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Leading the Story via Misleading. Levels of Deception in "The Hound of the Baskervilles" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Master's Thesis 2017 46 Pages

Didactics - English - Literature, Works

Excerpt

CONTENTS

Preface

1 Introduction: The Sherlock Holmes Phenomenon

2 The Haunting and Deceiving Text
2.1 Background and Summary
2.2 The Real Curse: Hound or Hoax?
2.3 The Motif of Deception
2.3.1 Deception Level I: The Author’s Deceiving Game
2.3.2 Deception Level II: The ‘Watsonian Narrator’
2.3.3 Deception Level III
2.3.3.1 Holmes and Dr Mortimer’s Walking Stick
2.3.3.2 No Time for Dartmoor
2.3.3.3 Stapleton and his Hound

3 Reading Pleasure
3.1 One of the Game’s Rules: ‘It Must Be Honest with the Reader’
3.2 The Irony Behind the Puzzle-solving Challenge

Conclusion

Bibliography

Appendix

PREFACE

When I heard about Sherlock Holmes for first time I was attending high school. I still remember my first fascination after reading an adapted version of The Hound of the Baskervilles for intermediate learners. It was unclear to me then whether the detective was a purely fictional personality or had really existed and was made to detective-mystery stories. Until recently and before a more thorough reading of the novel, I was unaware of many details that made the adventure so mysteriously special and terrific, because the basic recollection that has been accompanying me all these years was the fact that the hell-hound was just a trick, a perfectly-staged fraud and nothing ghostly. I reconsidered this motif of deceiving and surprising the reader, and decided to examine its different aspects within the fictional and non-fictional communication. In what ways does deception mainly occur in the fictional discourse? Is there any misleading and deceiving caused by the narrator and how exactly? How does Conan Doyle deceive his readership and how is this surprise justified?

The thesis elaborates on all three levels of deception and shows via their crucial role in the sequence of events how the reader is deceived into believing that at some point a ghost or something out of this world will appear. Dr Mortimer’s account of an old curse and the results of his recent investigation predeclare already from chapter 2 the beginning of a mystery against the supernatural. In fact, many events as well as all suspicions raised by them form very well-staged instances of deception in a way the reader cannot foresee. In contrast to stories where natural and supernatural elements co-exist and remain by convention outside nature’s order when approached by the rational mind, like, for instance, in Poe’s Ligeia or in classic vampire stories, here the alleged supernatural element is founded upon superstition. At the same time, it is negated by a scientific explanation which gradually transforms the whole adventure into a cunningly prepared fraud. As we will see, both central elements of the Hound (from now on, this abbreviated form will be used instead of the novel’s full title), i.e. the detective-mystery side and the Gothic-horror surprise, function on the edge of an effort to deceive. But who deceives whom exactly and by what means? In particular, we will observe (1) how the author of the story deceives and, in a way, might “disappoint” the superstitious part of his readership by presenting a rational explanation of the allegedly demonic hound of the Baskerville curse; (2) how Watson’s narrating style not only intrigues and promises a wonderful reading, but also misleads the reader to the desired goal, and as such intensifies the effect of deception; and (3) how Sherlock Holmes decides to plan his investigation in secrecy and without sharing his thoughts with the reader. He lies and then commits himself to own acting that later proves to have deceived Watson and us as readers. Similarly, Jack Stapleton, the hound’s owner, keeps his real identity secret. He is one of the heirs to Baskerville Hall, but he chooses the criminal’s path to eliminate his relatives. As a clever man he takes advantage of the old curse, stages a hell-hound and spreads fear opposite the superstitious people within the storyline (and even the real world). His actions provoke reason—being represented by Holmes’ observational skills—by making his enormous hound look spectral and demonic, as described in the curse. The deceiving plots function side by side with the main storyline and aim not only at preventing the reader from guessing the story’s outcome or the intentions of a character, but also at keeping suspense and tension really high.

The introductory chapter provides a brief retrospection of the ‘Sherlock Holmes phenomenon’ in Doyle’s times and in our days. It also offers some important background information on the rise of detective-mystery stories and the socio-political circumstances that necessitated the emergence of a figure like Holmes in the literary scene.

