Ever evolving Sherlock Holmes

One drawback of detective stories is that they could easily become period pieces when their style and underlying technologies become antiquated

Atanu Biswas

Photo: Shutterstock

Literary critic Edmund Wilson published a much-hyped piece in The New Yorker in 1945, titled “Who Cares Who Killed Roger Ackroyd?” Well, although most people no longer recall Wilson, it appears that Roger Ackroyd’s murder continues to be a topic of interest, as was mystified in a landmark Hercule Poirot adventure penned by Agatha Christie in 1926.
Yes, detective fiction can sometimes be immensely popular. When Sir Arthur Conan Doyle “killed” Sherlock Holmes in an 1893 story because he felt he “had such an overdose of” the detective, his admirers were outraged and inconsolable. Over 20,000 readers left The Strand Magazine, where the Sherlock Holmes stories were published. And Conan Doyle had to orchestrate “The Return of Sherlock Holmes” 10 years later. Holmes, certainly, “has enjoyed the most vigorous afterlife of any fictional character”, as adaptation scholar Thomas Leitch not
Disclaimer: These are personal views of the writer. They do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or the Business Standard newspaper

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First Published: May 19 2023 | 10:30 PM IST

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