Saturday, October 03, 2020

The House of Government

I recently finished Yuri Slezkine's The House of Government, which was (mostly) good. Slezkine's large tome (994 pages, not counting notes and index) traces the history of the Bolshevik revolution and its aftermath by focusing on the history of a huge residential building built by the Soviet government for high-level government officials, situated across the river from the Kremlin, and some of its more notable tenants. The thing I found most interesting about it was that all these Bolshevik Communists working for the state had maids, nannies, and chauffeurs, and they largely just took over aristocratic amenities (under the legal device of collective ownership, of course). But there were also other interesting aspects. One of Slezkine's arguments is that the bookishness of the Bolsheviks -- they were primarily students interested in literature, economics, and philosophy -- which was one of the things that made them possible at all, also in the long run hampered their efforts. They raised their children not on pure Bolshevikism but on literary classics of the kind that they had liked themselves when growing up; many of the children of the Bolsheviks read Dickens, few read Marx. The Soviet taste in art and literature was to some extent a Bolshevik failure: they made some abortive attempts at revolutionizing them, but their taste in these things was mostly inherited and traditional, not revolutionary. A few experiments in revolutionary art (especially literature) did very well, but it was often because they fit with their already existing taste for Dickens or Goethe or the like. I also liked the in-depth characterization of how benefit- and title-based incentives often took the place of wages and salaries as primary motivators among Soviet civil servants and leaders. And Slezkine is also very good at giving a sense, drawn from diaries and correspondence, of what people thought when the knock came at the door because they had ended up on the wrong side of Stalin or some other higher-up.

The least successful aspect of the work is the religious aspect. Slezkine pushes very hard the analogies and parallels between the Bolsheviks and millenarian religions. This works well in the early part of the book, since not only are there such analogies, but the well-read Bolsheviks, raised in a Russian Orthodox culture, often described their own work in such terms. As time goes on, the religious analogies become more strained and imposed rather than organically growing from the evidence presented.

In any case, it's well worth reading if you like in-detail people-based history.

Friday, October 02, 2020

Dashed Off XXII

Every epistemology presupposes principles about how one thing participates another.

puns as the humming of wit

Technology changes how we classify resources.

The judgment of taste is based partly on a conceptual profile of human nature and of the educated/informed/experienced human being.

For any notation, ask what functions each aspect of the notation is actually doing.

NB: Kant takes the three kinds of antinomies of pure reason to prove that objects of sense are not things themselves, and holds that they are necessary for that because otherwise reason could not accept such a restrictive principle.

Nature fashions satisfaction for its forms.

the ethopoeic aspect of belief and argument

For the teaching of philosophy, there is only a modus, not a methodus.

the mean between higher culture (large-mindedness and refinement) and simple nature (unaffectedness and spontaneous originality) as a principle for good taste

We derive the notion of 'nature' from the notion of 'that to which things tend'.

the externality of the world as (1) its multiperspectivality, (2) its mediatorial character, (3) its kinaesthetic character, (4) its metrical character

buzz, distraction, veil

For every moral theory, ask how it would be used by a wicked person trying to cover his wickedness.

the World as the form of human intentionality in aversion from God, the Flesh as the form of human intentionality in conversion to lesser goods

final cause → cycle → systemic end → self-organizing system

An extrinsic end for a part may be an intrinsic end for the whole.

beauty, sublimity, order, and design as guides for abduction

collections of aphorisms as diffuse arguments

hypotheses as teleological ventures of theoretical reason
experiments as teleological ventures of practical reason

Nothing is a mechanism except with regard to some possible range of uses.

Any thoroughgoing moral antirealism implies some form of might-makes-right, the kind of might being determined by the kind of antirealism.

beauty : fine art :: design : experiment :: sublimity : ?
-- Kant might perhaps say moral sacrifice

the brain as a teleologial engine

right to life: life is starting-point of politics
right to liberty: liberty, properly understood, is the condition for appropriate political means
right to pursue happiness: happiness, properly understood, sit he end of politics, so pursuit of it is a requirement

a civil-theological argument for positing the existence of God as part of political life
(1) Rational politics promotes with all of its powers the greatest prosperity with the fullness of justice.
(2) For this to be accomplished, there must be an affinity of these (greatest prosperity, fullest justice) in the world itself.
(3) It is therefore reasonable, as a matter of practical reason, for a polity to posit what will make this possible in principle, and act accordingly.
(4) Only a just cause of the natural world -- a Governor of the world -- could make this possible.
(5) Therefore, etc.