Chapter 2 elaborates on three different levels of deception as mentioned above. On one occasion, deception can be said to be synonymous to superstition because it results from lack of observation or sufficient scientific knowledge in order to explain the inexplicable. This type of deception is classified as such due to the constantly advancing scientific achievements, the questioning and decline of Christian faith during the Victorian era, the triumph of rationality over superstition and the more systematic examination of various peculiar phenomena. To a certain degree, Doyle represents all these because he is a man of science and knows how to ‘enlighten’ or teach the public of his times by using scientific insights and some far-fetched observations and deductions which are performed by his hero. On another occasion, deception is bound to Watson’s narrating style. Finally, the third and most explicit type is part of the story’s plot. Holmes, on the one hand, lies to Watson and deceives him in order to confront the upcoming danger in utmost secrecy.

There is no evil intention here. On the other hand, Jack Stapleton, who represents an impious fraud and wants to gain for his own sake deceives in order to fulfil his crime. His evil intentions render him the main source of deception by means of disguising himself, his wife and his hound so that they look much different than what they are in reality.

Finally, chapter 3 provides some thoughts and conclusions about reading pleasure and reader expectations, but also some critical ‘rules’ that pertain to the reader’s involvement in the story. Those ‘rules’ of the later Golden Age of detective fiction were proposed by famous authors, mainly Father Ronald Knox, Raymond Chandler and S. S. Vine, who talked about ‘honesty’ to the reader, various aesthetic values and the chance to enable a parallel solving of the mystery along with the detective. Nevertheless, a recent approach to this puzzle-solving aspect shows how impossible it is to solve Conan Doyle’s mysteries by following certain clues and to arrive at fixed solutions. Some examples from the Hound will be offered, but the general outcome is that Holmes’ cases were meant to provide an entertaining reading rather than a brain teaser.

The present thesis has been submitted for the partial fulfilment of the requirements for the Master of Education.

1 INTRODUCTION

THE SHERLOCK HOLMES PHENOMENON

It seems that sometimes there is significant uncertainty or even confusion between fact and fiction. According to a survey that was held in 2011, for example, many British could not easily decide whether certain literary characters actually existed or were purely fictional. About 20 per cent of the one-thousand adults surveyed answered that the famous detective Sherlock Holmes was a historical personality.1 How impressive for today’s standards in a century of high technology and perpetual information! Considering not only the literary works that raised him high or the numerous authors that were inspired by him, but also his unique, constantly growing and never-ending cinematographic career, impersonation on stage and in various modern media including video games, Holmes’ centennial omnipresence in our world and daily life might baffle even the most unsuspecting minds. In a manual with the complete Holmes canon, Campbell starts his introductory chapter with the following sentence: ‘It’s difficult to imagine a world without Sherlock Holmes.’; and the foreword by Green in the same book fluctuates in the same wave: ‘The fame of Sherlock Holmes goes beyond the known universe into the galaxies beyond, (…)’,2 which, even if they sound so poetic and dreamy, in fact they could refer to a real person. Baker Street is real, too, and it hosts since 1990 Holmes’ ‘possessions’ in a museum that anyone can visit.3 Among many, a bronze statue was erected in Holmes’ honour in the same area, outside Baker Street tube station, and another one in the Swiss town Meiringen, his place of ‘death’.4 Why is someone who was never born and never died, a product of pure imagination, honoured as if he really existed? The confusion becomes evident when we observe how fiction manages in various ways to intervene in real life, such as through popularity and advertisement, to mislead public impressions and, finally, to establish itself afresh based on rumours, trends or great enthusiasm. One possible explanation for the survey’s results could be that an educational gap, lack of correct information or even a pure misunderstanding must lie somewhere within the transmission of Sherlock Holmes, whose name managed to become more famous than his creator’s.5 But is this all?

