Reading Essays: An Invitation

By G. Douglas Atkins | Go to book overview

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I OWE MOST, NATURALLY, to the “glorious” form that is my subject, and to their makers, the remarkable artists who have crafted essays with love since Montaigne showed them how, over four hundred years ago. At the same time, I wish to acknowledge the hundreds of students, graduate and undergraduate, to whom I have introduced the essay during the past twenty years—students nearly all of whom felt invited in and accepted that invitation. In particular I should like to express my gratitude to students who have taught me much and to critics, writers, and friends from whom I have taken more than is conscionable; these include, but are not limited to, Lydia Fakundiny, Scott Russell Sanders, Lynn Worsham, Jasper Neel, Geoffrey Hartman, Tod Marshall, Randy D. Gordon, Andrew C. West, Simone Sessolo, Nedra Rogers, Samuel Alexandr Schneider, Cara McConnell, Dan Martin, Steven Faulkner, Melissa Bagley, Carol Estes, James Farnen, Kirsten Bosnak, Annie McEnroe, Jackie McClenny, Jen Humphrey, and Chris Arthur. I cannot but single out the extraordinary help Lydia Fakundiny provided as “first reader” for the University of Georgia Press (I feel like Eliot acknowledging his debt to Pound, without, of course, imagining myself on either of their levels). Also, Nicholas Taylor, for his copyediting, and Jennifer Reichlin. And once more, Nancy Grayson, associate director and editor-in-chief of the press, was exemplary—supportive, encouraging, critical—in handling this project, from an inchoate notion to a proposal to this book. None of these persons, or any others, bears any responsibilities for errors, omissions, or remaining awkwardnesses. I thank the University of Kansas for a sabbatical leave, during which a good deal of the writing was done. Long-standing debts of a different sort remain to my daughter, Leslie Atkins Durham, and to my son, Christopher Douglas Atkins. In recognition and with gratitude and love, I dedicate this essai to my wife, Rebecca, who incarnates invitation and welcome.

-xv-

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