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Great Debate 3 - Slides


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The Great Sherlock Holmes Debate 3 brings together leading experts and fans from around the world to discuss the best stories form the

The Great Sherlock Holmes Debate 3 brings together leading experts and fans from around the world to discuss the best stories form the

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  • Hello, I’m Bonnie MacBird, screenwriter (original writer of Tron) former story editor, and teach writing at UCLA Extension in Los Angeles, where I live. Lover of Conan Doyle since I discovered the stories at age 10 and fan of every recent film/tv version. Currently working on a period Holmes novel. Today will present on ACD’S THE SECOND STAIN.
  • It was one of Conan Doyle’s own favorites – in list he created in 1927 it ranks 8 of 12. So many reasons to love this story, four smaller and two bigger ones…..
  • It IN this story we get some of the best of HOLMES
  • 1. He’s at his most admirably defiant and independent, telling the Prime Minister of Britain to stuff it when he won’t confide the details Holmes needs to solve the case. Sherlock Holmes rose with a smile.     "You are two of the most busy men in the country," said he, "and in my own small way I have also a good many calls upon me. I regret exceedingly that I cannot help you in this matter, and any continuation of this interview would be a waste of time."
  • 2. He’s taking on something of international importance…thousands of lives hinge on his finding the missing letter …. something which seems impossible…
  • 3. While on the case, we get the eccentric man we know and love described through the eyes of his understanding friend as He ran out and ran in, smoked incessantly, played snatches on his violin, sank into reveries, devoured sandwiches at irregular hours, and hardly answered the casual questions which I put to him. .
  • 4. That terrific theatricality that characterizes Holmes at his most entertaining. Take the scene where the second stain is revealed and Holmes gets Lestrade out of the room so he can fling himself on the floor, to find the secret compartment only to literally SNARL on finding it empty.
  • But these are small reasons compared with the BIG TWO to love The Second Stain. SLIDE – WOMEN AND STEEL TRUE BLADE STRAIGHT The first concerns Holmes and by inference Conan Doyle - and WOMEN. And the second is the Steel True Blade Straight aspect of Doyle which underlies all his stories and which exhorts us to behave as our higher selves, giving us terrific examples while disguising this message in genre entertainment.   You get some of Doyle’s most quoted lines about women in this story. And The Second Stain sometimes referred to as evidence of Holmes’ misogyny, or Conan Doyle’s limited view of women. In fact, I think it the opposite. It’s a great example of Doyle’s admiration of strong women and sympathy for their plight.  
  • You get some of Doyle’s most quoted lines about women in this story. And The Second Stain sometimes referred to as evidence of Holmes’ misogyny, or Conan Doyle’s limited view of women. In fact, I think it the opposite. It’s a great example of Doyle’s admiration of strong women and sympathy for their plight.  
  • HOLMES AND WOMEN The character of Lady Hilda Trelawney Hope – while she has been snared by the mores and restraints of her time – and has made a mistake - is one of the most brave proactive, and ultimately honorable women in the Canon – not to mention glamorous – she is, as Watson describes, the most lovely woman in London .   And while she brings out famous Holmes quotes about women such as:   "Now, Watson, the fair sex is your department," said Holmes with a smile, when the dwindling frou-frou of skirts had ended in the slam of the front door . . (My take is that he’s mystified at this point in the case and this is his concession to asking Watson for his opinion on the interview that has just taken place with the formidable Lady Hilda. Also, it’s one of those bones he throws his friend occasionally, conceding a strong point.)
  • and this quote:   The motives of women are so inscrutable. …How can you build on such a quicksand? Their most trivial action may mean volumes, or their most extraordinary conduct may depend upon a hairpin or a curling tongs Again, a concession to a strong woman who has successfully masked her intentions – someone whose “tells” he cannot read – mainly because he does not have enough detail in his “mind palace”about women? Misogyny…. Not in my view. A lack of data perhaps. A concession of that fact.  
  • Now, some cite details like “the dwindling frou frou of skirts” as she leaves the Baker Street parlour as demeaning… but whom does it demean….where are these two men LOOKING? Right where her dress is designed to attract the eye. Woman have always used dress to signal and distract. That and her sitting with her back to the light… she’s a smart cookie.  
  •   As the story progresses, Lady Hilda also fascinates Holmes and arouses his curiousity – he MUST KNOW her reasons before he’ll hide her crime .
  • He’s tough with her – as the case requires – she’s tough herself – and this, I take, is a mark of respect as well as keeping first things first – he’ll avert a World War before avoiding harsh words with someone. We would not respect him otherwise. So when he confronts her with the evidence that she returned to the scene of the crime to steal the letter back…. This is not an example of misogyny or cruelty, it’s the ultimate detective on the job!   And finally, at the end of the story, he demonstrates ultimate empathy to the lady - and his real feelings.
  • And now, my final point. This story is replete with strong, principled people who tamp down their highly emotional natures in order to “do the right thing” or to “get the job done”. It’s kind of a textbook on “stiff upper lip” - a mode of behavior that has fallen so out of fashion as to be almost ridiculous to some. And yet we thrill to read it. For example TRELAWNEY HOPE: His handsome face was distorted with a spasm of despair, and his hands tore at his hair. For a moment we caught a glimpse of the natural man, impulsive, ardent, keenly sensitive. The next the aristocratic mask was replaced, and the gentle voice had returned Likewise at some point, the Prime Minister leaps to his feet admonishing Holmes, then checks himself, sits down, and plays the card he must. And of Lady Hilda, holmes says: "Hum! Think of her appearance, Watson -- her manner, her suppressed excitement, her restlessness, her tenacity in asking questions. Remember that she comes of a caste who do not lightly show emotion."   And of course, our very emotional Holmes is always struggling to restrain his passion….we love him for moments like this as Lestrade tells of the carpet which has been moved – but as usual isn’t speaking FAST ENOUGH   Holmes's face grew tense with anxiety :   And then -       I could see from Holmes's rigid face that he was vibrating with inward excitement. And that wonderful moment: "Now, Watson, now!" cried Holmes with frenzied eagerness. All the demoniacal force of the man masked behind that listless manner burst out in a paroxysm of energy. He tore the drugget from the floor, and in an instant was down on his hands and knees clawing at each of the squares of wood beneath it. One turned sideways as he dug his nails into the edge of it. It hinged back like the lid of a box. A small black cavity opened beneath it. Holmes plunged his eager hand into it and drew it out with a bitter snarl of anger and disappointment. It was empty. And yet I think it’s one of the main heart and soul attractions of the Conan Doyle canon. Don’t we all really want to be the kind who can endure without fuss, who can stay cool and focused under duress, who can triumph where others would fall apart. Sure we do.   In Conan Doyle’s time, this was what the upper class was trained to do.  
  • Of course admirable restraint is only admirable if one is on the side of the angels…and if one is highly emotional. Both are true of our hero. It’s why we love Sherlock Holmes. And it’s why I love THE SECOND STAIN.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Great Sherlock Holmes Debate 3 August 4th 2012 “Which is the best original Sherlock Holmes Story?”
    • 2. Introduction• 1887 – 2012• The world’s most recognised character• Sherlock Holmes now holds the Guiness World Record for the most portrayed character ever
    • 3. Great Debates…….• #1 – Nov11 fans from 23 countries• #2 – Mar12 live from London• #3 – Aug12 back to the original canon• #4 – Dec12 ‘Elementary and BBC Sherlock’Hosted by MX Publishing, the world’s #1 Sherlock Holmes publishers
    • 4. The Cause….. Undershawwww.saveundershaw.comThe Great Sherlock Holmes Debates have a goal to raiseawareness for Save Undershaw - Do your bit and liketheir page on Facebook. This is the most important piece ofSherlock Holmes heritage in the world – let’s preserve it forfuture generations.
    • 5. The Cause….. funds. Many authors are donatingroyalties to Save Undershaw, including:
    • 6. The Fans Rowles UKTinky Chong Hong KongBec Ellis AustraliaAnna Villarosa PhillipinesGustav Griswold DenmarkAgnes Schultheis FranceJessica Humphrey USAHelen Coline FranceBec Sampson UKRima B LithuaniaKatri Leikola FinlandAurora Cambini Italy
    • 7. The Team….. Great Debates are backed by the main Holmes societiesaround the world, the main podcasts, the main British franchises(BBC Sherlock and Big Finish) and dozens of experts and authors.VideoWriter/producer/director Ross K Foad‘No Place Like Holmes’ the world’s #1 videofan site for Sherlock Holmes
    • 8. The Experts…
    • 9. 56 stories, 56 days…….
    • 10. The Fans……. StoriesVoting very spread outOnly 3 stories got 2 votesThe Dying DetectiveThe Final ProblemThe Red-Headed League
    • 11. The Fans……. Study In Scarlet 4The Valley of Fear 1The Hound of The Baskervilles 6The Sign of The Four 3
    • 12. The Stories……. Six Napoleans Charlotte WaltersWisteria Lodge Matthew ElliotScandal in Bohemia Luke KuhnsCharles Augustus Milverton Claire EllulThe Second Stain Bonnie MacBirdBlue Carbuncle Fred Thursfield
    • 13. The Six Napoleons• The Six Napoleons contains everything which makes a Holmes story great. There is humour, action, friendship and brilliant deduction.• Holmes shows his human side – ‘It seemed to me that he was more nearly moved by the softer human emotions than I had ever seen him’.• Holmes solves the crime in a most workman like fashion which is simply brilliant and a joy to follow. It’s the simplicity; the neatness of this story which makes it so good.
    • 14. The Six Napoleons• Inspired the characterisation of Lestrade in BBC Sherlock as someone who is frustrated by Holmes but admires him.• ‘We’re not jealous of you at Scotland Yard. No sir, we are very proud of you!’ – Lestrade, Six Napoleons
    • 15. The Six Napoleons• Inspired many adaptations:• An episode of ‘Sherlock Holmes’, the 1965 television series starring Douglas Wilmer• Granada dramatized the story as part of their highly successful series starring the great Jeremy Brett as Holmes• Film – The Pearl of Death released in 1944
    • 16. The Six Napoleons• A charming story which starts out with a trivial crime but builds up to a dramatic and satisfying conclusion.• The story ultimately gave us the following stunning piece of acting from Jeremy Brett, one of the best moments from all the Granada episodes:
    • 17. The Six Napoleons•
    • 18. Wisteria Lodge• International Intrigue
    • 19. Wisteria Lodge• A Spooky Old House
    • 20. Wisteria Lodge• A Female in Peril
    • 21. Wisteria Lodge• It’s the story that has everything (including, I might add, a kitchen sink)
    • 22. A Scandal in Bohemia• Background - First of the 56 short stories to be written by Doyle.• Plot – Governmental Scandal `
    • 23. A Scandal in Bohemia• Diverse Disguises & Grand Theatrics – Holmes: Drunken Groom & Minister – Bohemian King: Masked Figure – Irene Adler: A Young Man• Grand Theatrics – Smoke and Mirrors
    • 24. A Scandal In Bohemia• Intriguing Characters – King of Bohemia. • A typical royal? – Irene Adler: An Archetype Character • Well-Known, American Born, Singer, and Adventuress. Wealthy. Strong & Independent, Clever & Daring. A Post-Modern Woman
    • 25. A Scandal in Bohemia• If Not A Love Story Then What? – Admiration Story – Humanising? – Spawn Of Many Interpretations – Conclusion • Progressive and Inspiring
    • 26. Charles Augustus Milverton• Shows the change in Sherlock Holmes’ attitude to women The Second Stain Charles Augustus Milverton
    • 27. Charles Augustus Milverton Devil’s Foot and The Illustrious Client“I thought of her for the moment, as I would havethought of a daughter of my own” ILLU“I have never loved, Watson, but if I did and if thewoman I loved had met such an end, I might act evenas our lawless lion hunter has done” DEVI
    • 28. Charles Augustus Milverton Conan Doyle a anti-feminist?Rocha says that in “Irene Adler Doyle created a proto-feminist: a strong female character that was just assmart as the smartest man”.Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy, Rocha & Rocha
    • 29. THE SECOND STAIN THE SECOND STAIN Presented by Bonnie MacBird rated-sherlock-holmes/
    • 30. THE SECOND STAIN #8 of 12 on Conan Doyle’s own favorite list. Many reasons to love this story CLASSIC HOLMES character moments And…for THEME
    • 31. THE SECOND STAIN First the smaller reasons THE BEST OF HOLMES Independent Relishing high stakes Eccentric behaviour Theatricality
    • 32. THE SECOND STAIN INDEPENDENT Tells the Prime Minister, in effect, to go to hell if he won’t reveal the facts.