Let us travel back to the year 1893 for a while, when The Final Problem was published, and examine Holmes’ fans of the time. In the above short story the great detective is killed by falling down the Reichenbach waterfalls in Switzerland. This was not an accident. Doyle intentionally brought an end to Holmes’ literary career because he preferred to occupy himself with more interesting matters such as historical fiction.6 But in the readership’s incredible uproar that followed, Doyle was accused of murder! Over twenty-thousand subscriptions to Strand Magazine, where the Holmes stories were being published, were cancelled instantly; newspapers were running obituaries, and readers were mourning and writing furious letters to the magazine’s editor.7 Even the Prince of Wales disapproved of the great detective’s chosen fate, and it was rumoured that Queen Victoria, too, was not amused with the news.8 Penzler says that in the beginning of the twentieth century Sherlock Holmes was believed to be one of the three most famous persons—next to Jesus Christ and Harry Houdini—to have ever lived. And since many knew what he looked like, what he did for a living etc., it was absurd to hear several people claim that he was a fictional character.9 Holmes’ popularity reached the other side of the Atlantic, too. After William Gillette’s interest in a theatrical adaptation of some Holmesian adventures and his consequent contacts with Conan Doyle,10 the latter was motivated to write another story featuring Holmes. This was The Hound of the Baskervilles (1902), which featured allegedly posthumously one more adventure of the ‘dead’ detective and made a sensation in Strand. Soon, and under public pressure, the author decided to resurrect his hero by giving an explanation of his survival in The Adventure of the Empty House; and his adventurous life continued. Now, considering all these, what kind of literary achievement is this, which has earned the public’s appreciation and satisfaction far beyond the forseeable borders, has then bound the public with the hero, and in the end made it believe that Holmes is as real as ever?11 And yet, he has been characterised as ‘one of the most celebrated eccentrics’ that English literature has ever produced, due to the odd qualities that constitute his personality, such as his addiction to drugs and smoking, his excessive untidiness, his love for disguise, his rejection of the passions of the flesh, his unusually close companionship with Watson, his Bohemianism and other peculiarities, all of which form undoubtedly a strange contrast to the genius of rationalism he is.12

The public’s tendency to believe that the fictional hero existed was one of Conan Doyle’s main irritations in the Holmes stories. Somehow he had unintentionally managed to deceive the public into believing that his hero was real and lived in our world. Many of his enthusiasts sent him letters asking for the detective’s autograph; some elderly ladies wanted to become his housekeepers after Doyle had announced in a story that Holmes was retiring from London in order keep bees in Sussex; French children were dying for a visit to his lodgings in Baker Street, but Doyle was not pleased at all with this sort of false history, no matter how ironic it was that his writing career was benefitting incredibly much from the whole phenomenon.13 In fact, all this is simply about pure enthusiasm: Holmes was and still is such an amusing personality that his readers prefer to imagine him as a real person instead of a fictional one, like tribute for tribute’s sake. Yet, behind the readership’s unusual response lie very important socio-political factors that caused many to embrace Holmes as the ultimate representative of the Victorian mind’s next nourisher.

The description and conception of Holmes was dominated by a rationalist discourse that was reflected in the daily lives of middle-class writers and readers. Their lives in Britain of the late nineteenth century were continuously characterised by doubt because of the challenging status of traditional beliefs, particularly by Darwinism, which had shaken the foundations that considered humanity as the end product of creation; it had also shaken belief in God, divinity and the whole Christian theology. In addition to this, a number of factors that co-occurred during the last decade of the nineteenth century—mainly urbanisation of the population, capitalistic practices in economy, political threats from working-class, the rise of the ‘New Woman’ with her demands for social and political recognition, but also the threats she posed to the traditional family—challenged the Victorian patriarchal model and found refuge in the establishment of practices and institutions that aimed at maintaining the traditional behavioural patterns, beliefs and value systems. Within such a changing environment full of contradictions and doubts, the society was calling for domestic security. The effort paved a fertile ground for the cultivation and study of human mind and behaviour: the science of psychology.14 Doyle is one of its many representatives. Holmes’ investigating methods by interrogation, observation and deduction challenged the concerned persons’ intentions to deceive, obscure, conceal, mislead etc. (whenever this was the case) and enabled a deeper reading of their mind, where all false information, superstition, fears or uncertainty had a logical explanation and lead to the truth. The detective’s acuity and intuition represent the awakening scientific mind: ‘The world is full of obvious things, which nobody by any chance ever observes.’15 For example, when Holmes studies the Baskerville family portraits in the Hound and notices physical similarities between Hugo and Stapleton, which provide the most important clue to the solution of the whole puzzle,16 he actually confirms the arguments of Victorian psychologists and criminologists about the transmission of hereditary traits to younger generations. Moreover, Doyle’s times coincided with the development of scientific methods for analysing the body, e.g. finger-printing, police photographs and others, which justify their importance in many Holmes stories.17 In his times Holmes was understood as ‘the ultimate rational being, (…) a champion of the solid, masculine, British mind in the face of foreign mysticism and irrationality’,18 in which science and reason are associated with (the British) masculinity, whereas irrationality or intuition are associated with the foreign (e.g. imperialism, ‘lesser’ or uncivilised nations) and feminine.

