The Ways of the World: Comedy and Society

The Ways of the World: Comedy and Society

The Ways of the World: Comedy and Society

The Ways of the World: Comedy and Society

Excerpt

I began regular work on this volume in 1971-72, when I was a Senior Fellow of the National Endowment for the Humanities and was on sabbatical leave from the University of Washington, and I finished the first draft in 1975-76, when I was a Guggenheim Fellow. I am most grateful to these three institutions for their generous support. The period of "regular work" had both a before and an after. The before was my pleasant stint as SAGE lecturer in 1971; my primary lecture for the eight universities in the Southeast who were my kind hosts was a sketching of some of the ideas that are developed in The Ways of the World. The after was the final revision; I did this in the spring of 1977 when I held the Arnold Professorship at Whitman College, an attractive appointment that allowed some time for writing, and I am happy to acknowledge the official and personal kindnesses of President Robert Skotheim. In both fellowship years I had the run of the British Library and the Marylebone Library in London, as well as the assistance of staff members at both libraries, and of course I constantly had the privileges of the University of Washington Library. I want particularly to mention the many acts of literary rescue-work by Mrs. Bernadette Gualtieri, who has the rare gift of making a request for help sound like a welcome opportunity to dig further into the reference world which she has made her own.

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