For help, patience, and support, I would like to thank several individuals. Their insightful remarks have proved to be signposts of reference on the road to configuring the complex itineraries of my polytropic heroes. I first acknowledge with gratitude the guidance received from professor Rodica Mihãilã, Head of the American Studies Department, University of Bucharest, whose critical awareness made it possible for me to avoid the potential traps of this work. Special thanks to Robert Young, professor at New York University, for his attentive comments and for sharing precious ideas. Grateful acknowledgement to Kerry Ahearn, professor at Oregon State University, whose illuminating comments made me strengthen various points of my argument.
This book has benefited immeasurably from the challenging discussions and careful readings of professors, friends, and colleagues whose intellectual solidarity has made me feel part of a Transatlantic academic team. Thus, I have incurred intellectual debts to historian Frank N. Schubert, Senior Fulbright Scholar in Romania, who generously gave of his time to read drafts of the chapters, for broadening my contextual approach; Monica Sãulescu, professor at University of Bucharest, the poet translated inside a literary critic, for her subtle responses in a longstanding dialogue; Jen MacArthur, Senior English Language Fellow in Romania, for her valuable suggestions regarding Chapters I and VII, and for drawing my attention to the significance of African American quilting; Sabina Draga, assistant professor at University of Bucharest, for offering useful comments on Chapter II; Charles Johnson, author of Middle Passage, for his insightful reading of Chapter III about his novel; Michael Kimmage, associate professor at the Catholic University of America, for thoughtful observations on Johnson’s novel; Andreea Popescu, assistant professor at University of Bucharest, for an attentive reading of Chapters IV and VIII; Mariana Neþ, Senior Researcher at Institute of Linguistics, Romanian Academy, for opening an intertextual gate toward Alexandre Dumas’ work to which I refer in Chapter V; Paul Giles, director of the Rothermere American Institute, professor at University of Oxford, for his sharp, creative comments on Chapter V; and Monica Cure, Junior Fulbright Scholar in Romania, for her helpful suggestions on Chapter VI.
Last but not least, I would like to thank my family whose love and support I want especially to acknowledge here: my parents, my grandmother, and my brother. And Dan, my husband, my soul mate.
I would also like to express my thanks to three institutions, for the research grants that enabled me to have access to libraries and courses that left their imprint on this work: the Open Society Institute (grant awarded at University of Oxford, October 2000 – July 2001), the Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board (grant awarded at Oregon State University, October 2001 – July 2002), and the Ellias Foundation (grant awarded at Leiden University, May 2003).
In various forms, chapters of this work have been published in national and international journals; likewise, they have been presented at conferences, as follows. Chapter I was published in University of Bucharest Review (2006); the chapter was presented at the Annual Conference of the English Department, A Matter of Taste, University of Bucharest, in June 2005. Chapter II was published in Journal of Semiotics, Timiºoara (2005); a version of it was presented at the 16th Oxford Conference on Teaching Literature Overseas, Firing the Canon, Oxford, in April 2001. Chapter III was published in PhiN. Philologie im Netz, München (2005); the chapter was presented at the Aesthetics and Politics in Postcolonial Studies Conference, Northampton, in April 2005. Chapter IV was partially published in Revista Româno-Americanã, Bucharest (2003); a version of this chapter was presented at the Graduate Student Conference, New York University, in April 2002. Chapter VI was published in University of Bucharest Review (2004); the chapter was presented at the Annual Conference of the English Department, The Secret and the Known, University of Bucharest, in June 2004. Chapter VII is forthcoming in ZAA: A Quarterly of Language, Literature and Culture, Dresden; the chapter was presented at the Bulgarian – American Studies Association Conference, Varna, in October 2004.