Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mapping Rationality in Baker Street

Coming from my favorite website, Strange Maps, I found this image of Holmes' flat in Baker Street as reconstructed from references to the location of rooms and furniture throughout the story. Looking at it again, I was reminded of the end of our discussion regarding the ability of Holmes to function as a camera, developing in his mind the photographic image of a case from the story brought to him by a client. It seems fitting, then, that this map is created in a particularly Holmes-ish way. The input of impressionistic, facts as related by Watson as to the set-up of the apartment are here transformed into the imminently rational, delineated, and recreated itemized, cross-referenced, and labelled. Down to the "pipe rack next to the settee," Holmes' space is recreated via the same process that Holmes himself uses in deducing his way through the facts and impressions of the cases he encounters, using reason to create a whole, coherent picture from tidbits of information that would not register with one who is not trained in the hyper-rational.

1 comment:

  1. This is a brilliant illustration of the class discussion. However, I feel like there is still something missing: Holmes not only captures the entire image, he also processes it. He makes connections and conclusions that a normal person can see but not interpret. I feel like Holmes would view this room and deduce countless nuances regarding the inhabitants. In some passages, Watson does a fine job recounting the specific details of a person's attire or behavior, but he still misses the critical links that Holmes always detects. Certainly Holmes is more than just a camera, even if that is his primary mode of acquiring information.