Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Arthur Conan Doyle

And yet the more I thought of the lady's face and of her manner the more I felt that something was being held back from me.  Why should she turn so pale?  Why should she fight against every admission until it was forced from her?  Why should she have been so reticent at the time of this tragedy?  Surely the explanation of all this could not be as innocent as she would have me believe.

Randy recently recapped The Hound on this esteemed blog, so I mostly defer to his recap.  The aspect of this fun, lively novel that I wanted to touch on was the privacy aspect.  The quoted passage is a perfect example of the pervasive view that people only need privacy protection if they have something to hide.  This mistaken belief is used to erode civil liberties time and again, and it doesn't help that most of the time it shows up in pop culture it's true: the person does, in fact, have something to hide.  Like Randy pointed out in his recap, The Hound of the Baskervilles very much shows the utopian version of law enforcement.  Holmes, as far as I can tell, isn't technically a member of the police force and we don't know exactly what he did while he was snooping around Devonshire, but his intrusion into Stapleton, Lyons, etc's private affairs is much harder to object to because they were, in fact, guilty/complicit.  I could go on and on, but I'll leave it at that.  But the story was fun and Holmes is always entertaining.

1 comment:

R.M. Fiedler said...

The ends justify the means, you god damned hippie.