“My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptograms, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere.”
He is not a man that it is easy to draw out, though he can be communicative enough when the fancy strikes him.
He was quiet in his ways, and his habits were regular.
He has the tidiest and most orderly brain, with the greatest capacity for storing facts, of any man living.
Holmes could talk exceedingly well when he chose, and that night he did choose. He appeared to be in a state of nervous exaltation. I have never known him so brilliant. He spoke on a quick succession of subjects—on miracle plays, on medieval pottery, on Stradivarius violins, on the Buddhism of Ceylon, and on the warships of the future—handling each as though he had made a special study of it.
“I was never a very sociable fellow, Watson, always rather fond of moping in my rooms and working out my own little methods of thought, so that I never mixed much with the men of my year.”
Sherlock Holmes had, in a very remarkable degree, the power of detaching his mind at will. For two hours the strange business in which we had been involved appeared to be forgotten, and he was entirely absorbed in the pictures of the modern Belgian masters. He would talk of nothing but art . . .
“He sits motionless, like a spider in the centre of its web, but that web has a thousand radiations, and he knows well every quiver of them”
“All that I have to say has already crossed your mind.”-Moriarty to Sherlock Holmes
“Doyle and Holmes were both tall and physically strong, both loved boxing and Turkish baths, were both untidy, both had a horror of destroying documents, both were omnivorous readers, and both favored the political union of England and the United States. Both were deeply interested in heredity, ancient manuscripts, and the Cornish language. Pierre Nordon describes Holmes as one of the last defenders of chivalry in English-language literature and most of all as an advocate of the innocent and victims; that is how Doyle saw himself, given the many public campaigns he fought, such as that against colonial Belgian oppression in the Congo. The point is not that Doyle and Holmes were similar in every way but rather that Doyle was well aware of how closely he was tied to his most beloved character. It’s also worth noting that none of Doyle’s other works succeeded in producing any memorable characters at all, perhaps because he had used up the main source material he had, namely himself.”
The quotes are from Tyler Cowen’s Create Your Own Economy