La persistenza di Sherlock Holmes nell'immaginario tardomoderno = The persistence of Sherlock Holmes in the late modern imagination


Abstract


This article aims to reflect on the character invented by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at the end of the nineteenth century, as well as to explore the crossmedial nature of this figure, who managed to quickly enter modern imagination, reaching the present day. Sherlock Holmes can be interpreted as a foreshadowing of something that did not exist at the time of his invention: the network/digital technology. We claim that his way of reasoning, of memorising, of making comparisons, of rapidly arriving at hypotheses, together with his multiformity and his relationship with the homeless (used as an information network) recall the image of the computer and the Internet. The research questions will address the reasons of this enormous success, which is even recent, as is proved by the reinterpretation made by the BBC, CBS and the film industry. Additionally, we will enquire into the symbolic functions that this character, thanks to his almost infallible rationality, carried out at the time of his invention and still carries out today in the imagination of our time, particularly characterised by irrationality, precariousness, mutability, falsifiability.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22840753n19p155

Keywords: symbolic functions; media; literature; archetypes; metaphors

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