Sherlock Holmes: Grotesque

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge, 1908: *The Singular Experience of Mr. John Scott Eccles*

"I suppose, Watson, we must look upon you as a man of letters," said he. "How do you define the word 'grotesque'?"
"Strange--remarkable," I suggested.
He shook his head at my definition.
"There is surely something more than that," said he; "some underlying suggestion of the tragic and the terrible. If you cast your mind back to some of those narratives with which you have been afflicted a long-suffering public, you will recognize how often the grotesque has deepened into the criminal. Think of that little affair of the red-haired men. That was grotesque enough in the outset, and yet it ended in a desperate attempt at robbery. Or, again, there was that most grotesque affair of the five orange pips, which led straight to a murderous conspiracy. The word puts me on the alert."
"Have you it there?" I asked.
He read the telegram aloud.
"Have just had most incredible and grotesque experience. May I consult you? - Scott Eccles, Post-Office, Charing Cross."

Doyle Encyclopedia: The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge

Imagino, Watson que podríamos considerale a usted un hombre de letras.
¿Cómo definiría usted la palabra ‘grotesco’?
¿Grotesco? Pues, raro, chocante.
No, no, no. Creo que abarca algo más. Subyace una idea de algo trágico, terrible.
Si repasa los relatos con los que ha martirizado tanto a un público por demás paciente vera con frecuencia que la palabra grotesco es sinónima de criminal.
Holmes, me habla del caso de los pelirrojos. Su inicio fue muy grotesco. O más grotesco aún, las semillas de naranja.
Que acabo con varias vidas. Es esa palabra: me pone alerta.
¿Esta es la lista?
"He tenido una experiencia muy grotesca e increíble. ¿Puedo consultarle? -Scott Eccles, Oficina de Correos de Charing Cross."

Sherlock Holmes on the notion of grotesque
Jeremy Brett, 1988

There was a face looking in at me through the lower panel
The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge
Illustration by Arthur Twidle, 1908

Doyle, The Hound of the Baskervilles, 1901, Chapter 15: A Retrospection

The more outré and grotesque an incident is the more carefully it deserves to be examined, and the very point which appears to complicate a case is, when duly considered and scientifically handled, the one which is most likely to elucidate it.

Doyle Encyclopedia: The Hound of the Baskervilles

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