Monday, 29 November 2010

Canonical Greetings

Further to my earlier post about the good wishes we've received from Holmesian Societies around the world, we've had further communication from the Crew of the SS May Day in Belfast who like our new name; the Unscrupulous Rascals of South Australia, who sent a whole load of journals, leaflets and information about their society as well as their good wishes, and notes of goodwill from the Deutsche Sherlock Holmes Gesellschaft and German resident and renowned Doylean author Paul Spiring.

Radio Arctic

Another interview about the Self-Important Scotland Yarders this morning, standing at the very heart of the great metropilos - up to our knees in slush in Baker Street, Shawlands.
New technological advances meant we couldn't do the interview in the shop, as Richard had to point his wee dish at the sky, so we ended up in the nearest canonical location.
Didn't get a chance to say when and where the meeting was, but all publicity's good publicity.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Our October Meeting

In attendance - Allan and Jennie Rae, Scott Stevenson, Noelle Carroll, Andy Lombardini, Louise Murray, Simone Hughes, Barry Young, Elaine Mcleary, Graham Walker, Sharon Mail, Paul, Douglas Murray and Mark Burns.
Another excellent meeting in The Boswell Hotel.
A Study in Scarlet was the topic - the first Holmes story for our first official meeting. A lot of the discussion focussed on the unusual structure of the novel, particularly the change, from major to minor, in the middle when Holmes and Watson give way to an American melodrama.
Did Conan Doyle know the impact his creatuon would have? Did he envisage Holmes as a regular character in a series of stories? How fixed were the personalities of Watson and Holmes from the first meeting?
Some of the members liked the central part of the story, others found it too much of a jarring change of pace.
It was unanimously agreed that Holmes was an extraordinarily complete character to emerge in a single story, and as a fully formed Consulting Detective with his faithful amanuensis was a triumph of the writer's art.
The influences on Doyle, from Edgar Allan Poe to Margaret Oliphant, were discussed, and there was an exchange of views on whether A Study in Scarlet was an appropriate choice for the first Holmes story to be read by a newcomer to the Canon.
Some members thought the strength of the London scenes and particularly the wonderful introduction scene made the book an obvious starting point - others felt the disjointed nature of the American scenes and the untypical nature of the novel made it more appropriate for later study, perhaps after the Adventures.
There was a practical demonstration of the unlikelihood of imobilising a man with a towel tied round his ankles, and much more general talk on Holmes and his world.
More to come...

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Meetings past, meetings to come...

The fatal combination of being very busy, very tired and very lazy has meant a near-unforgiveable delay in posting on this blog. If there's still anybody out there, sorry, and I promise to be more regular in the future.
The last meeting in the Boswell was another great success, with a near perfect turn-out by previous attendees, plus a few more new faces.
I'll be posting more details about that meeting in a day or two.
One of the main points to be discussed was a canonical name for the society. Many suggestions were made, from the St Simon Parallels to the Scotchwoman's Breakfasts. None really hit the mark, until The Self-Important Fools - a reference from the Illustrious Client - was mentioned. There was also a groundswell of support for Scotland Yard to be included, as the most obvious Caledonian reference in the canon.
Eventually, and after much discussion, argument, counter-argument and hissy fits -particularly from the chairman - The Self Important Scotland Yarders was settled upon.
The Sherlock Holmes Society of Scotland will be retained as a subsidiary title.
Mr Scott Stevenson, our resident Vernet, has designed a few potential logos for the society, the latest and most popular being the following:

Pretty damned excellent work, Mr Stevenson. The image is of the Holmes statue Picardy Place in Edinburgh
(now in storage until the tramworks are finished around Leith Walk), and the font is Baskerville, a beautiful typeface designed by John Baskerville in 1757.