This book has been shaped in discussion with many friends and colleagues. It owes much to the following: John Barnes, Michael Black, Richard Campbell, John Casey, Axel Clark, Cora Diamond, Frances Dixon, Paul Eggert, Richard Eldridge, John Finnis, Marie Finnis, Richard Freadman, Jennifer Gribble, Robin Grove, Simon Haines, Dirk den Hartog, Michael Holquist, Rob Jackson, Nicholas Jose, Ann Loftus, Kevin Magarey, Michael Meehan, and John Wiltshire.
The research for the book and much of the writing were done while on study leave from the Australian National University, to which I am grateful.
I am grateful too to the Institute for Advanced Study of Indiana University, where as a Visiting Scholar in late 1991 I wrote nearly half the book. The Director, Henry Remak, was an unfailing stimulus during this period and the Assistant Director, Ivona Hedin, was always there when needed. Among the many members of faculty at Indiana University who helped to make my stay there so productive, I wish to thank John Eakin and Albert Wertheim especially.
I am much indebted to the work of the late Sam Goldberg. As a reader and editor he was the most searching of critics as well as a supporter of my work over many years. Chapters 1, 6, 7, 9 and 10, are based on articles published in numbers 31, 26, 27, 30, and 20 respectively of The Critical Review. Chapter 8 began as an article published in Meridian in 1988.
This book owes a great deal to Jane Adamson, who has been generous as a friend and collaborator over many years. I am also grateful to Iain Wright, who made many fruitful suggestions; and to Fred Langman, who read the whole manuscript at a late stage and gave me invaluable advice and encouragement. Sue Fraser and Christine Carroll helped in important ways at the eleventh hour.
My debt to Helen and our children is all-pervasive.