The Evolution of the Character Sherlock Holmes Within the Fan Fiction Narratives and Discourse
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Soon after the publication of the first Sherlock Holmes short story written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930), the character Sherlock Holmes and his adventurers become immensely popular among readers. This popularity leads to the creation of the “Holmesian” fan community which is an immense Sherlock Holmes fan community, managing to enter the mainstream culture by altering the notion of a passive reader. “Fan-authors” of this community become active readers with the production of their fictional texts called “fan fiction” through the rereading and rewritings of the canonical Sherlock Homes stories. Additionally, being a fan is not equal to being a passive consumer, yet being a fan means having fandom with community ties in which they are given the opportunity to participate, produce and interact with each other by turning into active consumers since the boundaries between consumption and production are blurred in fandom. Accordingly, this thesis analyses how fans pave the way to the evolution of the well-known detective Sherlock Holmes in their fan fiction novels with their active participations in both the production and the consumption process of their favourite stories. It is asserted that fans’ creative works reveal the significance of fan fiction studies, becoming an interdisciplinary field from the nineteenth century onwards and the importance of fan fiction genre which emerges from participatory fan culture. Therefore, the aim of this thesis is to make a comprehensive analysis between a canonical work (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s collection of Sherlock Holmes stories, The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes) and the selected works of “fanon,” in other words, works of fan fiction (Nicholas Meyer’s The Seven-Per-Cent Solution (1974) and Michael Chabon’s The Final Solution (2004)) to discuss the evolution of the Sherlock Holmes character within the fan fiction narratives and discourse.