the great republic as a sublime idea

The physical world must be such that it is consistent in principle with the possibility of moral life, and moral life must be such that it is in principle possible to live in the physical world.

appreciation, protection, and development of the beautiful and the sublime as a civil/political end (one aspect of common good)

moral law as 'a power of being in a community of thought with other men, however distant from us'

"The Father begot the Son in such a way that the Spirit of truth proceeds from the Son just as he proceed from the Father." Peter Damian (Ep. 81.6)
"He abides entirely in the Father, entirely in the Son; He proceeds entirely from the Father and proceeds entirely from the Son."

reality as an intrinsic power to affect and to effect (in this sense it admits of more and less)

The baptismal character does not only give the power to receive the sacrifice of praise but also to offer it for oneself and for others, for redemption, for health & wellbeing, and for homage to God.

'Improving life' doesn't have much of a coherent meaning unless there is something higher than us to give stable direction to it across many actions.

For science to 'serve life', ethics must have priority over it.

drab as an aesthetic concept
-- note that it is inconsistent with sublimity, beauty, and prettiness, but it is not necessarily ugly (althougher perhaps drab on its own has an uglyish tendency)
-- a question: how does drab relate to bland? Bland is perhaps a broader concept, but perhaps almost as inconsistent with ugly as it is with sublime.
-- drab is always associated with dull, but dull seems broader; it is an antonym of bright, but not an exact one -- the same with lively/spirited
--etymologically it originaly indicated the yellow-brown of undyed cloth (i.e., the color of drab, the cloth itself)

Marx perhaps underestimates the inertial durability of theory to outlast people's needs.

"The very status of the human implies fraternity and the idea of the human race." Levinas

Isidore takes knowledge in the mind and strength in the body both to be examples of habit.

the history of philosophy as a system (or ecosystem) of teleologies

Forbid the state from claiming one moral domain and it will claim another; the political attraction of the idea of being powerful for right, so that one's exercised power is rightness, at least in one's own eyes, is too great for any means by which you would maintain a purely procedural mechanism for government.

The sublimity or beauty of something is in itself a reason not to sully or harm it. It is, of course, not a reason definitive in itself, but it sets up a presumption; it suggests one needs more than a mere reason of convenience or preference.

arguments as expressive of a sense of life

"Medicina either protects the body or restores health; its subject matter is concerned with illnesses and wounds." Isidore
-- three types of cures for illness: (1) pharmacia/medicamina, (2) chirurgia/operatio manum, (3) diaeta/regula
"Medicine is called Second Philosophy."

"It is one and the same thing whether God is called Eternal, Immortal, Incorruptible, or Immutable." Isidore

You need a faith that will not fail to build a love that will not die.

The remedy for the problems of polarization is large-scale development of means and mechanisms whereby people can trust in some domain those with whom they disagree.

Opportunistic appeals are parasitic on non-opportunistic appeals.

relativity of sameness of particle

Why A rather than B? Two kinds of answers
(1) tendency to A in particular
(2) tendency to A or B with impediment to B

music as vocabulary formation

Contrastive explanation requires an adequate classification, and more than other kinds of explanation. If I ask, "Why A rather than B?" it is entirely reasonable to reply that this is not a division natural to the world, but simply an arbitrarily imposed one and that the question should be "Why A rather than C?", C being the more natural class with which to contrast A, because B is not really relevant, or not well-formed as an opposing class. E.g., if I say, "Why did you eat lunch rather than fly to Pluto?", it's entirely reasonable to say just that the latter wasn't one of the options available or considered, and that he question sheds no explanatory light on anything because the contrast class proposed is arbitrary and irrelevant.

"A civitas is a multitude of people united by a bond of fellowship." Isidore

those who take the name of "Christian" from faith, from honor, from profit, or from convenience

Choice plays a conceptual role in modern Western society in many ways analogous to the role played in earlier Western societies by 'honor'.

