I've written a lot (too much?) on this blog about T.S. Eliot. He's also a character in The Amateur Executioner, my 1920s detective novel. I'm fascinated with him and with his wonderful poetry. So I was fascinated to read some quotes about Sherlock Holmes from Eliot via Christopher Morley.
In The Standard Doyle Company, edited by Steven Rothman, we find that on Christmas Day 1948 Morley was reading Eliot's lecture From Poe to Valery, privately printed as a Christmas present by Harcourt, Brace & Co. In his "Clinical Notes" column for The Baker Street Journal, Morley quoted a paragraph:
Conan Doyle owes much to Poe, and not merely to Monsieur Dupin of The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Sherlock Holmes was deceiving Watson when he told him that he had bought his Stradivarius violin for a few shillings at a second-hand shop on Tottenham Court Road. There is a close similarity between the musical exercises of Holmes and those of Roderick Usher: those wild and irregular improvisations which, while on one occasion they sent Watson off to sleep, must have been excruciating to any ear trained for music.Morley added a brilliant commentary: "Of course Tom Eliot has long been a disciple of Holmes; which is one of the tests of a genuine High Brow: to distinguish the immortal elements in work apparently only popular."
Who is your favorite High Brow?