Monday, August 31, 2009

Authors, Authors

In a previous post, I contemplated The Wire's development of the idea of the hero, moving from the solitary agents of police procedurals of the past to a sense of the teamwork that is necessarily involved in any real crime-fighting project.

In another post, I proposed that The Wire could usefully be viewed as a novel, a multilayered, multivocal, expansive work of fiction.

With that in mind, what occurs to me now is that, just as The Wire broadens our conception of the hero outward to encompass a whole team, it also broadens our conception of the author. David Simon and Ed Burns, of course, are the names most commonly associated with the show, but the individual episodes are written by a whole cadre of writers, including George Pelecanos, Richard Price, and Dennis Lehane. The show was not created by a single heroic novelist but rather by a team of artists that of course also includes the directors, crew, cast, and others.

What's remarkable is that this team was able to create this multifarious and massive work—one of my friends pointed out that it's the equivalent of about 30 feature films—while preserving such a consistent and coherent vision.

No comments: