The below were mostly rescued from Google, 19 August 2005; somebody needed to do this. Needs more organization & updating. Compiled by Dan Visel, email dbvisel AT gmail.com. I am not, of course, William S. Wilson, just a friend.
4 February 2016: Bill Wilson passed away on Monday 1 February 2016. Like many others, I will miss him tremendously. I’ll gather notes and post them here as I find them or as people send them. His family’s announcement:
We are writing with the sad news that our father, Bill Wilson, died on Monday February 1st, 2016. He suffered a swift heart attack following cancer surgery. We were relieved that his daughter-in-law Mary was by his side at the time.
He is of course deeply missed by his family, including our spouses and partners—Mary, Stephanie Grant, and Aseel Sawalha—and Bill’s four grandchildren—Jackson, Alex, Augusta, and Josephine.
There will be a small, private memorial gathering for his family and friends, and we warmly invite you to join us there: Sunday, February 7th, 2016, from 4–6 pm in Reddens Funeral Home (325 West 14th Street, New York, 10014). Neither RSVP nor flowers are necessary.
Please know that other well-wishers will be invited to join us in a larger birthday celebration memorial in early April this year.
The first formal obituary is copied below and will be published in the New York Times this Friday and Sunday.
With warm regards,
Kate Wilson, Ara Wilson, Andrew Wilson
William S. Wilson III (1932–2016)
William S. Wilson, 83, beloved brother, father and grandfather, died in Manhattan on Monday, February 1, 2016 from cardiac arrest. Born in Baltimore, April 7, 1932, he was raised in Maryland, attended the University of Virginia for his B.A., and Yale University for his Ph.D. He taught college as a professor of English in Queens College, City University of New York from 1962 until his retirement in the early 1990s. While raising three children in Chelsea, he published a collection of short stories, Why I Don’t Write Like Franz Kafka (1975), and the novel Birthplace (1982). The son of assemblage artist May Wilson, he was deeply involved in the post-war New York art world, the subject of his numerous published essays. Survivors include his sister, Betty Jane Butler, children Katherine, Ara and Andrew and grandchildren Jack, Alex, Augusta and Josephine. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be offered in his honor to PBS public television or the High Line or the Baltimore Museum. A celebratory birthday memorial is planned for early April, 2016, in Manhattan.
- Why I Don’t Write Like Franz Kafka. Ecco Press, 1977; FC2 2003. FC2 page. On Amazon, LibraryThing.
- Birthplace: moving into nearness, North Point Press, 1982. On Amazon, LibraryThing.
- Ray Johnson Ray Johnson. PDF, 5.4Mb. 1977 Between Books edition. On Catnyp (NYPL), LibraryThing.
- Ray Johnson John Willenbecher. PDF, 8.3Mb. A second Between Books edition, from some time later. On LibraryThing.
- Black Mountain College Dossiers No. 4: Ray Johnson, includes With Ray: the art of friendship. On Amazon, LibraryThing.
- Paris Review 70 (summer 1977), includes “Conveyance: ‘The story I would never want Bill Wilson to read'”. On Amazon, Bookfinder, LibraryThing.
- Antaeus 19 (autumn 1975); includes Joseph McElroy’s “Wilson’s Métier,” on Wilson’s fiction. On Amazon, Bookfinder, LibraryThing.
- Antaeus 20 (winter 1976). On Amazon, Bookfinder, LibraryThing.
- Antaeus 21/22 (spring/summer 1976). On Amazon, Bookfinder.
- TriQuarterly 34 (fall 1975), includes “Desire,” pp. 58–61. On Amazon, Bookfinder.
- Ray Johnson: Correspondences, ed. Donna De Salvo, Flammarion, 1999. Includes “Ray Johnson: the one and the other.” On Amazon, LibraryThing.
- William S. Wilson, “Exegetical Grammar in the House of Fame,” English Language Notes 1 (1964), 244–288.
- William S. Wilson, “Scholastic Logic in Chaucer’s House of Fame,” Chaucer Review, i, 3 (Winter 1967), 181–184.
- William S. Wilson, “Picasso,” Art Journal, 56, 1 (Spring 1997), pp.88–93.
- The Big Book. Review of The Big Book by Alison Knowles from Art in America, referenced here.
- The Big Book. Another review of The Big Book by Alison Knowles, this one from the Journal of Typographical Research.
