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"A Trail of Drift and Debris": Traces of Whitman in the Correspondence Art of Ray Johnson
Journal of American Studies
In 1987, the artist Ray Johnson, 'leader' of the so-called New York Correspondence School, filled his mouth with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups and read some of Walt Whitman's musings on the nature of correspondence in a performance that Johnson dubbed 'Smile.' An example of what Johnson termed his 'nothings,' 'Smile' took place in an empty ATM vestibule on Long Island, the nostalgic 'Paumanok' of Whitman's poetry. Johnson's performance both elevated and mocked Whitman's equally personal approachdoi:10.1017/s002187581400125x fatcat:xzbrgonnfva3pldikscacnlvyu