Date of Award

Spring 5-19-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA English

Department

English

Advisor

Jonathan Farina, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Angela Weisl, Ph.D.

Keywords

Sherlock Holmes, Character, Victorian England, Fan Studies, BBC Sherlock, Television

Abstract

Through the connections between Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes short stories and Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat’s series Sherlock, this thesis examines the phenomenon of fan fictions and fan works, which constitutes a type of seriality distinct from serial fictions and television series.The project pursues the phenomenon of Sherlock Holmes in order to better understand fan culture and the “virtual reality” created by original fans of the written works and fans of Sherlock. Sherlock Holmes represents a different model of characterization; he is presented across timelines, although he doesn’t always bear the name “Sherlock Holmes,” he is just as recognizable in whatever form he takes. Thus, the Phenomenon of Sherlock Holmes is not just this character; Holmes glimpses a different notion of modern subjectivity and a different notion of the philosophical Event. The following short stories will be analyzed in 3-4 sections: “The Final Problem,” “The Musgrave Ritual,” “The Empty House,” and “His Last Bow” and interchapters featuring Sherlock episodes “The Great Game,” “The Reichenbach Fall” “The Abominable Bride,” and “The Empty Hearse.” In addition to simply making the case that fan fiction and fan works are worthy of academic study, this paper creates a greater understanding of such works.

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