In short, we could opine that it is due to the plausibility of rationality and to scientific attestations that the readership could make a literary escape in order not only to satisfy its curiosity and entertain itself with something new, but also to become more aware and more critical to that which was considered unkown or uncertain. Despite the conservative ideologies that Holmes’ social values, such as solidity, morality and even eccentricity, which are expressed through Conan Doyle’s Victorian attitudes, the ambiguous mixture of rationality and decadence regarding criminal activities must have played an important role in establishing a solidifying and entertaining genre.19

An important reason why the detective became such a popular literary figure is believed to be sourced in the perpetual Victorian obsession to detect crime due to anxieties about identity in a modern urban society. The fear that it is almost impossible to distinguish the true gentleman from the impostor in a socially heterogeneous modern city can be found already in the Elizabethan and Jacobean period. The Victorians realised relatively early the size of the cities they were living in. The population of London grew from a million to over six and a half million; the number of English cities with 50,000 or more inhabitants grew from five to forty-nine. The modern urban social revolution made it necessary to find a way to visually mark the criminal element. Sooner or later, crime fiction came to demonstrate how a trained and sensitive eye could identify the criminal within the crowd.20 What is more, it is well-known that the Victorians were obsessed with order, punctuality and correct detail. Further expectations were created for detective- mystery stories due to this disposition. Readers who were capable of noticing unconvincing compositions did not hesitate to tell writers of inaccuracies and inconsistencies such as, for instance, in Wilkie Collins’ story, where the author had to change a train schedule in the book version of The Woman in White after the discovery of an error in the serialised version. The readership felt so involved in solving the mystery like a puzzle that it insisted on accurate details for logic’s sake. This can be said to form an early stage of the readers’ identification with the detective and their effort to investigate the mystery alongside with him.21

If this love for detective fiction mirrored the Victorian society inasmuch as to seek answers to life’s problems or mysteries, then, on the one hand, we can safely turn to the same direction if we want to justify Sherlock Holmes’ popularity and emergence as an inevitable cultural icon that nurtured the inquisitive and gradually malleable Victorian mind. On the other hand, the reader might have felt responsible for ‘learning’ how to identify the impostor and mark the criminal element in real life via the insights that a detective-mystery offered. Finally, both for new and old readers of Conan Doyle’s canon it was an enormous sense of relief that the great detective did not ‘die’, after all. Nicholas Meyer, the famous author of some stories featuring Holmes, contributed much to this premise and it has been proposed that because of him as well as some other authors Sherlock Holmes is still alive.22

2 THE HAUNTING AND DECEIVING TEXT

2.1 BACKGROUND AND SUMMARY

In 1887 Conan Doyle used some hints from Poe and Gaboriau as basis for producing his four novels and the fifty-six short stories. In particular, Sherlock Holmes was modelled after Poe’s character C. Auguste Dupin and Dr Joseph Bell, a professor from his medical school. The repetitiveness of his standard detective case is believed to have caused him frustration as an artist, but it resulted in enriching him as a story-teller, as he proved to have manipulated his detective in a way that his signature performance maintained an undiminished brilliance and insatiability for the demanding readership.23

