Old Weird America: Postcards from a Ghost Town

There’s a lot of talk right now about people who are “mythologizing” the cities they live in. I get a little sick of the word and the promiscuity with which it is applied — everyone from big name rock stars to local intersection schizophrenics are being credited with doing it — but I still think it’s an important job and I’m happy when people do it well.

A lot of my friends grew up in Windsor, Ontario, which has a lovely and sort of misleading view of Detroit across the river. Detroit, for them, is a mythical place, a dark sleeping monster, an impossible arsenal of terrors and wonders. It has abandoned mansions and derelict theatres and train stations that make the place look like a gorgeous, quiet apocalypse, and all the culture that exists there seems to exist underground.

Rose White has made a document of the humdrum, quotidian, amazing days in the life of Detroit — her zine does exactly what people talk about when they talk about mythologizing a place. It’s a set of ten or so postcard stories, and each is a perfect literary accompishment unto itself (I mean it). The portrait they make of the city is subtle and precise and personal, a happy but uncomfortable walking tour through the loveable, hateable place. (Anna Bowness)

#1, Rose White, 14 pgs., US$3, 619 Fifth St., Owosso, IM, 48867, U.S.A., old_weird@yahoo.com


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