Inside Man

What I found most interesting about the articles for this week was the different perspectives presented on Simon.  In “Stealing Life” and Nick Hornby’s interview with David Simon, a very large part of what is presented is Simon talking about himself and The Wire.  As we have discussed before, it is necessary to be wary of the auteur’s representation of himself or his work because he often has ulterior motives.  Especially in Hornby’s piece, which contains long, unbroken monologues by Simon, the reader learns a lot about Simon and his vision for The Wire, but none of this is strictly true.  For example, Simon states, “The creators and contributors are not by training or inclination television writers,” (Hornby) but this seems suspect.  While it is true that none of the writers were trained as television writers, it is difficult to believe that they have no inclination toward television writing.  If they did not have any inclination toward television writing, then why did they become writers for a television series?  And why did they continue to write a television series?  This statement by Simon serves to separate The Wire from ordinary television, as is the show’s strategy, but it serves more to paint the show in a unique light than to present the truth of the writers’ situation.  Another interesting moment is when Simon describes the work of Laura Lippmann in Hornby’s piece.  He discusses the many novelists who set their work in Baltimore and states, “Laura Lippman moves all around the city, but her latest stand-alone novels are actually strongly referenced to Baltimore County, which is the suburban subdivision that actually encircles Baltimore city. She’s been mining places like Towson and Padonia and Owings Mills, where a lot of the upper-middle-class wealth has migrated” (Hornby).  In the context of the Hornby article, this seemed like a simple description of the work of a Baltimore writer.  in “Stealing Life,” however, the reader learns that Laura Lippmann is Simon’s wife.  This puts an entirely new spin on the way Simon discusses Lippmann’s work and illuminates the fact that there are many details we do not have access to.  Simon conceals the fact that Lippmann is his wife, so in what other ways is he intentionally or unintentionally deceiving the readers of the interviews?  It was interesting to get the other perspective in Bowden’s “The Angriest Man in Television.”  It was fascinating to see how the journalist so quickly became Simon’s enemy.  But this article also presents issues of interpretation, as perhaps the writer has become too personally involved in the story to present it fairly.

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