- Short biography at FC2
- Mention in a Joseph Taibbi review at EBR
- Review of Black Mountain College Dossiers No. 4: Ray Johnson and Daniel Wenk’s The Truth on Tape
- Bits of a letter feature in a Joseph Taibbi piece on Daniel Wenk
- A mention of Why I Don’t . . . from the same piece
- A mention in Trey Strecker’s “The Mind Fields of Joseph McElroy”
- A mention on mail art & artists
- Ray Johnson bibliography
- Another Ray Johnson bibliography, compiled with Bill’s help
- A third Ray Johnson bibliography
- Appearance of “interim” (published in Anteus 25, 1977) in a mammoth science fiction bibliography
- Mention of WSW’s review of Ernest Samuels’s Bernard Berenson: The Making of a Legend in American Book Review, Vol. 11, No. 4, Sept/Oct 1989
- Mention of WSW’s review of Jay David Bolter’s Writing Space: The Computer, Hypertext, and the History of Writing and George P. Landow’s Hypertext in American Book Review, Vol. 14, No. 2, June/July 1992
- Birthplace mentioned as a nominee for the PEN/Faulkner award in 1983
- Ruud Janssen/John Held Jr interview mentioning WSW
- Matthew Rose: “Some Assembly Required” (about Ray Johnson, includes WSW correspondence)
- Jeanne Marie Kusina: “The Evolution and Revolutions of the Networked Art Aesthetic” (about Ray Johnson, includes WSW correspondence)
- Bill Wilson failing to appear in How to Draw a Bunny
- WSW’s name appearing in Ray Johnson’s work
- Brief mention of WSW’s writing for Artforum in a piece by Joseph Masheck
- Press release for a show at the Padiglione d’Arte Contemporanea; the catalogue includes an essay by WSW on Massimo Bartolini
- A mention in The Economist‘s review of Michael Kimmelman’s The Accidental Masterpiece: on the art of life and vice versa
- Excerpt from Robert L. Schwarz’s Why I Don’t Write Like William S. Wilson
- Mention w/r/t to Ray Johnson’s green shoe box at warholstars.org
- Another mention at warholstars.org, this time including Valerie Solanas
- Several mentions in a John Suiter article on Ray Johnson, originally from the Independent on Sunday
- Excerpt of a review (from Art in America, July/August 1968) of Alison Knowles’s The Big Book (reprinted in full here).
A compilation of postings rescued from the Web, vaguely sorted.
- “NY Correspondance School” (originally 1966, new introduction 2004)
- “Ray Johnson and the Number 13”
- “Reference and Relation” (excerpt from Ray Johnson, 1977)
- “Reference and Relation” (the above, in Hungarian, trans. Fordította Kiss-Pál Klára)
- response to auction of Ray Johnson’s work on eBay
- A discussion about How to Draw a Bunny and objectivity
- Photographs of Ray Johnson by Wm. S. Wilson
- Ray Johnson postcards sent by WSW
- Duchamp & Leonardo da Vinci
- Duchamp & Baroness Else von Freytag, although mostly about his urinal
- More on the urinal
- Duchamp & mass with particular reference to “In Advance of a Broken Arm”
- Duchamp & “hype”, Warhol, and Wallace Stevens.
- (makes reference to this piece, about Duchamp & Richard Serra)
- Duchamp & chess
- More Duchamp & chess
- Duchamp & chess, no. 3
- Duchamp’s urinal/fountain
- Duchamp’s urinal
- More Duchamp’s urinal
- Duchamp & architecture
- Duchamp, art & space
- Duchamp & signatures
- More on Duchamp & signatures in art
- Duchamp & self portraits
- Duchamp & self portraits, further
- Duchamp & Ferdinand de Saussure
- Henri Pierre Roché
Christo & Jeanne-Claude
- Review of Picasso at MOMA, originally from Art Journal, Spring 1997
Art & artists (more generally)
- “The End of Exemptions for Beauty” (at EBR, currently down, archive here.)
- Artists & pseudonyms
- on Modernism
- on self-portraits
- on Modernism & Giovanni de Paolo’s Paradise
- The shock (or lack thereof) of the avant-garde
- “Joseph McElroy: fathoming the field” (Electronic Book Review)
Hardt & Negri
- boklist.blogspot.com, a blog devoted to book & mail art, promises future postings.
- A note on Clive Philpott
- Duchamp & Francois Le Lionnais
- Duchamp & puns: references
- The Pollack estate & painting authentication
- A piece by Balla at the Centro Duchamp
- The symbolism of hair.
- Referenced in a piece on Eva Hesse (with particular reference to “Eva Hesse: on the threshold of illusions”)