Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


“Now Dick had listened to all this conversation. Being an enterprising young man, he thought he saw a chance for a speculation, and determined to avail himself of it. Accordingly he stepped up to the two just as Frank’s uncle was about leaving, and said, “I know all about the city, sir; I’ll show him around, if you want me to.” The gentleman looked a little curiously at the ragged figure before him. So you are a city boy, are you? Yes, sir,” said Dick, “I’ve lived here ever since I was a baby.” “And you know all about the public buildings, I suppose?” “Yes, sir.” / “And the Central Park?” “Yes, sir. I know my way all round.” The gentleman looked thoughtful. “I don’t know what to say, Frank,” he remarked after a while. “It is rather a novel proposal. He isn’t exactly the sort of guide I would have picked out for you. Still he looks honest. He has an open face, and I think can be depended upon.” “I wish he wasn’t so ragged and dirty,” said Frank, who felt a little shy about being seen with such a companion.” Horatio Alger, Jr., Ragged Dick. What is it that the Kander and Ebb song says about New York City? “If I can make it there, / I’d make it anywhere.” From its origins as a Dutch mercantile center to its modern incarnation as the financial center of the United States and a target for the terrorists of 9/11, New York, as the song suggests, has held a special place in the country’s national mythology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge Companion to
Subtitle of host publicationThe Literature of New York
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781139002844
ISBN (Print)9780521514712
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities


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