Monday, 30 September 2013
Imagination And Reality
Moore and O'Neill synthesize every kind of fiction and incorporate many actual fictions: Mina Murray and Allan Quatermain climb the thirty nine steps to Greyfriars School where corpulent caretaker William recalls the schooldays of Alexander Waverly, Harry Lime, Big Brother, Quentin "Q" Quelch etc. We know them all. Well, we might not all of us recognize all of those names but we get the idea: a fictional world where all of the fictions are real.
Moore also argues that fiction is a necessary part of humanity, therefore is, in that sense, as real as we are. There would be no Sherlock Holmes if no one had imagined Holmes but, equally, we would not be who or what we are if we did not imagine fictitious characters like Sherlock Holmes. If Holmes had not caught our imagination, then someone else would have caught it and we would now be, to that extent, different people with a different history. We and our heroes are like hands drawing each other.
The common ground with Poul Anderson is considerable:
both Anderson and Moore are comprehensive writers of imaginative fiction;
Holmesianism - The League, like Anderson's works, refers creatively to Moriarty, Mycroft and, of course, the Great Detective;
Shakespearianism - the concluding speech of The Black Dossier with the line, "Two sketching hands, each one the other draws...," is delivered by the Duke of Milan, whom we know from Shakespeare's The Tempest and from Anderson's A Midsummer Tempest.