"Just war is declared and carried out for the sake of reclaiing property or warding off enemies." Isidore
"Four things happen in war: pugna, fuga, victoria, and pax."
"An army is destroyed in two ways: internicio (extermination) and dispersio (scattering)."

bonus → benulus → bellus

"Two main conditions must be met for the pathetically sublime (Pathetischerhabene): first, a vivid image of suffering, in order to awaken the emotion of compassion with the proper strength, and second, an image of resistance to the suffering, in order to call into consciousness the mind's inner freedom. Only by virtue of the first does the object become pathetic, only by virtue of the second does the pathetic become at the same time something sublime." Schiller

accountable to vs. accountable for vs. accountable with

The work of teaching proceeds from the teacher through a doctrinal presentation.

potuit-decuit as the structure of antecedent credibility

illative sense, evidential regard, vigilance against error, moderation in inference

Resistance against temptation is something that is built in layers.

To consider things only in concept is a defective form of inquiry.

positive rights → natural rights → first endower of rights

The spontaneous expressions of one generation become the stylized symbols of another.

Hasta la eternidad

Today is the memorial for Bl. Bartolomé Blanco Márquez, who was martyred on October 2, 1936, near the beginning of the Red Terror in the Spanish Civil War. He was almost twenty-two. You can find translations of his letter to his girlfriend, Maruja, written the night before his execution by firing squad online in various places, e.g., here, and the original Spanish here.

The Last Letter of Bartolomé Blanco Márquez

Tomorrow I die, and a line of grim men
will shoot bullets in me till I fall;
but my life has been good, and I thank you for that,
and I thank my Lord God above all.
I will remember your face to the dark, silent grave,
and love you with all of my heart;
lovers who love in the glory of God
become of each other a part.
Fear not, Maruja, my darling, my love;
I see death, but I am not afraid.
Remember, Maruja, my dear and my dove,
recall me in life's errant way;
take thought to your soul, my lady and love,
that in heaven we may meet again
and love in the way God meant us to love,
forever in life without end.

Thursday, October 01, 2020

Little Flower

Today is the feast of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, Doctor of the Church. From her memoir, The Story of a Soul:

You know it has ever been my desire to become a Saint, but I have always felt, in comparing myself with the Saints, that I am as far removed from them as the grain of sand, which the passer-by tramples underfoot, is remote from the mountain whose summit is lost in the clouds.

Instead of being discouraged, I concluded that God would not inspire desires which could not be realised, and that I may aspire to sanctity in spite of my littleness. For me to become great is impossible. I must bear with myself and my many imperfections; but I will seek out a means of getting to Heaven by a little way—very short and very straight, a little way that is wholly new. We live in an age of inventions; nowadays the rich need not trouble to climb the stairs, they have lifts instead. Well, I mean to try and find a lift by which I may be raised unto God, for I am too tiny to climb the steep stairway of perfection. I have sought to find in Holy Scripture some suggestion as to what this lift might be which I so much desired, and I read these words uttered by the Eternal Wisdom Itself: "Whosoever is a little one, let him come to Me." Then I drew near to God, feeling sure that I had discovered what I sought; but wishing to know further what He would do to the little one, I continued my search and this is what I found: "You shall be carried at the breasts and upon the knees; as one whom the mother caresseth, so will I comfort you."

Therese von Lisieux

Wednesday, September 30, 2020


What is communication, fundamentally? There seem to be three ways of characterizing it that you find, with different variations. Suppose A communicates something to B.

(1) Illation: A's words or actions are evidence from which B infers what A intends.

There seem to be clear cases where communication is primarily inferential in this way. For instance, if A has to improvise some way to communicate something to B, then B can't be relying on some kind of prior familiarity, but must be inferring what A means by A's improvised signs.

(2) Evocation: A's words or actions evoke ideas in B that are like A's ideas.

Communication often seems to happen without anything definitely identifiable as inference. And people do talk as if there are cases where two people can be 'on the same wavelength', i.e., are not inferring what the other means but are 'syncing up', interpreting the same things in the same way, and adjusting without much thought to what the other is communicating.

(3) Communion: A's words or actions, presented, are now common to both A and B.

'Communication', of course, literally means something like 'making-common' or 'sharing'. It seems that there are cases of communication in which it's not clear that inference or evocation is the primary point, because it's not so much about what's going on in the minds of the people involved -- it's more a matter of making something accessible to both, regardless of what ideas they might have.

