Writing Together, Writing Apart: Collaboration in Western American Literature

By Linda K. Karell | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

If there is one point I hope to make in this book, it is that no one writes alone. Although my name appears as the singular author of this study (because, as Michael Dorris once put it, "separate bylines work”), I am under no illusions that I am without my own collaborators or that this text is my singularly unique creation. This fact does not seem like a loss to me, whether of power, of prestige, of identity, or of authority. Quite the opposite: it reminds me of the constant and complex web of relationships in which any act of writing is embedded. Individuals, institutions, and many other texts infiltrated my consciousness, prodded me to new insights, kept me company, and in various ways provided essential support throughout the months and years this study has been under way.

My life has been enriched by many fine teachers who, in ways subtle and dramatic, have supported and encouraged me: years ago, when I was an undergraduate at Montana State University (MSU), Alanna Kathleen Brown taught me to risk beginning with what I didn't know, rather than what I did, and write from there. Joe Bourque, also an outstanding teacher of mine when I was an undergraduate, was the first to suggest that my work might be of interest to others. When I was in graduate school at the University of Rochester, Tom Hahn's intellectual enthusiasm and open-door office policy literally kept me going, and Mary Cappello's keen mind and fascinating questions led me in new directions and gave me the confidence to pursue unexpected answers.

Support from my colleagues and students also has been vital: Melody Graulich, editor of Western American Literature, has

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