Last year, my sister's intended trip to Fort Wayne to spend Christmas with me and mutual friends was thwarted by the weather -- you remember that lovely ice storm, don't you? So she came up the following week, and we celebrated Christmas on New Year's Day. That was such a good experience that we decided to start a new tradition, so we'll be celebrating the holiday a week late this year, too.
That means a Christmas day with nothing specific to do, so my friend and I are going to do dinner and a movie. Some Chinese restaurants will be open on Friday, as you might remember from a certain movie (fa ra ra ra ra!), and we found one near Jefferson Pointe. Neither of us are much interested in the excesses of "Avatar," and I think I've talked her into seeing "Sherlock Holmes," which looked intriguing from the trailer.
It looks darkly comic, and if it has at least a halfway good mystery, I won't mind all the crap they stuff into modern movies, and I'll probably even get used to Robert Downey Jr.'s British accent. Some critics are saying that Holmes purists might be dismayed, but there's really not much to be a purist about:
Except that the most faithful followers of Holmes know that his legacy is already a mishmash of invention and reinvention. Take those deerstalker hats. Almost nothing is more associated with Holmes than the checkered twill cap with brims in front and back and a pair of ear flaps on the sides. In Doyle's stories, however, there is precious little evidence that Holmes ever wore such a thing. It entered the popular imagination because of Sidney Paget, a magazine illustrator whose work accompanied Doyle's fiction.
Doyle himself would have had mixed feelings about the rebooted Holmes. He suffered from a love-hate relationship with the character whose name has eclipsed his own. A market-minded author, Doyle certainly appreciated the goal of putting Holmes in front of large audiences. Yet he almost resented the runaway success that made him the most celebrated writer of his time.