As we’re now midway through No-Shave-November, and more people around the world are probably taking advantage of this momentous month than usual due to worldwide work-from-home circumstances, I’m sure you’re itching to see some authors with the most legendary facial hair. I know what you’re wondering…. Does a correlation exist between beard length and literary strength? Is a connection to be found between the most memorable manuscripts and the mustachioed men who penned them? This list says it all:
As today is the one hundred and third anniversary of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's His Last Bow, so we're doing a deep dive into the Sherlock Holmes story that almost never was.
Sherlock Holmes is one of the most beloved characters in the British canon, and with countless adaptations and reimaginings, it was bound to spawn its own army of memes.
When Someone Tries to Talk to You Before 10AM
Image via Pinterest
It’s too early to be any kind of way, and that includes mad at you. Just look at that face! Get the man a cup of coffee. Of course, knowing him, he’s probably just thinking about cigarette ash or lock picking and barely heard, but I still think there’s a lot to relate to. I think most of us have been in a state at one point or another where someone was talking to us and we looked at them like this.
I’m Basically a Genius
Image via Cheezburger
All the clues are there! Isn’t it more or less the stock and trade of the mystery genre to make you feel like you could figure out for yourself, and there’s no better feeling than actually being able to do it, whether you’re watching or reading Sherlock Holmes. I mean, the euphoria of finding out who committed crimes at the end is good, but not as good as figuring it out yourself.
Image via Esmemes
Look, I think he’s valid, sitting in ridiculous ways and wearing a house robe, I’m actually pretty jealous. I know he deals with like, murder, every single day, but I’d still trade with him if it meant living like this. Just doing drugs and solving crime. Alright, I’d probably only enjoy one of those things, but this ridiculous posture really does make him an icon.
He’s All of Us
Image via Meme
We’ve all been through some things, ok? I confess I don’t have an alphabetized list, but there’s a club you can join if you want. It’s like, ‘who hurt you?’ and I mean, almost everyone. Plus, it’s like, you’re talking to a detective. I’m not an expert, but I’m not sure any detective runs into new situations just super trusting and optimistic. Who does?
It’s So Obvious!
Image via Pinterest
Alright, minimal shade, but at least Blue’s Clues actually showed us all the clues. Maybe a lot of shade. Idk. I’m just saying, if we’re not shown the clues, how are we supposed to know if he’s smart? I mean, you can just tell us, but it’s not the same visceral understanding we’d get if we know everything Holmes does and can’t figure out a single thing for ourselves.
Featured image via AstrologyMemes
“Dear Sir. I venture to submit to your notice the accompanying tale ‘The actor’s duel’. I once before trespassed upon your valuable time by sending up a sketch which did not come up to your standard – I trust that this may meet with a better fate. However defective the working out maybe I am conscious that the denouement is both original and powerful, worthy, I hope, of the traditions of your magazine.”
The above excerpt is taken from a letter written by Sherlock Holmes creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The British writer would have turned 160 years old this past week (May 22). On Wednesday, The National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh shared a picture of the letter on their Twitter account while appropriately hashtagging #SherlockHolmesday. Doyles’ words are indicative of a crucial period in the life of all creatives—a time when one is starving for success.
137 years ago, before knighthood, Arthur Conan Doyle found himself at the ripe age of twenty-two, (tactfully) pleading for publication. Like all young writers, Doyle was equipped only with a vague understanding of what he wanted to say to the world—it was just a matter of finding the right words. Regardless, his letter conveys obvious confidence in his ability to wow.
The “original” and “powerful” denouement Doyle refers to is the climax of his short story—after having stopped the abduction of his sister, a young actor (who had just won the role of Laertes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet) finds out that one of the kidnappers is a colleague of his, a fellow actor playing Hamlet in the same play. In their next performance, the two use real swords in a duel, which grants the production a realness that the audience uproariously applauds. The crowd is unaware the two are actually fighting to the death. The duel plays out in a very art-imitating-life/Aronofsky-Black-Swan-esque way that makes the reader question the integrity of artistic perception.
According to an article on edinburghlive‘s website, Doyle asked Blackwood’s Magazine to consider his short story, then entitled “The Actor’s Duel.” At the beginning of the letter, Doyle reveals the publication had previously rejected another one of his short stories, “The Haunted Grange of Goresthorpe.” Despite his best efforts, Blackwood’s turned Doyle down again (idiots); however, “The Actor’s Duel” was eventually published two years later as “The Tragedians” in Bow Bells Magazine.
In 1887, A Study in Scarlett was published—the first of many stories concerning the adventures of detective Holmes and Dr. Watson. In addition to tales surrounding the famous detective, Doyle also wrote many science fiction and historical and novels, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction, yadda, and yadda. The writer was prolific and will go down in history as the man who made Benedict Cumberbatch what he is today… whatever that is, exactly.
Laura Ingalls Wilder didn’t start writing until she was forty-three, and she wasn’t published until sixty-five—two full decades later. Harry Bernstein didn’t get published until he was ninety-six. Susan Boyle didn’t “dream the dream” until she was forty-seven, and Colonel Harland Sanders didn’t franchise his fried chicken business until well past forty. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s successes may not have come as late in life as those of the other icons mentioned, but this letter is an important reminder: (Yoda voice) the greatest teacher, failure is.
Featured Image Via Sherlock-Sherlockian.com