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Affaire du chien des Baskerville (L') (French) Perfect Paperback – Jan 10 2008

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Concours Plumes francophones Concours Plumes francophones

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Product Details

  • Perfect Paperback
  • Publisher: Minuit (de) * (Feb. 11 2008)
  • Language: French
  • ISBN-10: 2707320218
  • ISBN-13: 978-2707320216
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 1.9 x 22.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,082,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

About the Author

Pierre Bayard, né en 1954, est professeur de littérature française à l''Université Paris 8 et psychanalyste. Il est l''auteur de nombreux essais dont Comment parler des livres que l''on a pas lu ?, traduit en plus de vingt langues.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9a6d9504) out of 5 stars 1 review
HASH(0x9a51ee4c) out of 5 stars Revisionist Fiction April 27 2016
By Acute Observer - Published on
Format: Perfect Paperback
L'Affaire du chien des Baskerville / Sherlock Holmes Was Wrong

Pierre Bayard is a professor of French literature at the University of Paris VIII and a psychoanalyst. Bayard brings a new outlook to an old case and writes his analysis of this long story by Arthur Conan Doyle, who adapted an old folk tale as the basis for "The Hound of the Baskervilles". It is a sort of morality play where the wicked noble is punished for abducting a young peasant girl. Could a bad man use the beliefs of people to further his evil ends? Yes it happens often in politics and business (advertising). The copyright on Doyle's works expired around 1970 so others are free to use his characters for their own novels. None are as good as the originals. Bayard used his imagination to arrive at a different solution to the crime (p.7).

The "Investigation" summarizes the story. Actually Holmes did not say whose dog it was (p.25); that would reveal the mystery. The methodical thinking and applied intelligence made "Sherlock Holmes" famous (p.30). It was a rejection of any solution that came from a dream or a ghost. The "countless mistakes" (p.45) show the fallibility of reason alone, or is a literary device to make the stories interesting (p.47). Circumstantial evidence (p.51) is correct when it is properly interpreted. Bayard is wrong to criticize the motive of financial interest (p.52). Sir Charles has just arrived from Canada and has no romantic rivals.

Bayard is wrong in criticizing the use of a dictaphone (p.61). Many mystery stories used a technical device as part of the plot. The voice of a person can be recorded: is it real? Bayard has a strange idea that the hound chased Sir Henry with a friendly intent (pp.84-85). His comments on Stapleton and the dog are erroneous. It was easy to steal a shoe left outside a hotel room (p.96). [Taking both shoes might have disguised the purpose.] The shoe by the side of the path (p.98) is merely a fact to prove guilt. How could Stapleton claim the inheritance (p.99)? By changing his appearance with a new beard.

Does "Sherlock Holmes" exist? If so it is a tribute to Doyle's literary skills in writing credible stories, and the desire of people to wish it so (like Santa Claus). Doyle wanted to rid himself of Holmes to spend his time on other writings (p.128). Or was it to double his income (p.137)? Bayard depended on the French translation (p.144), which is more poetic. Bayard makes an assumption (p.134) and then treats it as fact. While a murderer may "conceal evidence" (p.160) it is much harder to conceal motive and opportunity. Bayard invents a new solution to this century-old story ("The Truth"). I find it clever, but not believable. It is a one-sided argument. In one of the stories Holmes says a stick points in two directions, only one of them is right. Is this book serious or a clever hoax? What about Hammett, Chandler, or Gardner?
The book "Sherlock Holmes Detected" by Ian McQueen is much better as commentary.