Sunday, October 3, 2021

The Hound of the Baskervilles

It's been an extremely busy day, which means that tonight I've been chilaxing by reading. I just started Arthur Conan Dolan's The Hound of the Baskervilles for the 100th time and simply can't believe how beautiful the author's prose is. Take the very first sentence. The author wanted to say, quite simply, "Mr. Sherlock Holmes was seated at the breakfast table." But no, he couldn't leave other facts out. Here's the actual quote:

Mr. Sherlock Holmes, who was usually very late in the mornings, save upon those not infrequent occasions when he was up all night, was seated at the breakfast table.

The two dependent clauses make the prose come alive (not to mention the use of litotes). Arthur Conan Doyle's use of English is unsurpassed in my humble opinion. That's why I will read anything he's written. This is prose perfection. War and Peace is a novel of similar stature. 

I read very few novels but I always find myself coming back again and again to The Hound. Again, I'm at a loss for words. I'll just say, Amazing!