Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes is the supreme ‘character’ of nineteenth-century detective fiction. As such he has inspired two very different critical traditions: the biographical and the archetypal. The first consists of the lugubriously tongue-in-cheek following-up of minor inconsistencies about dates and names which accounts for the bulk of ‘Holmesian’ literature. The second, more critically respectable, avoids getting sucked into the labyrinth of particular cases by concentrating on the archetypal Holmes formula — drawing attention either to the famous ‘methods’ or to the romantic-scientific blend which accounts for Holmes’s overall appeal as a ‘personality’.1
KeywordsShort Story Secret Society Single Story Singular Character Detective Fiction
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- 6.See Umberto Eco and Thomas A. Sebeok (eds), The Sign of Three: Dupin, Holmes, Pierce (Bloomington, Ind., 1983), particularly the articles by Eco and Sebeok themselves, on Holmes’s relation to the logician Charles S. Pierce’s theories of deduction, induction and abduction, each dependent on a different type of syllogism.Google Scholar