Sherlock Holmes

Is Holmes a raving drug taking self obsessed sexually confussed git?

Or genius.

Why not both?

Certainly genius. Drug taking, yes, but he can stop any time he wants to:). Raving…not so sure. He talks a lot, but generally he is coherent, so I think no on this one. Self-obsessed–no more than anyone else, IMO. Sexually confused? He likes women, but only the really smart, really clever ones. That limits his options. Are you referring to his friendship with Watson? What sort of confusion have you noticed?

Great, you’ve just given me the image of The Great Detective tweaking away in a Victorian warehouse party in the East End, where a detached-looking cylinder-jockey mixes up some baroque beats on the twin phonographs, and racks of coloured oils carefully arranged over projecting limelights cast a spectral menagerie of chimerical figures over a rough-looking assembly of rakes and trollops engaged in a giddy quadrille.

Ridiculous. Everyone knows that Moriarty controlled that whole scene.

Welcome differant thinker. If you haven’t seen it already, be sure to check out the Staff Report Did Sherlock Holmes really exist?. It’s a great read, and discusses Holmes’ cocaine habit and various other bits of Holmesian speculation.

The negative associations of Holmes’ drug use come from later interpretations of his life, both because of the change in attitudes about drugs and because Holmes’ use of cocaine is the subject of the book and movie The Seven-Per-Cent Solution. I don’t think anything in the original Conan Doyle works suggests sexual confusion.

I’m voting for genius.

Hmm … “raving”? I don’t think Holmes ever raved in his life (but maybe there are some things Watson didn’t tell us). “Drug taking”? Yep, cocaine, mass quantities of pipe tobacco, and in at least one story, opium. “Self-obsessed”? That’s a tough call, but I don’t think so. Certainly he was self-assured to the nth degree, but his obsessions lay outside himself, mostly. “Sexually confused”? No, more like sexually absent, which disappointed Watson, as a happily married man. (See the last part of “The Copper Beeches.”)

Genius? Most definitely.

Best book on Holmes’ drug use:

Subcutaneously, My Dear Watson: Sherlock Holmes and the Cocaine Habit by Jack Tracy with Jim Berkey.

I think Doyle was the genius. Sherlock was the puppet. :dubious:


Doyle was the literary agent for Dr. Watson, who actually wrote the stories. The “Holmes as genius” has been well established.

See you at the Algonquin :wink:
Larry Mudd, that was beautiful… and terrifying.

I believe that Holmes raved about oysters and balancing the change in one’s pockets during The Adventure of the Dying Detective. But of course, he was faking it for Watson’s (and indirectly, the bad guy’s) benefit.

Still, why oysters? There’s something freudian here, I’m sure…

What I have long had a problem with is Hollywood’s portrayal Of Watson as a buffoon. This, of course, was most prominent in Nigel Bruce’s take on him. My view of him is as a smart (Holmes couldn’t stand him if he weren’t), athletic (otherwise his wound would have killed him), and with a military bearing. This wasn’t a clown but a man who had survived (barely) the Afghan War.

The Version of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” recently shown on Masterpiece Theater had Watson fairly good but blew it by showing Holmes shooting up while on a case. I thought he only did that when he was bored.

I don’t believe that oysters were considered an aphrodisiac until the twentieth century… OOPS, I’m wrong again:


But I think Holmes just mentioned them because it sounded weird.

True, as mentioned in the canon several times, in “The Sign of The Four”, Holmes says:

Sorry you didn’t like the idea of Holmes firing a gun during the course of an investigation…

…but he did.


Further, I believe one story (can’t recall which) reveals that Watson played rugby in college.

Drug Slang 101 for Fish

Shooting - firing a gun

Shooting up - injecting drugs


Gee, was I using incomprehensible Sixties Doper Cant again? :smiley:

God damn hippie.

Well in Without a Clue, Watson was the genius and Holmes was an actor Watson hired.

Although I speculate this might not be cannon.

Or canon, either.

And here I thought Sherlock Holmes fans were literate. :smiley: