Conan Doyle interviewed

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If you haven't seen it, here's a filmed 'interview' with Conan Doyle talking about how he created Holmes and the doctor who provided the inspiration for Holmes's techniques.

Conan Doyle on Sherlock Holmes

The Holmes stories are useful in teaching pragmatics and inference, particularly in understanding what 'deduction' is and the role it plays in human communication (Holmes's inferential processes aren't really deductive, but deduction is part of it, which means they have something in common with what we do when working out what other people are trying to tell us)

There are lots of interesting things for linguists in the interview, from phonetics to pragmatics (and maybe beyond). For students of detective literature, it's interesting that he refers to Watson as Holmes's 'rather stupid friend'. Alongside Agatha Christie's comments (see previous post) this could form the beginnings of an exploration of Watson and/or Holmes, or detectives and sidekicks in general.

(Personally, I'm not much interested in spiritualism but still fascinating to hear Conan Doyle talking about it towards the end)


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