Place in Literature: Regions, Cultures, Communities

By Roberto M. Dainotto | Go to book overview

Acknowledgments

Finishing a first book, so I have been told, often results in feelings of delight and joy. My particular delight is that of recognizing, after the work is done, the generosity of those who provided their assistance and contributions and helped me to give this work shape and consistency. My first thank you then goes to Timothy Reiss and Richard Sieburth, who helped me the most. Without their ideas and questions, this would have been a different book — and a feebler one for sure. For the future, I may only hope for readers of such passionate erudition, and for such intellectual stimulation. I am also grateful to Margaret Cohen and Jennifer Wicke for their help with theoretical issues, and to Barbara Spackman for having questioned my refusal to question some of Verga's more questionable assumptions regarding the "objectivity" of his regionalism. If Verga still escapes my criticism, it is not because I did not follow her advice, but because I could not. Call it omertà, if you wish, but have you ever heard of a Sicilian doubting Verga?!

What I understand of Heidegger's and Husserl's "regional" aesthetics is the fruit of lengthy conversations with Martin Reichardt, whom I also thank for some great Thai lunches. Filippo Acquachiara, infermiere per professione intellettuale per vocazione, found and passed along to me much of the material I used for the chapter on Gentile and Fascism. Roee Rosen was kind enough to read parts of my original draft and show expressions of encouraging enthusiasm. He should perhaps reconsider sainthood. I would also like to thank Daniel Javitch for his ready answers to rhetorical riddles and for generously sharing with me anything he could find on maps and literature. Since this might not be the appropriate context in which to thank him also for his continuous help and encouragement during graduate school and "post-doc" exile, I shall refrain from doing so.

A very special acknowledgment, in a book devoted to space, goes to Eugenio Somaini, Antonio Somaini, and Maggie Cardelus, who offered me nothing less than the space — literally! — to write the following pages. My wife, Edna, helped me every time her knowledge was needed, and shared with me all the hardships that accompanied the writing of this book. Happy that it is finally over, she is now fine, doing well, and regaining the lost weight.

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