    • 33. THE SECOND STAIN RELISHES CHALLENGE Nothing less than World War if the case is not solved Seems impossible.
    • 45. Blue Carbuncle• The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle is one of my favourite Christmas stories as well as one of my favourite Sherlock Holmes stories. It is both entertaining and fun.• It is during a lull between cases when Sherlock Holmes is presented with three apparently unconnected articles…a Christmas goose a very battered hat and an expensive blue stone.
    • 46. Blue Carbuncle• While he waits for the owner of the goose to come and claim his property he examines to hat to know the nature and circumstance of it’s owner.• This is one of those times when Watson thinking he has the skills that Holmes has is challenged to prove so.
    • 47. Blue Carbuncle• Well meaning Christmas spirit…following a long trail back to where the goose came from. Profit…greed…protecting property and suspicion make the case more interesting by the minute.• This is a story of an innocent man being blamed for committing a crime he didn’t.
    • 48. Blue Carbuncle• A petty opportunistic thief…his greedy accomplis and a robbery thought out only moment by moment.• In the end an ad in the paper and the battered hat tie all together. A replacement goose and the hat are returned to the owner. The accused man goes free.
    • 49. Blue Carbuncle• And the petty criminal once found out is treated to a rare bit of Christmas spirit… instead of being sent into the hands of the police he is set free.• The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle is a story that even people who are not fans of Sherlock Holmes might enjoy.
    • 50.‘The Real Sherlock Holmes’ – Joe Riggs
    • 51. "Have you ever wanted to think like Sherlock Holmes? Have you wondered how that "mind palace" or "memory attic" works which has recently been mentioned in Sherlock BBCs"Hounds of Baskerville," and which Doyle wrote of in "A Studyin Scarlet?" Have you been impressed by the great detectives deductive powers and been envious of his abilities? Joe Riggs can show us how we can do it, too." Baker Street Babes "Hes got Jedi Powers!" Star Telegram
    • 52. Deduction &Observational PowersA Deduction Masterclass
    • 53. Observation..“You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.” Sherlock Holmes
    • 54. Stop Knowing and Notice..
    • 55. Self Annihalation… True deduction and observation can only occur through a certain amount of self-annihilation. "I see no more than you, but I have trained myself to notice what I see.“ Sherlock Holmes
    • 56. Gathering the Facts…
    • 57. Deduction - Putting the Pieces Together “Each fact is suggestive in itself. Together they have a cumulative force.” Sherlock Holmes
    • 58. Body Language... Body hunched - low confidence2. Clenched fists - aggression3. Crossed arms - shut off, uncomfortable4. Dragging feet - lethargy5. Dropped shoulders - lethargy or boredom6. Fidgeting with objects, hands - nervousness, guilt7. Hands behind head - arrogance, superiority8. Hands on hips - in defiance9. Hands on table - in agreement10. Head down - timidity11. Head rested on hand - bored, disinterested12. Leaning away - discomfort with the situation13. Leaning in closer - interest, comfortable14. Looking at watch - boredom15. Looking away to the left – lying, using imagination16. Messaging temples - anxiety17. Nodding - interest, agreement or understanding18. Shaking of legs - a sign of stress19. Shifty eyes – nervousness, guilt20. Tapping foot - impatient or nervous21. Wiping hands on clothes - nervousness
    • 59. Detecting Deception.. FaceLinguisticsLiars will repeat a question verbatimLiars will take a guarded toneLiars won’t use contractions in their denialsLiars love euphanismsLiars overemphasis their truthfulnessLiars confuse or over use pronounsLiars hedge their statements
    • 60. Neuro LinguisticProgramming - NLP..
    • 61. Conclusion….