The Autumn 2016 Baker Street Journal includes these articles:
The Editor’s Gas-Lamp.
The Folks from Moriarty
by Sonia Fetherston.
The Single Stick
by Charles Blanksteen.
Conan Doyle and Houdini: The Afterlife of a Friendship
by Peggy Perdue.
“Isn’t It Romantic?”: A Further Exploration of “That Little Thing of Chopin’s”
by Alexander Katz and Katherine Karlson.
The Seven-Per-Cent Evaluation
by Monica M. Schmidt.
“I Scrambled . . . on to the Path”: Baker Street and Buddhism
by Daniel F. Polish.
by Thomas Cynkin.
Sherlock Holmes and the Libraries He Used
by Fred Lerner.
Art in the Blood
by Scott Bond.
The Commonplace Book.
Baker Street Inventory.
The Adventures of the Misadventures
by Chris Redmond.
Letters to Baker Street.
“Stand with me here upon the terrace . . .”
* * *
The Editor’s Gas-Lamp
“You can see forever, and ever”
by Steven Rothman, Editor
Perhaps it is not Sherlock Holmes’s brain that so impresses us, but his vision. Holmes may have been blessed with the finest set of peepers in the land. It is not odd, of course, that an ophthalmologist would write about an uncommonly good set of eyes. Though he would sometimes have Holmes use a lens, clearly Conan Doyle thought that Holmes could see more and better than the rest of the world.
Holmes treated his eyes well. He knew they were his greatest gift and not to be trifled with. He couldn’t even be bothered to waste them for routine tasks such as checking his own references; often he makes Watson read aloud from his index or from works such as Bradshaw. Only a man who was blind or illiterate would do this regu-larly, unless he was saving his eyes for more important things. Con-sider the many times Holmes uses the phrase “lose sight” or “lost sight.” Holmes, always a diva, must have fretted about vision more than a singer does about her throat.
Of course Holmes—who had never seen with any eyes but his own—cautioned Watson, in “A Scandal in Bohemia,” “You see, but you do not observe.” We’ve always thought the emphasis was on “observe,” but Holmes surely put it on the “you.” Watson’s vision was not Holmes’s. Holmes was aware that something was different about his vision. One day, perhaps, we shall all be granted the gift to see the world through Holmes’s eyes. Until then, we must accept that our sight is always a bit cloudier than it might be.
The Editor’s Gas-Lamp, Autumn 2016, Vol. 66, No. 3.
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