Skip to main content

A Case of Identity.... the game being afoot and all....

C is for Character.....and also for Caricature

Character --- an account of the qualities or peculiarities of a person or thing.

Caricature --- the ludicrously exaggerated qualities or peculiarities of a person or thing.

Or, more simply, character is the 'grocery list' version of someone. While, caricature is the mutated 'grocery list from Mars' version of someone.

One makes for a memorable figure, the other does not....

A Study in Sherlock

The intrepid consulting detective. Eager for a mystery to solve. Intelligent. Calculating. Precise. When taken at the surface, not very different from the mild-mannered, ex-army doctor, Watson. But, had the stories, which were chronicled by faithful, loyal Dr. Watson, focused on two such mild-mannered individuals, I fear we never would have met Sherlock Holmes.  

It is Sherlock's 'Martian grocery list' that cements him indelibly in our minds. His rat-like tenacity. His refusal to eat while working-- to prevent energies from being wasted on non-essential tasks such as digestion. His boredom-reducing cocaine addiction. And, of course, his ability to tell from a single speck of clay on the outside of your left shoe, where you've been for the past week as well as what you've eaten the last 3 breakfasts.

Of course, one can not forget Holmes' talent for stepping into the disguise of another. He was a master of self-caricature art!

It's obvious which specimen would firmly plant itself in the memory and consciousness of any reader. But, as the great detective said himself, "There is nothing so elusive as an obvious fact."

So, which shall it be......
"Excellent!" I cried.
"Elementary," he said.


  1. Love this post! As a Holmes fan, I'd say you sketched his personality perfectly.

    And "rat-like tenacity" is my favorite phrase of the day. What a smashing (and spot on) backhanded compliment!

    If you like Holmes, you might give Carole Nelson Douglas' Irene Adler series a go. I feel she's done an excellent job of developing a character worthy of capturing the attention of Holmes.

    Thanks for the delightful post!

    Dead Reckoning

  2. Oooo, I didn't know there was an Irene Adler series. I may just have to check that out. Thanks!

  3. Last summer I became mildly obsessed with Mr. Holmes and read everything by Arthur Conan Doyle. Best two weeks of the summer. Seriously. And keep in mind that I live next to a Sicilian beach.

  4. I would think the Sicilian beach would have made a GREAT place to indulge in all things Sherlock! I bet it made a wonderful backdrop :-)

  5. Really good pics of Holmes. I think I like Robert Downey Jr best, tho...
    Happy C & D day!

  6. Robert Downey, Jr. is very good...but, Jeremy Brett will always have a special place in my heart. He, to me, is the epitome of Sherlock Holmes :-)

    Happy C & D day to you as well!


Post a Comment

Share your thoughts!

Popular posts from this blog

Y is for Yeth Hound.....

Yeth Hound--- one of the incarnations of the "Black Dog" myth, this one located specifically, in Devon, England.

"Black Dogs" appear in myths across the world, most are associated with death and bad omens... i.e. Hell Hounds.

The Yeth Hound is said to be the spirit of an unbaptised child that takes the form of a headless black dog. The Hound wanders the woods at night making pitiful wailing sounds (though, I'm unclear as to how it makes wailing sounds without having a head).

The Black Dogs were possibly one inspiration from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's ghost dog in The Hound of the Baskervilles-- "an enormous coal-black hound, but not such a hound as mortal eyes have ever seen."

Heed Not, the Lonesome Cry
Heed not, the lonesome cry, the baleful wail echoing through the woods. Seek not, the black hound's sigh, look not where the headless creature stood.
One sound, your limbs will shake, your heart filled with the deepest dread. One glimpse, your sou…

B is for Banshee.....

Irish bean sidhe and Scottish Gaelic bean sith, literally, woman of fairyland.

The mythology and legend surrounding the Banshee is a bit mixed. The most readily accepted story is of a hag-like creature wailing the impending death of someone nearby-- most ancient Gaelic families, especially the more well-to-do families, had their own Banshees that attached themselves to the lineage of the family name. I suppose it was a sign of station for a family to be able to claim their own Banshee--- I mean, who needs an exciting/ tongue-wagging-inciting skeleton in your cupboard when you've got a Banshee wailing in your rafters?
The origins of the more familiar Banshee may have stemmed from the ancient Keeners-- women who were employed to sing a lament at a funeral. The best Keeners were in high demand to "wail" and "weep" for the great personage who had fallen.

The Great families would boast a bean sidhe or bean sith-- a fairy-woman Keener--and having foresight, the Keene…

S is for Siren.....

Sirens--- the beautiful, the terrifying.
Vicious, but, seemingly opportunistic creatures who lured sailors to their deaths by the sound of their captivating songs. Whether the stories of these creatures were a result of surviving sailors attempting to explain their near-miss in an effort to divert the fault of their shipwreck from their hands, or whether as a warning for those leaving to ensure their fidelity to the women they left behind, is unclear...

Considered the daughters of Achelous(river god), and though they have been blamed for the death of many sailors, they were not, however, sea deities. They have sometimes been called Muses of the lower world, their sad song causing the body and soul of those sailors who hear them to fall into a fatal lethargy.

In early myths, Sirens were the combined form of birds and women. Sometimes with a large female head, their bodies covered in bird feathers, their feet...scaled. Later myths show them as female figures with the legs of birds, tho…