The Reichenbach Fall-owers

Prospect has THE most absurdly delightful account of the seventy-odd “pilgrims” who journey to Meiringen, Switzerland in order to recreate Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Final Problem”:

When I re-emerge, I am next to a tall man who tells me his name is Olaf Maurer. He twinkles. Actually, he says, his name is Baron Von Herling. Again: I am not clear as to which is real, which fantasy. He is president of the German Sherlock Holmes Society. He was pleased to meet Queen Victoria, he says. I’m struck by a paradox, which I dare not share: that he looks to me the most like Sherlock Holmes of anyone here.

I ask him if we are indeed eating schnitzel.

But again, I get no clear reply because now people are starting to sing. It is a song I recognise and don’t recognise. Von Herling shouts through the confusion and the uproar: it’s called “Moriarty’s Lament.” The tune, though, is “My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean.”

“My body lies under the water
Immersed at the foot of the Fall
If only I’d done what I oughter…”

It’s not just a “aw, look at these charming goofballs!” either, you guys, it really tries to figure out why Sherlock Holmes (“the most often depicted fictional character on screen of all time”) has such a grip on our hearts.