Posted on Friday, March 25th, 2011 by Russ Fischer
The key to great analysis is often imagination. That’s what sets apart “When It’s Not Your Turn”: The Quintessentially Victorian Vision of Ogden’s “The Wire,” an article which purports to be an examination of the great literary text The Wire, if it had been published as a serialized Victorian novel. The article acts as if The Wire was written by Horatio Bucklesby Ogden, a contemporary of Charles Dickens, and goes on to examine the content in an appropriate manner. There are even reproduced pages of text and era-appropriate illustrations by Joy Delyria.
This isn’t a parody of the show, but a way of looking at it that requires a small leap of imagination. It’s pretty great stuff, and we’ve got a bit more info after the break.
The Wire has been compared to Dickens before — more than a few times, really — and creator David Simon referenced Dickens often. There’s even an episode called ‘The Dickensian Aspect.’ So it’s not like this Victorian approach is totally out of left field.
The Wire began syndication in 1846, and was published in 60 installments over the course of six years. Each installment was 30 pages, featuring covers and illustrations by Baxter “Bubz” Black, and selling for one shilling each. After the final installment, The Wire became available in a five volume set, departing from the traditional three.
From there the article goes on to look at the construction of the show — er, the novel — and has a few good things to say about it. ‘Pages’ of The Wire are reproduced below, but follow the link above to check out the full article.