Sherlock Holmes Has Always Been Fan Fiction

by evanmcmurry

Laurie Penny makes a good point in a piece on the BBC’s Sherlock Holmes, which she asserts both functions as high-budget fan fiction and inspires plenty of its own: all Sherlock Holmes is fan fiction. Arthur Conan Doyle killed the character off in 1893 and only brought him back after a decades’ worth of overwhelming popular demand. By all but the most literal definitions of the term, any Holmes story after that, including those written by Doyle, is a re-imagining of a closed character.