Sherlock Holmes And Jesus Christ
Novelists take note. At the NPR link above are several excellent tips on how to write characters who are compelling enough to span centuries and serial’s alike.
It’s a piece on Sherlock Holmes, surely one of history’s most popular fictional characters, who is never out of print and has experienced a renaissance recently, with the second installment of a motion picture series just released, and a popular series on BBC.
Some of the article’s ideas on why we love our Holmes:
“He’s a man who has given himself body and soul to the conquest of evil . . .”
“He is driven by a pursuit for justice, but it’s his own brand of justice, and I think part of us yearns to be like that: strong, independent, above worries, above how we fit in with society.”
“. . . he bridges two eras . . .”
“He is a misogynist. He is a misanthrope. … And yet he spends his life helping people.”
Mysterious. Unique. Conflicted. Strong. Driven to pursue justice. These qualities make for compelling storytelling. But we don’t believe Holmes is a misogynist and a misanthrope. We think he simply sees the human race exactly as it is, yet chooses to help people anyway. And having considered that in combination with the other quotes above, it strikes us as remarkable that they all apply so well to yet another person in great literature.
The same qualities that explain why readers love Sherlock Holmes also describe Jesus Christ quite well.