Each of these ways of thinking about communication plausibly explain enough cases that they probably all are legitimate ways of thinking about communication. The two questions would be, though, (A) whether one is more fundamental than the others; and (B) whether the relationship is conjunctive or disjunctive -- that is, do all forms of communication involve all three or are there cases exclusively one or the other?

With regard to (A), I think there is a good case that we should primarily think of communication as a making-common. It's not common in philosophical accounts to emphasize this but it does, as noted before, give communication its name, and at least many cases of illation and evocation presuppose a prior sharing of words or actions.

With regard to (B), it's harder to say. If we take the disjunctive route, then there may be cases of illation without evocation, etc. If this is understood in such a way that you could have illation or evocation without communion, then we could still accept the answer given to (A), and would hold that the non-communion forms of communication are degenerate or nonstandard forms. But one could also take communion to be part of every kind of communication, and just hold that illation or evocation or both is optional. If we take the conjunctive route, all communication involves all three to some extent, although in particular cases one or two of them might be secondary with respect to what is communicated. My own inclination is toward the conjunctive approach, but it's not very easy to pin down each of the three in every case, and the disjunctive approach is probably the easier approach for which to argue.

Thundering Lion

Today is the feast of St. Hieronymus, also known as Jerome, Doctor of the Church. From his Dialogue Against the Luciferians:

Noah's ark was a type of the Church, as the Apostle Peter says — "In Noah's ark few, that is, eight souls, were saved through water: which also after a true likeness does now save us, even baptism". As in the ark there were all kinds of animals, so also in the Church there are men of all races and characters. As in the one there was the leopard with the kids, the wolf with the lambs, so in the other there are found the righteous and sinners, that is, vessels of gold and silver with those of wood and of earth. The ark had its rooms: the Church has many mansions. Eight souls were saved in Noah's ark. And Ecclesiastes bids us give a portion to seven yea, even unto eight, that is to believe both Testaments. This is why some psalms bear the inscription for the octave, and why the one hundred and nineteenth psalm is divided into portions of eight verses each beginning with its own letter for the instruction of the righteous. The beatitudes which our Lord spoke to his disciples on the mountain, thereby delineating the Church, are eight. And Ezekiel for the building of the temple employs the number eight. And you will find many other things expressed in the same way in the Scriptures. The raven also is sent forth from the ark but does not return, and afterwards the dove announces peace to the earth. So also in the Church's baptism, that most unclean bird the devil is expelled, and the dove of the Holy Spirit announces peace to our earth.

Colantonio, Jerome in his Study
(Niccolò Colantonio, Jerome in His Study)

Perhaps the most famous poem about St. Jerome in English, and perhaps the best English-language description of the man ever penned:

The Thunderer
by Phyllis McGinley

God’s angry man, His crotchety scholar
Was Saint Jerome,
The great name-caller,
Who cared not a dime
For the laws of libel
And in his spare time
Translated the Bible.
Quick to disparage
All joys but learning,
Jerome thought marriage
Better than burning
But didn’t like woman’s
Painted cheeks;
Didn’t like Romans,
Didn’t like Greeks,
Hated Pagans
For their Pagan ways,
Yet doted on Cicero all of his days.

A born reformer, cross and gifted,
He scolded mankind
Sterner than Swift did,
Worked to save
The world from the heathen,
Fled to a cave
For peace to breathe in;
Promptly wherewith
For miles around
He filled the air with
Fury and sound.
In a mighty prose
For Almighty ends,
He thrust at his foes,
Quarreled with his friends,
And served his Master,
Though with complaint.
He wasn’t a plaster sort of a saint.

But he swelled men’s minds
With a Christian leaven.
It takes all kinds
To make a heaven.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Two New Poem Drafts and a Poem Re-Draft


Sometimes we sit in quiet rooms,
the music playing in our heads,
as night is falling moonless
on the windowpane.

Sometimes we are desertlands inside
until the rains comes softly falling
and grace comes tumbling down
like a tress of woman's hair.

How can I be so stuck inside my head
when I would surely rather be with you?
And why do I waste my time each day
when I would rather be with you?


Like paper in the windy gust, our moments flutter by;
we never know when nornish hands have set our fates to die.
It matters not one whit at all if you should rage or cry.
It comes for all, without a fail, that final shuddered sigh.

Like paper that is burning, all our moments waste away;
no matter what you do or hope, there is a final day,
and try to hold it tightly or ignore it as you may,
the strands of every thread of life will one day start to fray.

