Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Joy Of Discovery

I love making new discoveries in this hobby. It's the payoff from hours of middle of the night research sessions, endless caffeine chugging, and blurred vision from staring at a computer screen for too long. But it's always worth it, even if you don't find what you're seeking. Not finding an answer is just as important as finding one, though, because now you know where not to look. My latest discovery, however, was one I made in my very own files. It had been awaiting my eyes for years, and when I saw it I said to myself, "Vincent...umm...what's this?" I felt rather stupid because it was a "new" chronology that I had had within arms reach all this time and completely forgotten about.
It appears I printed this list way back on October 1, 2010. It also appears that it was originally in Japanese. Luckily, there was a web address at the bottom that was complete, so I typed it into my search engine, and there it was. However, it's only years for cases, and not dates, so it's basically useless.
I set out to find more about it and quickly found myself involved in a bit of a mystery. First of all, I had no idea who the author/chronologist is/was, and no amount of looking solved that. So I began looking for the phrase "The Cases Chronological Table" that appeared across the top. It brought up a number of hits, but I was no closer to a solution. One of the hits took me to a site that looked identical to the one we're discussing here, but with a few minor changes, and one big one - a name. Across the top was this line: "I tried it in the order of occurrence for all 60 incidents. The Japanese translation of the title is based on the one of Shincho Bunko translated by Nobuhara Ken."

I looked up Shincho Bunko and found it was just a brand of paperbacks in Japan made by the Shinchosa Publishing Co. Ltd. (Below is a picture of their headquarters. Exciting, eh?) No help there. I got no further with Nobuhara Ken, but this person may have simply been a translator and had nothing to do with the list. I clicked on the Homepage link at the bottom, and it took me to a Japanese site about Holmes. The webmaster's name was Miyu, and the web adress was almost identical to the first one I talked about above. That lead me to believe these were all connected somehow. Still, all I had was years...and no name.
Next on the list was a page that was in a different language. It was in Korean, and managed by someone named Gino (Jeeno). Luckily, I found a button that took me to a translated version. Still, all it had was years. AND they were the same as the ones on the Japanese lists. Talk about confused. I continued on.

I then landed on a page that was in English, but had been translated from Korean. This was ran by someone named Aimee Shu. Her chronological list is very similar to the other ones, but with some minor changes. Further, she had months! That was more usable. The only problem is that there's no explanations for those dates. So perhaps she just copied it from somewhere else. (Should be fun trying to find that list!)
I think what all of this means is that I may or may not have a few more chronologies. So far the Shu list doesn't match completely with any of the others I have, so it's a new one, but it might not be her original creation. And I'm still not sure about the other ones I talked about above, but I'll keep looking.

While looking, though, I have a new matter to chase. See, the lists I'm talking about have translation problems. The Japanese and Korean doesn't evenly carry over in English. 'The Adventure of the Copper Beeches' (COPP) comes across as 'Beech Woods Events.' The Hound of the Baskervilles (HOUN) becomes 'Hibiscus Bill of Dogs' (?). But, with that "problem" comes a possible lead on another chronology.
One of the websites talks about a timeline listed on the back of a book called "Terror of Terror." I am not familiar with this book, and have found nothing about it online. But, below that sentence is one that says the book (now called "Valley of Terror") is available as an ebook. I took this to mean the title is actually The Valley of Fear (VALL). I'm not familiar with any copy of VALL having a chronology on the back, but there is a series of books called The Chronological Sherlock Holmes and one of them is VALL. I know of these, but I don't believe they are a chronology of the cases, just publication order. No chronologist mentions them as a reference, and they aren't included on any listings of chronology books. (I have feelers out to the worldwide faithful to try and solve this dilemna.)
To wrap this up I'll just say that it seems as though I now have to broaden my searches for timelines. The countries on that side of the world are big Holmes fans, and it makes sense that someone has tried to do this same kind of work. Now I just have to find it and see if I can expand my database!
Thanks for reading. See you next month.

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