Clive James on Sherlockology
Clive James reviewed for the New York Review of Books (1975) the Sherlock Holmes Collected Edition and some holmesian commentaries:
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote little about Sherlock Holmes compared with what has been written by other people since. Sherlock has always been popular, on a scale never less than world-wide, but the subsidiary literature which has steadily heaped up around him can’t be accounted for merely by referring to his universal appeal. Sherlockology – the adepts call it that, with typical whimsy – is a sort of cult, which has lately become a craze. The temptation to speculate about why this should be is one I don’t propose to resist, but first there is the task of sorting the weighty from the witless in the cairn of Sherlockiana – they say that, too – currently available. What follows is a preliminary classification, done with no claims to vocational, or even avocational, expertise. Most decidedly not: this is a field in which all credentials, and especially impeccable ones, are suspect. To give your life, or any significant part of it, to the study of Sherlock Holmes is to defy reason.