Saturday, January 1, 2011

Watson was a Woman

Rex and Pola Stout
Rex Stout wrote the famous speech/essay "Watson was a Woman". Now, I do not make the mistake of thinking this address was entirely in earnest, but it is worth looking at the key points of evidence he raises.

1) Sleeping arrangements are, arguably concealed: "...but not once are we shown either Holmes or Watson going to bed."
2) Watson speaks in the manner of a person (woman?) in a relationship.  E.g. "I endeavored to break through the reticence."
3) Holmes is solicitous like a person in a relationship. E.g. " my request he has played me some of Mendelssohn's Lieder."
4) There is evidence of domestic disagreements. E.g. ". . . I rose somewhat earlier than usual, and found that Sherlock Holmes had not yet finished his breakfast . . . my plate had not been laid nor my coffee prepared."
5) Watson's manner of expression and description can be read as feminine.  E.g. "and then it appears that I must have fainted." (Men, presumably, never suffer from syncope).
6) Watson in objecting to cocaine use is " a typical reformist wife".
7) The explanation of Holmes survival at Reichenbach is so nonsensical it must cover for a break and reunion of the relationship.

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