Sunday, 7 October 2012
Enter The Inspector
For many years I would say, "There is only one fictitious detective and that is Sherlock Homes." When someone agreed and asked, "And would you agree that that one Sherlock Holmes is Basil Rathbone?," I replied, "No, I mean the one in the books." This can include the illustrations. Similarly, James Bond is not Sean Connery. In authentic screen dramatizations, he would be played by a previously unknown actor answering the slight physical descriptions given in the books. On the other hand, a character who is introduced on screen does look exactly like the actor playing the part.
Doyle paved the way for characters like Poirot and Hastings in the Introduction to the last Holmes collection, saying that Holmes and Watson would make way for some other detective and his companion.
Now there is at last for me a second fictitious detective. The well cool Inspector Salvo Montalbano stars in an Italian TV series. Having only just learned that this series is a close adaptation of a series of novels and short stories by a writer called Andrea Camilleri, I have bought the first novel in English translation and might be sidetracked from rereading Poul Anderson for a while.