Fri, 4 February 2011
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dirk Gently (real name Svlad Cjelli, also known as Dirk Cjelli) is a fictional character created by Douglas Adams and featured in the books Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. He is portrayed as a pudgy man who normally wears a heavy old light brown suit, red checked shirt with a green striped tie, long leather coat, red hat and thick metal-rimmed spectacles. "Dirk Gently" is not the character's real name. It is noted early on in the first book that it is a pseudonym for "Svlad Cjelli". Dirk himself states that the name has a "Scottish dagger feel" to it.
Dirk bills himself as a "holistic detective" who makes use of "the fundamental interconnectedness of all things" to solve the whole crime, and find the whole person. This involves running up large expense accounts and then claiming that every item (such as needing to go to a tropical beach in the Bahamas for three weeks) was, due to this "interconnectedness," actually a vital part of the investigation. Challenged on this point in the first novel, he claims that he cannot be considered to have ripped anybody off, because none of his clients have paid him yet. His office is supposed to be located at 33a Peckender St. N1 London, with telephone number 01-354 9112 (407-2882 in the advertising campaign for the book).
Gently has an odd facility for accurate assumptions, as every wild guess he makes turns out to be true. As a student at Cambridge University (St. Cedd's College) he attempted to acquire money by selling exam papers for the upcoming tests. His fellow undergraduates were convinced that he had produced the papers under hypnosis, whereas in reality he had simply studied previous papers and determined potential patterns in questions. However, while innocent, he was arrested and sent to prison when his papers turned out to be exactly the same as the real ones, to the very comma.
Dirk Gently was played by Michael Bywater in a 1992 TV documentary on The South Bank Show. Scot Burklin portrayed Dirk in the 2006 American premiere of the play Dirk at The Road Theatre Company in Los Angeles. Harry Enfield played the character in the 2007 and 2008 BBC Radio 4 adaptations of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency and The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul. Stephen Mangan, of Green Wing fame, was cast as Gently in a pilot episode for a proposed TV series broadcast on BBC4 on 16th December 2010.
Aborted third book
Douglas Adams was working on a third Dirk Gently novel, The Salmon of Doubt, at the time of his death. However Adams said "A lot of the stuff which was originally in The Salmon of Doubt really wasn't working", and that he had planned on "salvaging some of the ideas that I couldn't make work in a Dirk Gently framework and putting them in a Hitchhiker framework... and for old time's sake I may call it The Salmon of Doubt." The first ten chapters of this novel, assembled from various drafts following Adams' death, together with a memo suggesting further plot points, appear in The Salmon of Doubt: Hitchhiking the Galaxy One Last Time.