for believing that "Big Bob Ferguson, the finest three-quarter Richmond ever had" was really seeking help for a friend, not for himself.

And I suppose he's right.

But there's also a double irony here in that what Holmes says is truer than he realizes: Holmes doesn't get Watson's limits or explore his possibilities. He constantly throws the good doctor into situations in which he cannot help but fail -- and then blames him for failing! Yet he expects he him to be always available ("COME AT ONCE IF CONVENIENT . . . "), even referring to his later-in-life marriage as a selfish act!

On the subject of friends, Holmes told Watson in "The Adventure of the Five Orange Pips," "Except yourself, I have none." No wonder!

1 comment:

  1. Amazing quote as always! A bit of syncronicity: Today on Twitter I was talking about being a musician as well as my current profession and some came right back at me with that exact quote. Then I come here for my just-before-bed Baker Street beat fix, and find the same quote. Dan, you never let this reader down. -Joe Riggs