At least for the time Holmes was considered ‘dead’, the Hound is understood as a posthumous Holmesian adventure. Before its publication it appeared serialised in The Strand Magazine between August 1901 and April 1902, and surprised Conan Doyle’s fans with the reappearance of the legendary detective. In 1902 Publishers Weekly stated that the novel was the finest detective story to have ever been written and that no one would be reading it in 2002. McGregor believes that the advertiser could not have been more wrong in his prediction, as not only was it not the finest detective story of its time, but it has also managed to endure longer than a century.24 It differs very much from the rest of Holmes’ stories in the way Conan Doyle presents his setting as an antithesis between urban and country life, and how he has grasped a unique spirit of topography for Dartmoor with its haunting legends and Gothic mystery, so remote in time and place that it provides an ideal ground for supernatural experiences.25 Among motifs such as oppressed women and dangers caused by criminals, it exhibits deception in the characters’ acting, which is essential both for the criminal’s survival and the detective’s strategy to solve the mystery. As such, these elements facilitate, too, the narrating style because they enable Watson to hide a character’s intentions from the reader or a character inside the story and, thus, he can surprise us when the correct moment arrives. What makes these elements special in the Hound is the fact that unlike the usual Holmes’ stories that are concerned with various cases of peculiar individuals and demonstrate the triumph of rational approach over their problems, Holmes now has to explain through his methods something supposedly outside nature’s order. According to Clausson’s approach, in order to solve the mystery of the hell- hound, Holmes does not really adopt the investigative method of a scientist who uses empirical methods, but the contemplative pose of the art connoisseur and aesthete with a static, motionless figure in a pose of fixed attentiveness. All his talk about analytic reasoning and the scientific use of the imagination constitutes a repression of the artistic stillness and imagination, which is the real source of his success as a detective.26 Clausson’s view is undoubtedly reflected, for example, in Baker Street, where Holmes ‘visits’ Devonshire in spiritual stillness and relative absence of motion, but particularly in Dartmoor, where Watson describes the mysterious man upon the tor as ‘black as an ebony statue’ and uses very revealingly the keywords ‘silent and motionless figure’.27

Although the novel is meant to be a detective-mystery featuring the long-missed Holmes, it actually forms a blend of detective elements and Gothic horror, the ghostly part of which is not real but a mere hoax. There are some critical views regarding the extent to which the story is considered a detective mystery due to the absence of classical detection —or at least due to the restricted detection that takes place—but also due to the lack of murder and to the fact that the alleged murder weapon is a very poorly chosen one and it does nothing special but bite.28 Also, since the reader is misled to a supposed demonic horror and is deceived in the end, a second reading would not have the same thrilling effect as in the case of a story with a ‘non-fake’ horror. This suggests that the motif of deception both in the character’s actions and in Watson’s narrating style is decisive for the classification of the work as a ghost or horror story, and antecedes the eerie elements themselves due to that they only form the narrator’s perspective and his effort to intrigue the reader, as we will discuss later.29 So, as soon as the main secret is revealed, it cannot be undone; i.e. there is no ghost to be expected any more in further readings. A concise summary of the novel follows below:

