For the reader, a book's acknowledgments are an hors d'oeuvre; for the au-
thor, they are a delicious dessert. What a pleasure it is to thank the friends
who have nourished me through the years in which I have worked on this
book, and for whom I have written it, as a cook lOVingly prepares a special
dinner for a group of his favorite gourmets. As the reader will discover,
this book is crUcially informed and enabled by the teaching offour critics,
three of whom I am proud to have as friends (about the fourth, see below):
John Kucich, whose essay on Trollope, which would figure in his book
The Power of Lies, prOVided an early stimulus for my study of sophistication;
D. A. Miller, the exhilarating influence of whose reading and writing, not
to mention the pleasure of whose company in various restaurants, has
helped me get in touch with appetites I had sometimes been too "nice"
to own up to; and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, who has unfailingly offered
moral support while performing numerous acts of practical importance
to my work, and who, by her extraordinary example, has affected my
style of thinking in ways even more numerous and more decisive.
It was Eve who introduced me to Ken Wissoker of Duke University
Press. Ken's interest in this book, as it was taking shape, made
much more fun and exciting to write. A superb and generous editor, he
has also become a wise and valued friend.
I also wish to thank two of the other editors at Series Q. Jonathan
Goldberg and Michael Moon, whose praise has meant so much to me.
Among the many reasons why
am delighted to be publishing with
Duke is that
puts me in the company of four other wonderful crit-
ics and friends who are also recent Duke authors: William Cohen, Jane
Gallop, James Kincaid, and Mary Ann O'Farrell. Who could ask for better
neighbors than these?