Image of the Week #74, January 7th, 2013:From:Sherlock Holmes, the mindful detective by Maria Konnikova at Literally Psyched.
Source: Sidney Paget, Wikimedia Commons
Sidney Paget's illustrations of Sherlock Holmes not only helped influence the film noir genre with their strong shadows, they also took the character of Holmes and ingrained a very specific image of him in the minds of all contemporary and future readers of Conan Doyle's famous character. While Sherlock Holmes exhorts us, as Literally Psyched blogger Maria Konnikova writes, "to observe, not merely to see" many people familiar with the character may not realize how much of their mental image of the character stems from the hundreds of illustrations Sidney Paget did over the course of his career.
From Konnikova's post and her new book, Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes:
"Every day, countless items, some glanced, or heard, or felt, or smelled only briefly-perhaps without ever registering in our consciousness-affect our minds and play into our decisions."
Our mental landscapes are filled with hundreds if not thousands of fictional characters - how many of those images come from descriptions in the text rather than the quiet strength of illustrations?
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.