And that led to a Twitter conversation between Elinor, myself and Chris Redmond. (For some reason, Chris is always present when I get into a rambling Sherlockian conversation on Twitter.) Before I get onto my main point, a few thoughts:
1. "youths"? Really? Probably not going to reach your target demographic talking like that.
2. Can we please be done with the purposefully mispronunciation of "Cumberbatch"? It's about as funny as plays on Keep Calm and Carry On or minions memes.
3. I've discussed my personal methods for introducing young people to Sherlock Holmes in other blogs, and in two upcoming book anthologies, so I won't beleaguer the point here. But I think it can be done with some specific thought.
4. And why the specific focus on young people? Shouldn't we as Sherlockians be welcoming anyone who wants to discuss Holmes?
Elinor, Chris and I discussed the dismissive attitude some Sherlockians have towards fans of certain adaptations. That's not cool. On one hand, you're saying you want new people to join you in your interest, and immediately make them feel less-than by blowing off their form of interest in the topic.
Jeremy Brett is my favorite Holmes adaptation. But man, do I enjoy those Robert Downey Jr. films. The first two seasons of BBC Sherlock are some of the best TV I've ever seen. Who is the "right" Sherlock Holmes? Depends on who you ask. But for my money, it's this guy:
For me, it all starts with the canon. I know there are plenty of BBC Sherlock and Elementary fans who've never read the canon, and that's cool. But if you're at a Sherlockian discussion, you might want to have a familiarity with Arthur Conan Doyle's stories. Chris made the astute observation, "Don't go to the philatelic society and insist on talking about beer bottle caps." After I looked up what philatelic meant, I agree.
But most of us don't stop after those 60 stories. There is a world of TV shows, movies, fan fiction and pastiche out there for us. (Including some of the books I'm giving away this week! See what I did there?) Don't dismiss others because of what they enjoy. For me, Elementary strays too far from the canon to interest me. And you know what, so do the Basil Rathbone films. Right now, there are established Sherlockians gasping at that. But, come on, Sherlock Holmes fighting Nazis isn't very canonical. But is my opinion of Basil Rathbone or Johnny Lee Miller's versions of Sherlock Holmes more important than other peoples'?
So why are people so quick to dismiss other Sherlockians because of their preferences? Some people like Jeremy Brett. Some people like Johnlock. As long as they are interested in the canon, we still have a similar starting point. I'm pretty sure lots of older Sherlockians dismissed the Jeremy Brett fans when the PBS series came out in the 80's, and here we are with an older generation of Sherlockians dismissing Cumberbatch fans 30 years later. It almost makes our group look like the Scotland Yard detectives that so often dismissed Holmes' new methods only to be proven wrong time and time again by his innovative ways of looking at things.
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And now, on to this month's book giveaways!
Up for giveaway this month are books that cover different aspects of the Sherlockian world. Hopefully we can all appreciate the different avenues.
For the traditional route, there is a copy of the "Greenwich Unabridged Library Classics Sherlock Holmes" which contains the Adventures, Memoirs and Return of Sherlock Holmes as well as The Hound of the Baskervilles.
For the pastiche fan, I have a copy of "Sherlock Holmes and the Sacred Sword" by Frank Thomas.
And for those of you who are looking for mysteries in Victorian London that venture a little past Sherlock Holmes' involvement, there is a copy of "Brigade: Further Adventures of Inspector Lestrade" by M.J. Trow.
The rules are simple: if you are interested in one of this month's giveaways, be the first to claim it in the comments below and give me your email address in the comment. I will contact you to set up shipping. I only ask that you pay the few dollars for shipping the book to you, and it's all yours. Enjoy!