And this is basically the viewpoint underlying Miles’s criticism: it doesn’t matter what Gatiss meant because the episode itself is horrifically xenophobic. But let’s peek forward and see if any of the subsequent eighty years or so of literary criticism has provided anything useful. Spoiler: it has, of course. The main one being some of the fruits of reader-response criticism, particularly the idea of the implied author and implied reader. (The former was formulated by Wayne Booth in The Rhetoric of Fiction, the latter by Wolfgang Iser in, of all things, The Implied Reader. They’re odd recommendations, but if you want to know how narrative structure works, read those and Aristotle’s Poetics and you’re basically set for life.)
Michael E Brown @brownstudy