Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Sigmund Freud at Coney's DreamLand

"Freud in Coney Island" the latest book from authour Norman M. Klien takes its cue from that last bit of make-believe. Klein, who teaches at the California Institute of the Arts' School of Critical Studies, interweaves fiction with social criticism, reportage and confessional memoir, but it's fiction he seems to enjoy most — fiction of a loose and absurdist sort, separated from fact by the blurriest of boundaries. Sigmund Freud did visit Coney Island in 1909. That much is true, but we know next to nothing about his day at the beach, so Klein takes the opportunity to fill in the blanks. And who could resist the chance to write a sentence like this: "There is reason to believe that Freud walked into Dreamland, the last and most bourgeois of the three amusement parks in Coney Island"? Or to point out that to enter the park, the famed explorer of unconscious desire would have had to walk through a tunnel carved directly between the thighs of a sculpted 30-foot nude with breasts "larger than haystacks"?

What if Freud visited Coney Island? [Sun Sentinal]

Inside The Stomach of the Dragon: The Victory of the Entertainment Economy [Eyebeam Journal]

Freud in Coney Island And Other Tales (excerpt)
written by Norman M. Klein
published by Otis Books/Seismicity Editions
104 pages, $12.95 paper back

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