This project has taught me that writing, while a relentlessly solitary activity, is also a collaborative effort, and I am happy to be able at last to acknowledge, however inadequately, some of the many debts I have incurred in the course of my work. The first and greatest of these is to Catherine Bangert Posner, my wife, who, in addition to being my most incisive reader, has constantly maintained her sense of humor and perspective throughout the entire process, thereby enabling me to maintain mine. The extraordinary générosité, magnanimité, and franchise of David Quint, under whose direction this book originated, have made my work far better than it would otherwise be. Likewise, François Rigolot, Alban K. Forcione, and Lionel Gossman have been invariably generous and conscientious in their reading and oversight of my work. Natalie Z. Davis and Thomas Pavel have also been kind enough to read and comment upon portions of the text.
Eric MacPhail has shown me that Bacon was wrong, and Montaigne right, about friendship. Pierre and Thelonious did all the work. To Giuseppe Mazzotta, whose generous encouragement and sage counsel came at a crucial time, I owe a special debt of thanks. I am likewise grateful for the kindness and support of my colleagues at Loyola University Chicago. Herbert Lindenberger and RenéGirard, my undergraduate advisors, opened intellectual doors for me in ways that I am only beginning to appreciate. Among the many other friends and colleagues who have contributed in various ways, I would like to mention Albert Russell Ascoli, Lorenz Böninger, Meredith Gill, Ullrich Langer, Norma MacManaway, Louisa Matthew, Glenn W. Most, Robert Norton, and Rachel Weil. I am grateful to the editor of the Cambridge Studies in Renaissance Literature and Culture, Stephen Orgel, for welcoming my work into the fold, and for his remarkable patience. In my revisions, I have been guided above all by the generous and thoughtful comments of Timothy Reiss, whose careful reading of the entire manuscript helped me to rethink and clarify a number of important issues. Josie Dixon, Maureen Leach, and Susannah Commings of Cambridge University Press were exemplary in their expertise and patience. My thanks to Loyola's Office of Research Services, and