Saturday, May 17, 2014



Mutilations and psychoses are uncovered in the old country houses and suburban villas.

Many characters exist on the edge of deformity:  a dwarflike creature with a bulbous head, a man with a curved back and convulsively twitching hands, a woman like a huge clumsy chicken.

Holmes has developed a particularly sharp response to physical oddity.

When Watson embarks on a rather imprecise visual catalogue of a murder suspect, he interrupts—

‘Left shoe wrinkled, right one smooth.’

‘I did not observe that.’

‘No, you wouldn’t.  I spotted his artificial limb.  But proceed.’

Holmes seems almost manic-depressive now.  He slumps into near-despair:  ‘We reach.  We grasp.  And what is left in our hands at the end?  A shadow . . .’

Gavin Lambert, The Dangerous Edge -- An Inquiry Into The Lives  of Nine Masters Of Suspense, New York, Grossman Publishers, 1976 

Stranger Cole and Gladstone Anderson: Seeing Is Knowing (Link) 

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