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Aesthetic Reverberations in Literature and Education

Edited By Feryal Cubukcu

Aestheticism is broader in scope than the philosophy of art. It is also broader than the philosophy of beauty, in that it applies to any of the responses we might expect works of art or entertainment to elicit, whether positive or negative. That is why the articles in this collective volume aim to highlight the various reverberations of aestheticism on literature and education over the centuries.

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Aesthetics in Detective Fiction: A Case Study of Arthur Doyle Conan’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Catherine Wong)


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Catherine Wong1

Aesthetics in Detective Fiction: A Case Study of Arthur Doyle Conan’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

1. Introduction

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s fictional hero Sherlock Holmes has been always a household name since he first appeared in The Study of Scarlet published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual for 1887. As much as Holmes has been admired for his “reasoning and observing machine like cognitive power” (Doyle, 1981, p. 9) and his enigmatic personal life, Dr. Watson has been well-received by the readers for his loyalty to his ingenious friend. In fact, Dr. Watson is not just the loyal friend who serves as a foil for Holmes’s intelligence; more importantly he serves as the narrator of all except three stories of the whole series – Watson sets the tone of the story. Being the narrator, Watson shapes the point of view and readers are to look at the cases through his lenses. Scholars and critics tend to focus on the character study of Dr. Watson and how he serves as a foil for Sherlock Holmes and as a sharp contrast with Doyle’s hero’s mastermind and science of deduction. This approach definitely helps contribute to the understanding of the role of Dr. Watson as a character. However, a more microscopic study of the narrative point of view, that is, Dr. Watson as a narrator can be conducted in order to see how the point of view is used to create suspense, mediating the...

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