Dr Mortimer visits Holmes and Watson in Baker Street and brings forth a very old manuscript that contains information about Sir Hugo Baskerville’s evil past and his alleged death by a hellish hound. From that point onwards, a curse is said to have befallen the family line. Sir Charles Baskerville, a friend of Dr Mortimer, died recently under circumstances suggesting that the curse is real. Being Baskerville Hall’s next heir Sir Henry might be in danger, too. Dr Mortimer is concerned about his safety and asks Holmes for his advice. He also gives an account of Devonshire, Baskerville Hall is, and describes the moor’s neighbours: Mr and Miss Stapleton, Mr Frankland and his daughter. As soon as Sir Henry arrives, it immediately becomes evident that he is being followed by a stranger or strangers whose intentions are not clear. They may be trying to warn him in order to protect him or also to harm him. After a series of events Holmes acknowledges how urgent the situation is and warns Sir Henry about an upcoming danger. He then suggests that Watson shall accompany him as a protector and investigator of whatever may occur. The detective cannot join the other men to Dartmoor in Devonshire due to another important case he has to solve in London, but it is agreed that Watson forwards his news and observations to Holmes. Watson, Sir Henry and Dr Mortimer head to Dartmoor. The moor is being terrorised by a very dangerous murderer, Selden, and by rumours that the curse’s blazing hell-hound might have returned. During his stay in Baskerville Hall Watson discovers that Mr Barrymore signals Selden in the night in order to bring him food. It is later revealed that the notorious murderer is Mrs Barrymore’s younger brother. Sir Henry and Watson attempt to catch him, but without success, and Watson notices at one moment a strange man on a hill, tall and thin, with the moonlight behind him. He could be the unknown person who was following Sir Henry in London and warned him against coming to Dartmoor; or possibly a warden. Later on, Miss Stapleton mistakes Watson for Sir Henry and warns him to leave Devonshire urgently. Later, Sir Henry, after his date with the woman, is overwhelmed by her beauty and character and is about to confess his love for her when her brother, Jack Stapleton, suddenly appears and reprimands him for his actions. During a dinner with Sir Henry and the Stapletons, Watson discovers that a young woman, Laura Lyons, had written a letter to Sir Charles asking him to meet her at the spot where he was chased by the hound and frightened to death. The two meet and Watson finds out about her mysterious note to Sir Charles after Stapleton’s urging. The case looks as if Stapleton is trying to benefit from something. Upon Watson’s return to Baskerville Hall a young boy is observed through Frankland’s telescope; he runs across the moor towards the Neolithic ruins on the hillside. Watson suspects that the supplies carried by him must be for the tall and thin stranger whom he saw earlier. All these observations are being forwarded to Holmes in letter form. Then, at the peak of his confusion Watson decides to investigate the area with the Neolithic settlement and the huts, in one of which he discovers Holmes keeping watch on the moor and receiving the reports there. The detective had lied about his urgent business in London. He explains his plan and claims that Stapleton is ‘their man’, who apparently is interested in Baskerville Hall. It is still unclear what his motives are. At some point during Watson’s and Holmes’ conversation a horrifying scream confirms Selden’s death by the hell-hound. Fear occupies Sir Henry and the company. Later, at Baskerville Hall, Holmes observes in a portrait of Hugo that Stapleton looks like him. He concludes that he is a Baskerville whose existence had remained unknown. Stapleton is another heir to the mythical Baskerville wealth. Holmes plans to use Sir Henry as bait in order to ensnare the hound and kill it. With the support of Inspector Lestrade from Scotland Yard, the hound is ambushed and shot to death a breath before it managed to kill Sir Henry. It was an unusually big hound smeared with phosphorus and looked like a ghost in the foggy night of the events.

[...]


1 The survey included further fictional characters, but also real ones who where mistaken for fictional. For more details see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1373505/One-Brits-think-Sherlock-Holmes- Miss-Marple-Blackadder-historical-figures.html (2017.05.03).

2 Campbell 2012, pp. 11, 13.

3 Luxury apartments are to be seen in Baker Street 221B today. At the time the stories were written, the addresses reached only 100. The middle section of today’s Baker Street used to be called York Place, and the street north of Marylebone Road and up to Regent’s Park was called Upper Baker Street. Interestingly, in the original manuscript notes for A Study in Scarlet, Doyle named Holmes’ street “Upper Baker Street,” so perhaps this was where it was meant to be located. The one thing that is certain is that there was no 221b. Later, in the 1930s, the entire York Place was renamed as Baker Street, and all the addresses were renumbered. This did create a 221 Baker Street, which was the home of a financial firm called Abbey National. For years the firm employed a secretary to answer mail for Mr Sherlock Holmes! See also Doyle and Crowder 2010, pp. 161-2; cf. Campbell 2012, p. 16.

