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Saturday
May282011

Pining for Questions

The Sherlockian by Graham Moore

Great fun! The narrative switches between Conan Doyle trying to use "Sherlockian" techniques to solve a murder in the year 1900, and a modern "Sherlockian" trying to solve a murder in the year 2010.

A pair of excerpts:

“Not knowing is the worst outcome for any mystery story, because we need to believe that everything in the world is knowable. Justice is optional, but answers, at least, are mandatory. And that’s what I love about Holmes. That the answers are so elegant and the world he lives in so ordered and rational. It’s beautiful.”
    “The romance of a rational world,” Sarah said. (page 256)

Harold found himself pining not for solutions, but for questions. For more. He realized that even after all the stories he’d read, he’d been left completely unprepared for this moment — for the quiet days after the climax when the world ticked onward. He’d read thousands upon thousands of moments of revelation, of grand gestures of explanation, in which the torn fabric of life had been stitched tightly shut and patted over. He’d read thousands of happy endings and thousands of sad ones, and he had found himself satisfied with both. What he had not read, he now realized, were the moments after the endings. If Harold believed in stories because they presented an understandable word . . . well, what happens when the world is understood and that understanding means nothing to anyone but you and the empty tumbler of bourbon nestled in your palm? Harold had understood that not finding a solution would have been awful, but he had never before thought that finding one, and then having actually to go on living with it, might be worse. (pages 286-287)

 

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