I understand now why all 10 year olds love Sherlock Holmes; Sherlock Holmes is a 10 year old, inhabiting a lanky adult body. Delightful innocence perfumes these stories, where intelligence – like a guardian angel – removes all dangers.
I recently discovered the Deep Image school of poetry, which my friend Robert Kelly is a famous exemplar of. Arthur Conan Doyle practiced the Deep Image school of fiction. For example:
“I never hope to see such a sight as that again, Mr. Holmes. From north, south, east, and west every man who had a shade of red in his hair had tramped into the city to answer the advertisement. Fleet Street was choked with red-headed folk, and Pope’s Court looked like a coster’s orange barrow…”
That’s, of course, from “The Red-Headed League,” my favorite Sherlock story.*
*Like all great characters – Moses, Huckleberry Finn – our hero is perfectly named. (“Sure, lock homes!”)