Or catch the planet in your hand and stop its onward roll,
or capture death and hold it fast in dungeon black as coal,
or swallow all the gods alive, devour titans whole,
or hold in caterpillar-form the splendor of your soul.

Du Fu's Spring View

empire is fallen
mountains and rivers stand

city is in spring
thick with grass and tree

one feels the time
flowers drop tears

distressed by distance
birds alarm the heart

beacons are aflame
nonstop for three months

letter from home
costs ten thousand gold

my hair is age-white
scratched ever shorter

the whole thing soon
will not hold a hairpin

Rituo-Political Choreography

Charlotte Allen discusses Jessica Krug, the history professor who recently confessed to faking being a black Puerto Rican from the Bronx when she was in reality a white girl from a Jewish family in Kansas:

So Krug pads her book: chapters are given murky but fashionably prolix titles such as “Social Dismemberment, Social (Re)membering: Obeah Idioms, Kromanti Identities, and the Trans-Atlantic Politics of Memory, c. 1675-Present.” Postmodernist buzzwords and buzz-phrases abound: “praxis,” “bodies,” “imbrication,” “subjectivities,” “masculinities,” “reputational geographies,” “subaltern,” “interrogation,” “coloniality,” “discursive mobilization,” “gendered topographies of labor.” In order to make sense out of the book’s maps, you have to turn them upside-down or sideways, because Krug believes that conventional north-oriented cartography is unacceptably Eurocentric, reinforcing “the relationships of power that brought millions of Africans across the ocean in chains.” Sentences go on and on. A sample: “If the fundamental unit of being is not the liberal subject—the atomic individual with rights and obligations ensured by the legal apparatus of state—but rather a collective self, fashioned through the instrumental deployment of historical memory and rituo-political choreography, then, unsurprisingly, biography must function differently.”

Allen makes the point that Krug's deception was enabled by academic fashions, but it's also probably true that academics are particularly susceptible to confusing stereotypes -- which Krug exploited on a massive scale -- with communities. And in such an atmosphere, you can indeed pass off as yourself what is in fact just an "instrumental deployment" of "rituo-political choreography".

Monday, September 28, 2020

Shadows of Shadows of Possibilities

Barton Gellman has a completely lunatic article at The Atlantic. Pretty much the entire article is irrational and absurd, but the worst is this:

The worst case is that he uses his power to prevent a decisive outcome against him. If Trump sheds all restraint, and if his Republican allies play the parts he assigns them, he could obstruct the emergence of a legally unambiguous victory for Biden in the Electoral College and then in Congress.

The Electoral College system doesn't have ambiguities in the way this requires; unlike, say, a popular vote system, it's specifically designed to eliminate ambiguities. For the President, the process is like this. The states certify their election votes. The Electors are chosen in accordance with state law. They vote on the day decided by Congress, currently the Monday after the second Wednesday in December. Under the Electoral Count Act, they have to complete six Certificates of Vote, signed by all Electors; one of those six goes to the office of the President of the Senate. Much of Gellman's looney-tunes scenario requires there to be rival Electoral College ballots (for multiple states!); of course, the only actual Electoral College votes are those which are consistent with state law. Klain's action of booking a rival room in 2000 was purely a just-in-case move; litigation over whether the votes had been properly accounted was still going on, the Republicans booked a room in case the litigation favored them, the Democrats responded by booking a room as well, in case it favored them. The only way this could have become an issue is if (1) the litigation did not end by the day the Electoral College was supposed to meet despite everyone having an incentive to make sure it did; (2) the litigation did not settle who had the legal claim to the Electoral College votes by the time the vote was counted, despite everyone having an incentive to make sure it did; (3) Congress could not come to an agreement about which to reject.

