Tuesday, February 15, 2011

R. Dixon Smith -- Jeremy Brett and David Burke: An Adventure in Fidelity

We have a bit of a mystery with a new recording we've recently uploaded from the Sherlock Holmes Collections to the U Media Archive. It is an incomplete recording of a talk given by R. Dixon Smith on the various actors who have portrayed Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. There are a number of puzzles associated with this clip. First, we do not know when or were this particular talk was given. We know, from the opening remarks, that it was probably given in conjunction with some gathering of the Norwegian Explorers and that it happened after 1976. Second, the recording is incomplete; we do not know why the second part of the lecture was not recorded.

As for Mr. Smith, we have more information. Indeed, a number of his works are found in our catalog including Lost in the Rentharpian Hills: spanning the decades with Carl Jacobi (Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green State University Popular Press, c1985); Jeremy Brett and David Burke: an adventure in canonical fidelity (Minneapolis: Special Collections & Rare Books, University of Minnesota Libraries, 1986) and (Cambridge, England: Rupert Books, 1998); Remembering Jeremy Brett, (with Michael Cox) (Cambridge, England: Rupert Books, 1997); and Ronald Colman: gentleman of the cinema (Jefferson, N.C. ; London: McFarland, 2002). From the biographical sketch given in the Norwegian Explorers conference proceedings from 1993 ("Rogues, Rascals, and Ruffians") we find this: "R. Dixon Smith attended the University of Connecticut, where he received his BA and MA degrees. He has lectured on early cinema at numerous colleges and universities....He has been a member of the Norwegian Explorers since 1975." At some later time Mr. Smith established Rupert Books in Cambridge, but this establishment is, alas, no longer with us.

Mysteries aside, what we have is an interesting portion of a talk given by someone very knowledgeable on Holmes and cinema. If, by chance, we find the remaining portion of this talk, we'll put them together in a single file.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I was just remembering the teacher who taught us what communism was in 7th grade in 1968 = and how he then got fired and worked for the Xanadu movie club or some such thing. I am sure that he is your R Dixon
Smith - is he still around? If so send his address to
strouse@math.u-bordeaux1.fr I'd love to thank him for the awakening.