Fighting the Flames: The Spectacular Performance of Fire at Coney Island

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Taylor & Francis, 2006 - History - 131 pages
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In Fighting the Flames, Sally contextualizes, historicizes, and theorizes the spectacular performance of fire at turn-of-the-twentieth century Coney Island. The performance of fire included staged exhibits, such as Fire and Flames and Fighting the Flames, and the real fires that plagued its history. While Coney Island placed fire center stage in its fire-based disaster spectacles, fire has continuously burned its own bridge, destroying the producer who wants to make fire the star of his show. The real conflagrations at Coney Island insert precisely what was missing from these staged performances: ephemerality, unpredictability, and newness of the present that serve as metaphors for not only fire but for the development of the metropolis and the advent of modernity.

 

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Contents

Introduction
1
Fighting Fire Fighters and the Public Performance of Heroism
9
Urban Fire Tenement Houses and Coney Island as Prometheus
31
FIGHTING THE FLAMES ON STAGE
47
Fighting the Flames at Earls Court and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition
49
Coney Island and Spectacle as TotalBody Experience
57
Fire and Flames and Fighting the Flames at Coney Island
71
Creative Destruction and Elemental Performativity
89
Notes
99
Selected Bibliography
119
Index
127
Copyright

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