Dramatizing the truth: David Simon's poetics in three HBO miniseries

  • Marco Mongelli Università di Bologna-L'Aquila
Keywords: David Simon, Show me a hero, The Corner, Generation Kill, miniseries


One of the most acclaimed and recognized authors of contemporary TV series, David Simon is by now widely known for his ability to bring together complexity and depth – both ethical and cognitive – in his works.
Although The Wire is unarguably Simon’s masterpiece, many of his works show his ambition to use fiction as a way to investigate the present. Such unique poetics clearly emerges in his HBO miniseries The Corner (2000), Generation Kill (2008) and Show me a hero (2015): in depicting and narrating the social phenomena and the significant events that characterise our present, he combines accuracy and sensitivity by means of an approach which is both journalistic and dramatic.
This essay aims at demonstrating such argument through a close-up analysis of the three texts. A comparative reading will show in which way – despite the heterogeneity of  themes and narrative techniques – they share the civic, social and political need to tell the truth about our contemporary world in order to change it.


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Author Biography

Marco Mongelli, Università di Bologna-L'Aquila

Marco Mongelli (1989) is a PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Bologna-L'Aquila. He graduated in Humanities from the University of Siena and he spent one year at the Université Paris Diderot 7 as an exchange student. His field of research is the contemporary novel, specifically from a literary and comparative point of view; his essays appeared on Italian and French journals. He is one of the founders of the lit-blog “404: file not found” (www.quattrocentoquattro.com) on which he writes about literature, music, cinema and tv series. He has recently published an essay called “The reality in fiction: the hybridization of fiction and non fiction in contemporary literature”.


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How to Cite
Mongelli, M. (2016). Dramatizing the truth: David Simon’s poetics in three HBO miniseries. Between, 6(11). https://doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/2075