Alexandra Leaving: An Exploration into Sherlock Holmes and the Writer, Reader, Character Relationship
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of English Honors Theses; 2008
My project explores the relationship between reader, writer, and character. More specifically, I am investigating the character of Sherlock Holmes. Many aficionados of the series entertain themselves by pretending that Holmes was a real historical figure and using Doyle’s suggestions to create theories for solving “problems” or mysteries left by the stories. Why did Watson’s wife call him ‘John’ when we all clearly know his name is James? Could Holmes really survive his fall off of Reichenbach Falls when his death seemed eminent? How did Holmes know so much about the swamp adder when it is not even a real snake? All of these questions are ones of authorial (un)intention, but other players take the game to the next level and try to infer facts about Holmes’ personal life that are out of the scope of Doyle’s writing. Readers want to know if Holmes was ever married or had children. Was Watson secretly the genius all along and Holmes merely took the credit? Did Holmes’ drug use have a deeper and darker side? Like others before me, I attempt to answer questions of this second nature through story and the writing of a novella. While I am writing about Holmes, I am also writing about all authors and their characters as well as comparisons between loving relationships and relationships readers have with books.
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