Sou grande fã de Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, criador do detetive Sherlock Holmes. Uma das provas disso é meu livro infanto-juvenil Aventura Alucinante.
O jornal britânico The Guardian republicou, hoje, o texto original da notícia (de 1930!) sobre a morte de Doyle. Veja que interessante:
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who died yesterday, will be for ever associated with the detective novel. He created Sherlock Holmes, and we all know Sherlock Holmes very well indeed. The fact that Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was at one time a politician and latterly a spiritualist will count for nothing compared with his fame as a writer of detective fiction. For detective fiction has flourished exceedingly, and he is its father.
This abounding interest in the analysis of crime is a thing of comparatively recent date. Our forefathers appear to have liked executions but to have taken little interest in the process that resulted in them. Tales of successful criminals were plentiful in the eighteenth century, but never tales of successful criminal investigators. Moll Flanders repents, it is true, and gives us many edifying reflections on the evil of her ways, but that does not prevent her from relating with obvious gusto her long and successful battle with the officers of the law. And if a magistrate can be taken as in any way the equivalent of a detective, then, to judge from Fielding, a magistrate had in his day a much more tolerant view of crime than Sherlock, who was himself ready to stretch a point on occasion, or even than the sentimental Dr. Watson.
Nor does the Victorian novel deal with the investigation of crime. Indeed, it usually makes crime so obvious as scarcely to need investigating. There was no need to analyse Fagin’s tobacco ash to find out that he was a rogue. One look would have been quite enough. And only the exigencies of melodrama enabled Sweeny [sic] Todd to carry on his evil practices so successfully and for so long a time, such was his face as popularly presented.
The first writer who saw the possibilities of crime investigation in fiction was Edgar Allan Poe. In such stories as “Murders in the Rue Morgue” and “Mystery of Marie Roget” he successfully applied the method of inductive reasoning to the solution of crime problems. It was a lucrative vein, and now everyone reads detective stories. The appeal they make is, perhaps, a little morbid: the same sort of appeal that leads people to queue up for hours to get a place at a murder trial or cluster in little groups round a closed door behind which they know an execution is going to take place. But detective fiction interests as well because it is so purely intellectual. That is to say, it creates no moral problems: analyses no tangled emotions. And so, to most people, it gives the kind of relief that Edward Lear’s nonsense rhymes do: relief that arises out of the fact that it is not connected with life at any point.
It does not, like drama, purge the emotions, but it rests them. We do not have to decide who is the villain in a detective story or who is the hero; nor does it lead us to the melancholy conclusion that there are neither heroes nor villains in life but only men. The fight it portrays is a straight fight, and the detective must win. It is a battle of wits – an eternal line instead of the tediously eternal triangle. Thus any extraneous matter introduced into a detective story – love interest, for instance – spoils it. A good detective story should be all detective. The characters should not be alive, but only opposed forces working to plan. For detective stories, like chess, have their openings, and the end of a good game is always mate. We must never sympathise with the characters as human beings, but only watch them playing their parts as nicely as a carburettor in a properly working motor.
Thus the detective world is on its own like the puppet world, and therefore entirely refreshing for those who are nervously exhausted from their struggles with the real world. It enables them to forget their ever-increasing sense of the disorder of life, because it shows them an orderliness on a different scale. To have provided men with such a means of refreshment is a considerable achievement. This Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has done, and he deserves honour for it.