I actually had a hard time trying to figure out what to write about for this post. While I was still unsure, I was discussing with my friend that we were reading parts of Sherlock Holmes in class and mentioned the passage we were reading for this week. She mentioned that in the BBC show of Sherlock Holmes, John Watson mentions that Sherlock may have asperger’s in “The Hounds of Baskerville.” I thought this was interesting since last class we discussed how despite Sherlock’s ability to excel in many areas and social awkwardness, he may not be an autistic character. Well not to mention asperger’s syndrome has not been proposed yet till 1944. I guess my question would be what causes people to suddenly believe that Sherlock Holmes is autistic besides his personality traits in the television series and the book series? What keeps this phenomenon going? Obviously Doyle had wrote the book series without having any knowledge about autism and of it’s existence but yet his character has traits that show that he clearly is autistic. I came across an article called “Sherlock, Autism, and the Cultural Politics of Representation” which talks about how autistic people are being misrepresented through media. Scott Falsom, writer of the article, says “Autistic characters are presented as infallible angels who are too innocent for their own good, malevolent monsters who ruin the lives of everyone they touch, socially clueless monsters who cannot help but treat everyone around them with disdain, or superhuman savants ripped straight from the frames of Rain Man. Autistic people are everything, it seems, except people” (Falsom, 2014). This relates to what we talked about in class last week. He then goes into discussing about how the belief that Sherlock Holmes is autistic is due to fanfiction created by the autistic community but through this, it helps create a non stereotypical image of autistic people. Falsom explains that fanfiction is an interpretative field that analyzes and clarifies elements of that work that only become present upon examination. He goes further on saying that fanfiction that talks about Sherlock as “being on the spectrum” diversifies Autistic representation in the media and within each fanfiction that’s associated with autism, it creates a whole different image for autism and bound to how society thinks. The idea of Sherlock Holmes whether or not he is autistic is still a blurry topic but the idea that Sherlock could be could show a more positive perspective of autistic people through fanfiction.
I personally thought this article was really interesting. Fanfiction was honestly the last thing I would of thought of that would create a positive view on the autistic community. I only think this because we discussed in class about how media sometimes portray autistic people in a negative light and to see a part of media that shows otherwise is interesting. Fanfiction helps create people to see autism in a different light and to be seen with all different elements of life. According to Falsom, “Because of this, it combats the belief that the life of an Autistic person is somehow incomplete, or somehow is “swallowed up” or “consumed” by autism” (Falsom, 2014). What do you guys think about his view on autism and fanfiction?
Falsom, S. (2014, November 12). Sherlock, Autism, and the Cultural Politics of Representation. Retrieved October 02, 2016, from http://the-artifice.com/sherlock-holmes-autism-representation/