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[[image]] Joseph Cornell, View magazine cover, 10 5/16 x 7 1/4", January 1943. sharp and prolonged attention. Seemingly this is a world which is all charm and delight. But if the audience feels only this, they have missed the show. What are these bits of effluvia, these stray fragments of other times, other places? A ribbon from a ballet slipper, a scrap of old newsprint, a ragged label, a faded announcement? What is the "Hotel Continental"? Why this hint of a line from Nerval? Why does "a violet syrup confound the bees of evening"? Why should an artist who never went further west than Nyack or further east than West Hampton embrace the world as a form of memorabilia, merz, ephemera? "I rode the Third Avenue El," said Joseph, the dry-goods salesman working for his merchant father. Daily he traveled up and down Third Avenue from the Battery to the train that would take him back to Flushing, to Utopia Parkway, the world of Gluyas Williams where every little house with a one-car garage in the backyard looked alike. "I rode the Third Avenue El and observed the tops of all the buildings in lower New York." The dropout from the Andover Preparatory School, who never learned to draw, paint or sculpt, saw the western world on the facades and peaks of skyscrapers, warehouses, office buildings, a New York which even now is disappearing. He looked through windows and knew he was fated to be a voyeur searching for le pays bleu. "It may have been the biting wind that Saturday morning that made glow any routine trifle with the slightest glint 78 ART IN AMERICA
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