Some loved The Wire and think it’s a great work of literary genius. Others think the show has done a disservice to our fair city by showing its dark underbelly, in all its dysfunctional glory.

No matter what camp you fall into, you’ll have the rare chance to discuss it with the show’s creator when Baltimore-based author, journalist and television writer/producer David Simon lectures at MICA February 29 at 7 p.m. on the state of Baltimore in 2012 and the legacy of The Wire.

Simon was invited on campus by MICA’s new “The Wire & American Naturalism” class as a celebrated literary naturalist writer. Like the creators of the The Wire, American naturalist novelists of the 1890s and early 20th century produced searing depictions of urban criminality and economic injustice. While simultaneously reading from naturalist texts and viewing Simon’s groundbreaking series, the class investigates the relationship between naturalism, political reform and melodrama; examines the scientific and intellectual foundations of the literary movement; and considers the philosophical problems posed by a naturalist worldview.

Simon worked for The Baltimore Sun for 12 years before writing Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets and co-writing The Corner: A Year in the Life of an Inner-City Neighborhood with Ed Burns. The books became the basis for the NBC series Homicide: Life on the Street and the HBO mini-series The Corner, respectively. Simon is the creator, writer and executive producer of The Wire, Generation Kill and Treme.   

The event, in MICA’s Falvey Hall in the Brown Center, 1301 W. Mount Royal Ave., is free and open to the public.

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