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Brian Doyle's Defense Of The Suburbs

OPB | Dec. 6, 2013 12:30 p.m. | Updated: Dec. 6, 2013 1:54 p.m.

The Bethany subdivision in the Portland metropolitan area

The Bethany subdivision in the Portland metropolitan area

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The depiction of the suburbs in the media is often merciless. In film, television, books, and music, the ‘burbs are often portrayed as “soulless, colorless, bland prisons for mindless automatons — vast, shallow plats of repression in which the young and free-spirited are trapped, and from which they struggle to escape,” writer Brian Doyle observes.

Doyle, who lives in suburban Lake Oswego, takes up a defense of the suburbs in the upcoming issue of Oregon Humanities magazine. 

“They are that in-between space, with something of the populous fizz and bustle of cities, and something too of the sprawl and ancient lure of landscape not wholly ordered by human beings. Perhaps they are often dismissed and insulted by popular culture because of this very compromise, this mongrel nature; but perhaps a little of both is a fine way to be.”

Do you, or have you, lived in the suburbs? What was your experience like?


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