Fildes_Luke

Dickensian Meta-satire

I’ve never watched the show, “The Wire”, but I have read a good deal about it.  Considered to be something of a modern masterpiece in television, the five seasons of “The Wire” explored the fictional lives of a few police officers in the city of Baltimore.  Each season focused on a strata of Baltimore life – education, the drug world, politics, etc…, culminating in the idea that a three dimensional snapshot of the 21st Century American city had been achieved.  Due to thematic content (and quite a bit of language), I will not be watching “The Wire” any time soon, but I have enjoyed the coverage of its tenth anniversary as a series and the literary awakening it has engendered.  ”The Wire” apparently owes a great deal to the classic literature of Western society, and this has led to some spectacular analysis of the series in the light of great literature.  A good example of this literary focus is the following mock essay which pretends that “The Wire” was the work of a Victorian novelist contemporary with Dickens.  Instead of writing about the real world influence Dickens’s social commentary had on “The Wire”, this essay flips the historical reality and assumes that “The Wire” is a forgotten classic that influenced Dickens.  It makes for a fun read and a fascinating survey of literary genre, famous characters, and more than a few clever “in” jokes for those of you who know your history.

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