Unlike many contemporary scientists and logicians who disdained the imagination, Holmes brought reason and the imagination, logic and intuition, together in a new synthesis that he called “the scientific use of the imagination.” He made critical thinking into a romantic adventure. Through his discerning eye, every detail of modern life, from newspaper advertisements to the footsteps of a giant hound, became charged with meaning, possibility, and wonder.
If this is true, and I think it is, then the Holmes stories should be taught in every school in the land. Intellect and reason are the path to enchantment, not its enemies! Understanding, not ignorance, is the source of transcendent delight! Never mind that Conan Doyle himself got pretty woo-woo in his later life, when he fell for some "photos" of fairies that make the guy in the Bigfoot film look like Bigfoot. Perhaps Holmes is the unique product of a mind that craved magic, but couldn't (or wouldn't) yet accept its actual existence. So, like our best realist fiction writers, Holmes makes magic from the everyday.