Congress presided over by the President of the Senate counts the votes; if members of Congress question the legitimacy of any vote, there is a legal process for doing so; no state's Certificate of Vote can be rejected without a vote of both chambers of Congress (such a rejection has happened in only two elections). If a candidate gets sufficient Electoral College votes, he wins, unambiguously. If no candidate gets sufficient Electoral College votes (which, despite Gellman's imaginative attempt to suggest otherwise, logically includes the case where it is close but Congress does not know what enough of the Electoral College votes are, like the rival ballot case), the House voting by state delegation chooses one of the three candidates with the most Electoral College votes. They can choose any of the three they want; all it takes is 26 state-delegation votes. (Currently Republicans hold more state delegations in the House, but it would be the new Congress that mattered.) Whoever gets those wins, unambiguously. If nobody gets enough, they keep balloting until someone does. Much the same process is done for the vice president, except it is the Senate, not the House, that decides the matter in case no vice-presidential candidate gets enough Electoral College votes. If the House can't pick a president by Inauguration, whoever is elected vice president becomes the president. If the House can't pick a president and there is no vice president by Inauguration, the line of succession kicks in and the Speaker of the House becomes president. There is only a limited set of options for President -- Trump, Biden, Pence, Harris, and Pelosi, very roughly in that order of likelihood. No matter what happens, it will be unambiguous. Even in the worst case scenario, with both the College and Congress deadlocked, we would still have an unambiguous winner as Nancy Pelosi is sworn in as president.

I don't say that it's absolutely foolproof; I mean, politicians can be such fools that there is no such thing as foolproof when they are involved. But the process is, again, specifically designed to cut out any potential for ambiguity at each stage.

And this is all, of course, without even considering the fact that Gellman's scenarios require obviously implausible events like Pence deliberately burning his political career by going rogue in order to guarantee that Trump is president (and what is more, that Trump rather than himself becomes president) and Congress doing nothing to stop it.

It would be foolish to deny that history can throw a curveball on occasion for which no one can adequately plan, but throughout Gellman's article we are not so much dealing with possibilities as with shadows of shadows of possibilities. Yes, it is true that if the entire world inexplicably goes mad all at once, the Constitution has no mechanism that can stop it; but that is not only not surprising, it is not the kind of possibility worth worrying about. It would be like planning your vacation while worrying about the fact that you haven't figured out what to do if you get hit by an asteroid while on the beach.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Fortnightly Book, September 27

We finally come to the last, and generally least known, Holmes short story collections: His Last Bow: Some Reminiscences of Sherlock Holmes and The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.

His Last Bow contains various miscellaneous stories from different years, combined with a preface from Dr. Watson:

Preface by John H. Watson
The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge
The Adventure of the Cardboard Box
The Adventure of the Red Circle
The Adventure of the Bruce-Partington Plans
The Adventure of the Dying Detective
The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax
The Adventure of the Devil's Foot
His Last Bow. The War Service of Sherlock Holmes

"The Adventure of the Cardboard Box" was originally published in 1892 and also in The Memoirs (1894), but in later editions of the latter was taken out, with part of its story recycled for "The Adventure of the Resident Patient". It was then published in His Last Bow. British editions have often reverted to the original apportionment, while American editions have usually followed the later practice of giving the story to His Last Bow. Other stories were originally published later, with "His Last Bow" receiving its first publication very shortly before the collection itself was published.

The last collection, published in 1927, has some variation in its title. It was originally published as The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes in the British edition and The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, no hyphen, in the American edition; later publishers often published it as The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, one word, which is how my Wordsworth Edition omnibus has it. All of its stories are from the 1920s.

The Adventure of the Illustrious Client
The Adventure of the Blanched Soldier
The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone
The Adventure of the Three Gables
The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire
The Adventure of the Three Garridebs
The Problem of Thor Bridge
The Adventure of the Creeping Man
The Adventure of the Lion's Mane
The Adventure of the Veiled Lodger
The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place
The Adventure of the Retired Colourman

These are the least-read Holmes stories, in part because they are so late, and in part becase six of them are still in copyright -- until 2022 for "Three Gables", "Blanched Soldier", "Lion's Mane", and "Retired Colourman", and until 2023 for "Veiled Lodger" and "Shoscombe Old Place".

These last collections have short stories that tend to be much more experimental than prior short stories, with deliberate deviations from expected formulas (e.g., "Wisteria Lodge" gives us a police inspector who independently manages to keep up with Holmes, and three of the Case-Book stories are not narrated by Watson), bolder mixing of genres (e.g., "His Last Bow" is an espionage tale, and "Creeping Man" has science fiction elements), and different origins (e.g., "Mazarin Stone" was originally a play that Doyle then turned into a short story).

It's fairly difficult to find easily accessible adaptations of Case-Book stories, but you do occasionally find a few from His Last Bow, so I'll keep an eye out for some of those, if I have the time for them.