“You asked me about the connection between Detroit and New York,” Mr. Joseph said. “Detroit is the great modern city. And it becomes metaphorically the great industrial city. Céline writes about two cities when he comes to America in Journey to the End of the Night: New York and Detroit. Why? In 1932, when he writes perhaps the first great international novel of the 20th century, why does he choose New York and Detroit? What are your central metaphors internationally in 1932, when you’re going into a Depression? The center of the United States was Detroit and New York.” He slapped the table. “And I’m aware of that. Is Detroit still the center? It doesn’t matter. Detroiters will tell you that it is. And the world seems to think it’s pretty important.”
For the rest of this New York Observer interview, click here.