Jason Goodwin’s crime fiction workshop

A link circulated around the internet recently, comparing the English original of Arthur Conan Doyle’s story The Sign of the Four to its 1973 Estonian translation. As we all know, the book ends with Doctor Watson’s wistful reflection that the solution of the mystery gave him a wife; Athelney Jones, not exactly the sharpest tool in the detectives’ shed, received acclaim; but what did Sherlock Holmes get? To which the Holmes of 1973 replied that his reward was intellectual pleasure. It is understandable that in Soviet times it was sensible to translate ‘cocaine bottle’ as ‘intellectual pleasure’ – all the more because some say there is a direct link between the two. And in the general scheme of things, perhaps the translator did not completely miss the mark. Why is crime fiction so popular? Perhaps because solving mysteries cases offers intellectual pleasure? Just as devising them does. This kind of mental sustenance without narcotics will be offered by British crime writer Jason Goodwin, a member of our organising team. The event is subject to prior registration at info@headread.ee starting from 10 May.

The event is in English.


Jason Goodwin


Tallinn Central Library