¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Any text such as this one owes its existence to countless individuals and institutions that have supported its coming into being, and any expression of gratitude seems destined for inadequacy. Such an inadequacy in what follows should be understood as a failure in the expression, rather than the absence, of sincere emotion.
¶ 2 Leave a comment on paragraph 2 0 This project has taken a long and often painful path to its final fruition but has been fostered at each stage by teachers, counselors, and guides who have managed through their efforts to make it something more than I could have produced on my own. At New York University, the instruction and mentorship of Cyrus Patell, Phillip Brian Harper, Josephine Hendin, Pat Hoy, and Carolyn Dever created the atmosphere of support and rigor that enabled me to take an ill-formed question about the relationship between television and the novel and develop a project that has sustained my interest through many dark moments. The material support of both the English Department and the Expository Writing Program were crucial to the speedy completion of the dissertation from which the present project developed. That dissertation also benefited from the critical input of the postmodernist dissertation support group, including Sandy Baldwin, Martin FitzPatrick, and Jae Roe, whose camaraderie and friendly challenges made the process as worthwhile as the product. I also want to thank Megan Abbott, Margaret Longbrake, and Laurie Marcus for their demanding, insightful readings of my work. For their unflagging support through the always tendentious and often exhilarating days in the doctoral program, I’d like to convey my deepest gratitude to Corinne Abate, Stephen Brauer, Joshua Gaylord, Michael Matto, Lahney Preston-Matto, James Polchin, Aaron Rosenthal, and all the members of Table 13, whose sympathy, kindness, and eternal readiness with the appropriate televisual reference made the early days of this project more fun than I could have hoped.
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 At Pomona College, I have been blessed with generous colleagues, both present and past members of the English Department–Martha Andresen, Daniel Birkholz, Toni Clark, Barbara Clonts, Edward Copeland, Rena Fraden, Paul Mann, Bob Mezey, Cristanne Miller, Sarah Raff, Arden Reed, Paul Saint-Amour, Valorie Thomas, Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Penny Tucker, David Foster Wallace, Meg Worley, and Steve Young–whose guidance, support, and rigorous critique have encouraged me in my exploration of the boundaries of genre and medium. Many other friends in the wider college community, including Ronald Cluett, Donna Di Grazia, Jennifer Friedlander, Stephanie Harves, Alexandra Juhasz, Kevin Platt, Frances Pohl, Ranu Samantrai, John Seery, Shasta Turner, Peggy Waller, Nicole Weekes, and Heather Williams, have contributed readings, advice, celebration, commiseration, and friendship when most needed. Noah Buhayar, Susanne Liaw, and Sandra Zito provided able research assistance at key moments. I wish, moreover, to thank the college and, in particular, the Steele Fellowship for providing the leave that made the completion of this project possible.
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 1 Numerous other colleagues have read and supported my work throughout the years. Among them, I’d like to thank Michael Joyce, N. Katherine Hayles, Michael Bérubé, Timothy Melley, Jeremy Green, Jenny Bay, and Michele White for their dedication, encouragement, and generosity of spirit; they are the models to which I aspire, and for which I am enormously grateful. I also extend my most sincere thanks to Betsy Phillips, Dariel Mayer, Sue Havlish, Bobbe Needham, and the anonymous readers of Vanderbilt University Press, whose attention and support throughout the entire publication process were invaluable.
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 To my parents, Connie and Dennis Carlton, and my sister, Denise Fitzpatrick, who have been unflaggingly supportive of my at times incomprehensible desires, I give my love and my gratitude. And last, my utterly inadequate thanks to Rick Blackwood, who knows all he’s done for me but has had the good grace not to mention it.