e a m harris

Roaming the byways of literature

Archive for the tag “Nessie”

Monsters and conspiracies

Today is the 80th anniversary of the taking of the first known photos of the Loch Ness monster. The photographer was one Hugh Gray, who did not set out to track the monster, but who seems to have known of its legend. Since then Nessie has been the subject of a mass of literature, has featured in a number of, not very good, photos and has produced fame for several people.

A lot of the Nessie literature seems to me remarkably similar to the products of the conspiracy theory industry. Books, articles, TV and radio shows circle round the ‘could be true but probably aren’t’ tall tales their writers produce.

Do they add anything to literature or knowledge or general culture? Not being a fan of this kind of writing, I can’t really say. The couple of examples I’ve read have produced my non-fandom and I haven’t read any since.

Will we ever know the truth behind the events so studied? To me it would be a relief if the subjects could be put to bed and the world could move on to something else; but I’m not sure everyone would agree with that.

30 Day Book Challenge – day 16: Favourite book turned into a movie

I don’t know that I have a favourite here because without thinking very hard I can’t recall many films made from books that I’ve seen (this doesn’t count the ones made from books I haven’t read – there are probably a lot of those).

However, I do very vividly remember the Hound of the Baskervilles – book by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, film starring Peter Cushing, Andre Morell and Christopher Lee. Hound of the Baskervilles

I have to admit that one of the reasons I remember the film so well is that it’s the one that taught me not to expect the ‘film of the book’ to be as good as the book.

Hound of the Baskervilles isn’t a favourite book of mine but is certainly one of my favourite Sherlock Holmes stories and I love it’s title. Baskerville is a great name and if it wasn’t so well known I might be tempted to use it for one of my own characters.

And who doesn’t love a mysterious giant animal? The hound comes from the same stable as the Loch Ness Monster and the Beast of Bodmin Moor.

In doing the research for this blog I came across a new-to-me word – cryptid, which, according to Wikipedia, is what Nessie is. It’s nice to think of our world secretly harbouring hoards of cryptic creatures, too shy to be discovered by science but feeding the imagination all over the world.

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