Tuesday, January 13, 2015

"Making Sense of Detroit"


An essay written in 1999 by David M. Sheridan, "Making Sense of Detroit," for Michigan Quarterly Review, is more relevant today than when it was written

Sheridan outlines the cycles of Detroit's history, from dystopia to utopia. It's hard to think of another American city which in little more than 200 years has had such exhilarating highs alternating with devastating lows. Detroit has been knocked down more than once. This is always followed by dreamers seeking to impose their vision upon the ruins. Which is certainly happening now. Whether this is bad or good is open to discussion.

I have a selfish reason for recommending Sheridan's essay, in that it describes an essay of my own about Detroit-- one which seems no longer available, but must be archived somewhere. I'm mentioned far down in the body of the long piece, not as a writer, but a bartender, which I take as a compliment. Do I have credibility to speak about Detroit? My essay; Sheridan's remarks; my own history are evidence that in some small way, I do.

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