Saturday, February 11

The Meaning of Reichenbach

via weheartit

Reichenbach.

Have you ever heard of that word before?

It's a series of waterfalls in Switzerland, but that's not what the word is known for. In the short story, the Final Problem, this is the location where Sherlock Holmes had his final fight with his arch-nemesis Professor Moriarty. They had been clashing for years before and their largely intellectual fight was finally brought to close quarters when Moriarty sent several men to kill Holmes. Holmes lured Moriarty to Reichenbach Falls and they both tumbled down. Mutually assured destruction. But Sherlock Holmes doesn't die. He returns to 221B three years later.

What's interesting about this word isn't any event that made it into the Holmes Canon, it's what was kept out. When Arthur Conan Doyle wrote the Final Problem, he meant to kill Sherlock Holmes. The detective he created had gotten too out of hand for him. He was constantly trying to create new mysteries and the stress had become overwhelming. He wanted to stop writing these silly mysteries and write more historical novels. It was only his fans' outcry that forced the author to bring back Sherlock Holmes.

So... Reichenbach.

With any mention of Reichenbach in a Sherlock Holmes story, fans know what they're going to get. The beloved hero of the tale will take a fall. And it's heartbreaking. Even though we know he lives, it's gutwrenching. Reichenbach represents a dark time, a necessary sacrifice, a period of hopelessness and an eventual triumph. Sherlock Holmes's dearest friend John Watson, thought he was dead for years. We suffer along with him because in real life, Sherlock Holmes really did almost die.

19 comments:

  1. I had no idea about this...havnt been following much of Sherlock Holmes. Thanks for the info, i learned something new today

    ReplyDelete
  2. I didn't realise that Sherlock Holmes was meant to be killed at the end, that was interesting to find out! I'm glad that Sherlock didn't die though, it was all looking very grim for him but I'm glad that he didn't! xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. While it would have been a great ending, I always want more of Sherlock!

      Delete
  3. So they brought him back after The Final Problem? That's a shame, it would have been an epic end to an epic series.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fabulous post!
    Is nice to learn something in the blogosphere besides fashion and trends.

    Have a wonderfull weekend.

    See you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think so! I like to have all of my interests and loves represented on here.

      Delete
  5. Hmm, that's really interesting. I can't believe he was really meant to die. That's so weird to me.

    :)
    Carrie
    http://readmylifeascarrie.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  6. Wow I'm starting to like that word! Thanks for sharing such interesting information :)

    http://daphyin-makeupisart.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. I love learning new things like this. THIS is why I love blogging so much. You always learn something new.

    http://www.glamkittenslitterbox.com/
    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

    ReplyDelete
  8. Ohhh very interesting!

    Thanks for the comment

    XXASAB
    New Outfit Post:Midnight Turquoise

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks for the little information. I thought it was a brand name or something...haha...how ignorant. Thanks for sharing!

    mongs
    mythriftycloset.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's a German word isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's a proper noun...so, yes, it also appears in Germany.

      Delete
  11. i am sorry but i couldn't help but notice that so many weren't aware of this from your other comments..this is an epic word..i forget everything else when i see it..sherlock is what i think of instantly!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh wow Aki! I didn't know this. Thanks for explaining this.
    http://www.averysweetblog.com/

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hello,

    As Reichenbach is my surname, the real German meaning of the name is Kingdom on a brook/river or a rich flowing stream. "Reich" means kingdom or rich, "bach" means river or stream.

    It does not literally mean "a dark time, a necessary sacrifice, a period of hopelessness and an eventual triumph" as the author of this post has stated, other than the symbolism that was placed on the Reichenbach Falls location. Please ask any German speaking person, they will give a similar answer as I have supplied.

    I have also personally visited Reichenbach Falls, it's a beautiful location & highly recommended.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't disagree. I didn't say that it meant those above things, merely that it represented it in symbolism.

      Delete
  14. Has anyone seen the Sherlock series (a take on Modern day Sherlock) which was shown on BBC. In Reichenbach Falls episode, Moriarity takes a fake name (identity) with the name Richard Brook. In German, it literally means Reichen (Rich) Bach (Brook which means stream).

    Just for your info. Hope that helps.
    ---Pawan Issar

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for your comments!