There have been a lot of comparisons between the latest wave of “smart” TV dramas and the Victorian novel: both serialized, both once considered low culture. But none so literal—or so literary—as Down in the Hole: The unWired World of H.B. Ogden. The new book by Joy DeLyria and Sean Michael Robinson re-imagines HBO’s The Wire as a long-forgotten 19th-century masterpiece, only now just assuming its rightful place in the English canon. Based on their meme-status blog and structured as an academic essay, it includes excerpts, illustrations, and many an instance for Mr. McNulty to proclaim “Aw, fuck” (explained in the book’s footnotes as, “mid-19th century slang, an expression of dismay”). But unlike some Seth Grahame-Smith–ish copy-and-paste jobs, DeLyria and Robinson seem to be out for more than just yuks, making a valid case about the legacy-potential of pop culture. Tonight, they’ll host a reading along with comic book critic Tucker Stone.

Thu., Sept. 27, 7 p.m., 2012

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