Reimagining ‘The Wire’ As a 19th-Century Serialized Novel


It turns out you’re not the only one who sees the Dickensian qualities inherent in The Wire. As Joy Delyria and Sean Michael Robinson explain, “There are few works of greater scope or structural genius than the series of fiction pieces by Horatio Bucklesby Ogden, collectively known as The Wire; yet for the most part, this Victorian masterpiece has been forgotten and ignored by scholars and popular culture alike. Like his contemporary Charles Dickens, Ogden has, due to the rough and at times lurid nature of his material, been dismissed as a hack, despite significant endorsements of literary critics of the nineteenth century. Unlike the corpus of Dickens, The Wire failed to reach the critical mass of readers necessary to sustain interest over time, and thus runs the risk of falling into the obscurity of academia.” Visit The Hooded Utilitarian for their complete (and rather genius) “history” of The Wire, along with additional sample pages. [via Lapham’s Quarterly]