No one produces a book or is fortunate enough to have a career as a literary academic without accumulating a considerable string of debts and obligations. I have received different kinds of help at different times, but always support and encouragement, from Elaine Scarry, Paul Morrison, Peter Conn, David Minter, Meredith Skura, Devon Hodges, Susan Lurie, Carol Quillen, David Nirenberg, Jane Dailey, Robyn Warhol, Deborah Harter, Billy Flesch, Laura Quinney, Robert Lucid, Wendy Steiner, Hans Bergmann, Allen Grossman, Lauren Berlant, Colleen Lamos, Denise Albanese, Inderpal Grewal, Jeff Woodward, Richard Androne, Mary Jane Androne, Christopher Newfield, Michael T. Gilmore, and Michael Booth.
I owe thanks to Allen Matusow, former dean of humanities at Rice University, for an invaluable semester of junior leave, and Walter Isle, the chair of the Rice University English Department, for his always generous and unflappable support. Terry Munísteri copyedited the whole several times over at various stages of its genesis with her usual patience, grasp of issues, and attention to detail. Lanita Martin provided steadying technical support and hands-on aid for a formidable string of computing befuddlements. Two talented graduate students at Rice aided in the preparation of the manuscript: Jenny Stearns, who checked a portion of the book for errors and inconsistencies, and Louise Penner, whose reliable and intelligent help with the whole was irreplaceable. I am grateful to Susannah Driver, who copyedited the manuscript for Rutgers University Press and identified with remarkable accuracy random errors, repeated errors, and general inadequacies.
I would like to thank Leslie Mitchner, at Rutgers University Press, for her kindness, editorial wisdom and general guidance in turning this manuscript into a book.