A Coney Island Reader: Through Dizzy Gates of Illusion

Paperback | December 9, 2014

EditorLouis J. Parascandola, John Parascandola

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Featuring a stunning gallery of portraits by the world's finest poets, essayists, and fiction writers--including Walt Whitman, Stephen Crane, José Martí, Maxim Gorky, Federico García Lorca, Isaac Bashevis Singer, E. E. Cummings, Djuna Barnes, Colson Whitehead, Robert Olen Butler, and Katie Roiphe--this anthology is the first to focus on the unique history and transporting experience of a beloved fixture of the New York City landscape.

Moody, mystical, and enchanting, Coney Island has thrilled newcomers and soothed native New Yorkers for decades. With its fantasy entertainments, renowned beach foods, world-class boardwalk, and expansive beach, it provides a welcome respite from the city's dense neighborhoods, unrelenting traffic, and somber grid. Coney Island has long offered a kaleidoscopic panorama of people, places, and events, creating, as Lawrence Ferlinghetti once wrote, "a Coney Island of the mind." This anthology captures the highs and lows of that sensation, with works that imagine Coney Island as a restful resort, a playground for the masses, and a symbol of America's democratic spirit, as well as a Sodom by the sea, a garish display of capitalist excess, and a paradigm of urban decay. As complex as the city of which it is a part, Coney Island engenders limitless perspectives, a composite inspiring everyone who encounters it to sing its electric song.

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Featuring a stunning gallery of portraits by the world's finest poets, essayists, and fiction writers--including Walt Whitman, Stephen Crane, José Martí, Maxim Gorky, Federico García Lorca, Isaac Bashevis Singer, E. E. Cummings, Djuna Barnes, Colson Whitehead, Robert Olen Butler, and Katie Roiphe--this anthology is the first to focus ...

Louis J. Parascandola is professor of English at Long Island University. He is the editor of "Look for Me All Around You": Anglophone Caribbean Immigrants in the Harlem Renaissance and coeditor of In Search of Asylum: The Later Writings of Eric Walrond.John Parascandola taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before serving as c...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:360 pages, 8.5 × 7 × 0.68 inPublished:December 9, 2014Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231165730

ISBN - 13:9780231165730

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Read Kevin Baker's foreword to A Coney Island Reader

Table of Contents

List of IllustrationsForeword, by Kevin BakerAcknowledgmentsA Note on the TextSelected Chronology of Coney IslandIntroductionThe Beginnings Through 1896 ["Clam-Bake at Coney Island"], by Walt Whitman"Coney Island", by Charles Dawson Shanly"To Coney Island", by William Henry Bishop"Coney Island", by José Martí"Coney Island's Failing Days", by Stephen Crane"Coney Island", by Julian RalphThe Era of the Three Great Amusement Parks, 1897-1911 "Marvelous Coney Island", by Guy Wetmore Carryl"Human Need of Coney Island", by Richard Le Gallienne"Boredom", by Maxim Gorky"The Master Showman of Coney Island", by Peter Lyon"Amusing the Million", by Frederic Thompson"The Way of the Girl", by Belle Lindner Israels"Why Is Coney?", by Reginald Wright Kauffman"The Coney Island Excursion", by Kathy PeissSamantha at Coney Island and a Thousand Other Islands, by Marietta Holley"Coney Island", by Sara Teasdale"The Greater Coney", by O. HenryDreamland, by Kevin Baker"In Dreams Begin Responsibilities", by Delmore Schwartz"Sunday", by Robert Olen Butler"Ruins Help Draw 350,000 to Coney", by New York TimesThe Nickel Empire: Coney in Transition, 1912-1948 "The Tingling, Tangling Tango as 'Tis Tripped at Coney Isle", by Djuna BarnesNew Cosmopolis, by James Huneker"Human Nature with the Brakes Off-Or: Why the Schoolma'am Walked into the Sea", by Edward F. Tilyou"Coney", by Giuseppe Cautela"Coney Island", by E. E. Cummings"Landscape of a Vomiting Multitude (Dusk at Coney Island)", by Federico García Lorca"A Day in Coney Island", by Isaac Bashevis Singer"Into the Night Life", by Henry MillerNow and Then, by Joseph HellerThe Electric Michelangelo, by Sarah HallAttachment to a Letter to Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, by Robert Moses"To Heaven by Subway", by FortuneConey, by Amram Ducovny"Stranger at Coney Island", by Kenneth FearingThe Years of Decline and the Hope of Rebirth, 1949 to the PresentA Coney Island of the Mind, by Lawrence FerlinghettiThe Warriors, by Sol Yurick"Coney Island in November", by Josephine W. Johnson"My Son the Murderer", by Bernard Malamud"Mayor Blasts TA Brass on Coney Island Debacle", by George Todd"Kwan's Coney Island", by Edward Hoagland"Coney Island 1969", by Edwin Torres"Coney Island", by Colson Whitehead"A Coney Island of the Mind", by Katie Roiphe"City Planning Begins Public Review on Rezoning of Coney Island", by New York City Department of City Planning"Comments on the Revised Draft Scope of Analysis for Coney Island Rezoning Project", by Municipal Art Society"Confessions of a Coney Island Sideshow Performer", by Donald Thomas (Donny Vomit)"A Coney Island of the Mind", by Maureen F. McHughAppendix: Coney Island in Movies and Music

Editorial Reviews

From Nathan's Hotdogs and the Wonder Wheel to end-of-season gloom and recession, Coney sings the bright and dim electric song of Brooklyn's iconic peninsula. This literary anthology unfolds the layers of the unique destination while enhancing the experience with historical photos.