Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Watsonian - Review number four - 'Doctor Watson, Detective?' - by Dan Andriacco

I must admit, I was almost quality of theorizing "before (I) had all the evidence." I was jumping to conclusions, expecting to give Dan my first 'bad' 'review'. Neither the word 'bad' nor 'review' would be entirely correct. Just because I don't agree, doesn't make it bad. And just because I read it and say something about it, probably doesn't constitute a review.

Just my opinions in an effort to foster discussion.

Let's just say I almost started out expecting to give less then my so far usual five pipes.

Part of that comes from liking the place I have Watson firmly planted in.
He is the most British of the duo. Stalwart, loyal, brave, head strong, tenacious, a little naive, to trusting and the rock that is everything English.
The moral compass.
I don't think he is dumb by any means. And while I agree he could be very observant, I think he would have fallen more into the Lestrade detective category than the Holmes one.
Watson is the reason I read the books
But, while I agree there would be no Holmes without Watson. I also believe there would be no Watson without Holmes. No Stanley without Livingston. No Laurel without Hardy. No Lone Rancher without Tonto.
I was afraid Mr. Andriacco was going to try to convince me otherwise.

I follow Dan's blog and have read some of his works, so I knew he loves his subject and is a very capable writer.

He had all the right arrows in his quiver.

He seemed to have all his ducks in a row at the beginning of his piece. He seemed to be leading up to some grand argument that if we only listened to what Holmes and he  had to say about Watson, we would have to agree with him about Watson's abilities as a detective.

I really didn't want to go any further, but I was hoping to find a flaw in what I though his argument would be.

He even quoted, several times, HOUN.
My favorite.
Sure, I to think Watson did a pretty good job in HOUN. But HOUN was pretty fairly about following one clue to the next. Not really figuring something out as a theory and then developing it into a case. Holmes as always been about finding a theory or two on what he knows or hears, then eliminating the theories that don't fit the facts.

I had to force myself to go on.

And I am glad I did.

Dan turned a corner and started to remind me how good Watson was at observing. Seeing things. Maybe not the same way Holmes did, but in his own way, he didn't miss much. Well, I guess you kinda have to be to be a doctor or a writer, or biographer. I just said as much about Watson in my last review, stating how much he says in so few words. Maybe more like an artist, who are also great observers.
He never did argue that he thought Watson would also be a great detective. His stance was that Watson was also good as an observer.

Watson is very head strong, we see it many times. Times when he wants to rush into action, when something more subtle is required. With a temperament like that, I argue, he would not be able to see the smaller nuance's of a situation. In this way he would be more Lestrade like.
His form of detection would take the more plodding path, with great energy when the blood hound was nearer it's pray. Action more than thought. And that is way he was so valuable to Holmes.
While not completely opposites, they were near enough to attract.

And gosh darn it! That's the way I want my Watson.

Thanks Dan for not trying to destroy my image.

I liked the way Dan brought his conclusions together towards the end of his piece, coming to, I think, the same conclusions I have about Watson, (although he said it a lot better than I could.)

Holmes wouldn't have the patience's to chronicle his cases in a way people outside the detective field would want to read. Watson the observer, not detective, does. Watson is more the artist of observation, while Holmes is the scientist.

But they are both equally important to the team. Being equal doesn't mean being the same. Jesse Owens and Mary Lou Retton are both equally great athletes, but they are not the same.

It is one of the things I think the new TV show 'Elementary' is going to eventually have trouble balancing; making Watson Holmes' equal.

Dan, thanks for making me sit up and take notice, and then allowing me to settle back down into my comfortable chair.

Glad I was able to still light up

No comments:

Post a Comment