4 For more Holmes kudos, see also Doyle-Crowder 2010, pp. 11-2.

5 In fact, since the beginning of the twentieth century there has been a cultivation and perpetuation of the Holmes’ phenomenon by fans and scholars who wrote about his methods and his adventurous world as if he were real. The best example of this is The Baker Street Journal. It was founded in 1946 and concentrated on publishing essays, commentaries and research papers that “play the game,” a term Sherlockians use for pretending that the stories are accounts of real persons and events. The endless list counts literally several tens of thousands of publications! For more, see Doyle and Crowder 2010, p. 11.

6 For more details, see Campbell 2012, p. 14.

7 Boyland 2015, p. xv.

8 Atkinson 1996, p. 140.

9 Penzler 2015, xv.

10 For more details, see Ascari 2007, p. 157.

11 Cf. another poll of British crime-fiction fans - results posted in October 2015 - almost half of whom voted for Holmes as the greatest detective of all times; in http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article- 3277613/Elementary-choice-greatest-detective-Sherlock-Holmes-tops-poll-British-crime-fiction-fans.html (2017.05.03).

12 Cranny-Francis 1988, pp. 93-4; see also Briefel 2015, p. 469f.

13 Krasner 2016, p. 346. For some earlier attitudes and enthusiasm about the Holmes phenomenon, see also Haycraft 1941, pp. 57-61.

14 Cranny-Francis 1988, pp. 94-5. Similarly, in Ascari’s view religion had much to do with the development of the detective canon, which later came to replace the traditional biblical canon within an increasingly secularised society. But time when traditional values on metaphysical and existential matters were questioned, detective fiction reinstated truth and justice as the basic co-ordinates of its system of meaning. See also Ascari 2007, p. 158.

15 Hound, p. 22.

16 Ibid., pp. 122-3, 140. This is one of the examples that do not feature direct interrogation, but rather pure (visual) observation.

17 Smajić 2010, p. 133; also Briefel 2015, p. 471. Further assumptions of nineteen-th-century psychology on mental or mnemonic functions are presented in Holmes’ theory of mental structure in Conan Doyle’s very first novel A Study in Scarlet. For more on this, see Vrettos 2002, pp. 67-8.

18 Taylor-Ide 2005, p. 55; see also ibid., p. 68, fn. 3 for further references.

19 Cf. Cawelti 1997, p. 6; see also Cook 2014, p. 13f.

20 Schwarzbach 2002, p. 39.

21 Cf. Kobritz 2002, p. 36f and Cawelti 1976, p. 43.

22 Cf. French 1980, p. 1072.

23 Van Dover 2005, pp. 22, 28; see also “The Hound of the Baskervilles” 2009, p. 127.

24 McGregor 2011, p. 67.

25 Cf. Cook 2014, pp. 71, 76. Also, Doyle acknowledges his inspiration by elements from a Western legend that came to his attention through a journalist named Bertram Fletcher Robinson, who knew much about Dartmoor and its folklore. For more, see ibid., pp. 73-4.

26 Clausson 2009, pp. 36f, 37, 39-40, 45; see also p. 47, fn. 15. His view might provide a response to the criticism concerning the lack of crime-scene detection and deductive processes; see, for instance, McGregor 2011, p. 73.

27 See Hound, pp. 23, 86-7.

28 See McGregor 2011, pp. 67-8. For statistical information about the extent to which Holmes’ adventures involve murders, see Van Dover 2005, p. 35.

29 The story is additionally classified as such because in over 90 per cent of it, i.e. up to chapter 13, the mystery has not yet been solved. Until then, the supernatural cannot be excluded yet as possible explanation. In fact, only a very small part (chapter 14, which features the hound) contains the real truth.

Details

Pages
46
Year
2017
ISBN (eBook)
9783668602991
ISBN (Book)
9783668603004
File size
641 KB
Language
English
Catalog Number
v386176
Institution / College
University of Bonn – Anglistik, Amerikanistik und Keltologie
Grade
1,3
Tags
leading story misleading levels deception hound baskervilles arthur conan doyle

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Title: Leading the Story via Misleading. Levels of Deception in "The Hound of the Baskervilles" by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle