It is my pleasure to acknowledge the great aid of teachers, colleagues, family, and friends who made it possible for me to write this book, over the busy, transforming years in which I traveled from the University of Virginia to Yale and back again.
Michael Levenson, of generous counsel and expansive vision, has profoundly inspired my work and this unfolding project. Deborah McDowell has been a vital teacher, advisor, and critic, her insights essential to this study's evolution. Susan Fraiman and Alison Booth, long cherished mentors, were invaluable readers of the developing manuscript. Paul Cantor and Gordon Hutner offered key guidance in the early stages, and Arthur Kirsch, Maryse Condé, Clare Kinney, and Kathleen Balutansky were teachers of enduring impact. The University of Virginia and Yale University both provided support for my research and writing. I thank American Literary History for granting permission to reprint a revised form of an essay first published there as Chapter 1, and the University Press of Virginia for permission to reprint a revised form of an essay as Chapter 5.
I gladly acknowledge my debt to Oxford's superb readers, Jay Clayton, Johanna X. K. Garvey, and Silvio Torres-Saillant, for their meticulous, fruitful readings of the manuscript. I have been fortunate, too, to find other gifted readers: Herbert Tucker, Jennifer Wicke, Elisabeth Ladenson, Stephen Arata, Andrea Levine, Giavanna Munafo, Jean Kane, Ian Duncan, Suzanne Keen, and Ian Baucom. For their support and counsel I thank Raymond Nelson, Gordon Braden, Patricia Spacks, Mark Edmundson, Eric Lott, Jessica Feldman, Stephen Cushman, Anthony Winner, Tejumola Olaniyan, Richard Brodhead, William Jewett, Margaret Homans, Ays¸e Agis¸, and Langdon