Wednesday, December 18, 2013

What makes a 'fan' and what makes a Sherlockian (or Holmesian if you prefer)

I recently read a post on another's blog where the author believed 'Sherlock' was written by fans for fans.
Now I think it could easily be said that probably most people who follow 'Sherlock' are not Sherlockians. They are fans of the show a certain Benedict Cumberbatch stars in, and probably follow the show because of him and not Holmes.  I don't think there is any wrong in saying that, nor is there anything wrong if that is true.
I also think that there are plenty of long time Sherlockians who are fans of the show, and many who enjoy 'Playing the Game' with the show.
It is also true that because of 'Sherlock' our ranks of Sherlockians will swell. And that is the really good news. New people will have discovered Holmes and continue to enjoy his original works.

If I were to describe a Sherlockian it would be someone who is grounded in the original works by Doyle and uses that platform as the starting point when examining and enjoying other works or incarnation of the great detective. Such is the point of 'Playing the Game." They may have come by the books first and then started to participate in the study of other sources. Or one of those other sources may have lead them to the books.
The relevance of other works, for them, are going to be judged on how well the other works respect and follow a few certain parameters when dealing with the world of Holmes. The further something gets away from those parameters the less relevant it becomes.

With that said . . . .
Do we agree that 'Sherlock' is written by fans for fans? Which would mean it is not written by Sherlockains.
And if we do believe that, where does that place Nicolas Meyer author of Seven Percent Solution?
Was he a 'fan' or a Sherlockian or neither?

How about Anthony Horowitz? Is he just another writer using Holmes or is he a Sherlockian?

Are the Baker St. Babes Sherlockians or fans? Some of the stuff they talk about on their pod casts  ranks right up there with the lowest of fan fiction.

Does one need to do serious scholarly works (which would leave many of us out) to be allowed the title of Sherlockian?

To me it seems a lot of what is going on with the recent events surrounding series three of 'Sherlock' is akin to what took place around the Beatles in the 1960's (but not to the same degree, yet). Star struck, yes by talent, but also by good looks. There is a fanaticism surrounding much of it, and lost some where inside is a small, but hopefully growing, group of Sherlockains.

And you know what? It's OK. We have all had something in our lives that just made us want to scream and shout.

It's just a shame that the rest of the media takes it so seriously. Oh, wait. Isn't that good for the show?
Well, at least for the short haul.
Or will 'fan' behavior keep both stars from wanting to return to the world of Sherlock Holmes? Both of these actors are two of the best things that has happened to the world of Holmes in a very long time, and that fact will not diminish. But instead of being typecast will they become fearful of the fanaticism masking their stellar work?

And why would anyone with the last name of Moran be allowed to interview 'Sherlock Holmes'.? You gotta know that is plot of some kind.

Maybe we can reward a title of part-time Sherlockian or a temporary badge like a working visa until you are allowed citizenship or something.

Or maybe we just shouldn't worry about it. It will straighten itself out in the end.


  1. While there maybe some overlap, I don't think that "Sherlockian" and "Sherlock Holmes Fan" are the same thing. Thanks for the thought-provoking discussion.

    1. I agree. And is a fan of 'Sherlock' a 'Sherlock Holmes Fan', or just a fan of 'Sherlock'