Monday, June 23, 2014

Brad's summer reading list - #8 - The Man with the Twisted Lip (TWIS) Watson was missed more than we realize.

I like TWIS.

It has Mary, although she is never named.
Watson is married, but so far for just a short time.
They have a nice house with staff. Is Watson making good money or is Mary paying for it?

And it has another strong woman character.

It would be interesting to go back (yet another potential paper) and see how many shrinking violets (no pun intended) there are in the Canon. There are lots of men, noble and other wise, who crumble under the strain in one case or another. 
But how about the women. We don't find many, if any, who give up and just buckle under the pressure.
Well, except for maybe Katy Whitney. But she has after all been putting up with her husbands bad habits for a long time. But even her 'loss of self-control' is brief and no smelling salts are required.

But I think the key point to this case is how much Holmes missed and needed Watson. (As if we didn't already know that!)

One of the main things Holmes had always valued about Watson was his ability to remain silent, or as Holmes has recently commented, Watson's 'gift of silence'.
But it wasn't only that gift that was important, but also Watson's gift of being a good listener.

I think it could be said that Holmes was at his best when Watson was around as a sounding board for his ideas. Sometimes just saying something out load can clarify an idea, or even prove that the idea is not a good one.
And many times that was Watson's roll. Just having someone to say things out loud to would validate or cancel a conclusion for Holmes. Watson's comments were not even necessary most of the time.

But in TWIS Holmes does not have Watson as his filter, at least at the beginning,  and perhaps he then over thinks the problem of Neville St. Clair.
But once Watson finds Holmes (or is it the other way around) Holmes can once again verbally lay out his case and find or lose validation.
As we know, Watson may not be the light itself, but he at least proves to be the catalyst.

Oh, um, and it does have Mary.

And a reference to beer!

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