During the time I have been working on this project, my colleagues at Northeastern University have provided unfailing support. I wish to thank the University Council on Research and Scholarship for several awards, including a junior sabbatical and summer grant, that enabled me to complete the project. The chairman of the Department of Modern Languages, Holbrook C. Robinson, is responsible for the pleasant and productive atmosphere that has prevailed there for many years. Michael Lipton, chairman of the Department of Philosophy, gave computer assistance with a great deal of patience.
The United States Fulbright Commission provided the research sabbatical that enabled me to work at the Raymond Queneau archives in Verviers, Belgium. Many thanks to the Curator, André Blavier, for his enthusiasm and expert assistance, and to Odette Blavier for her wonderful friendship.
Several friends have read chapters of this book and made valuable suggestions. J. Dudley Andrew generously offered his comments after I read a first version of the Truffaut chapter at a meeting for the Society for Cinema Studies. John Bernstein was present at the project’s inception, and I am grateful for both his encouragement and his insightful remarks. My colleague Sam Bishop interrupted his sabbatical to read the typescript and to make valuable suggestions. Stanley Cavell’s film seminar provided me with a stimulating environment for developing my thoughts and offered the chance to be a part of an ongoing conversation about film. Jean Decock has been a tireless editor at The French Review for many years and has offered me the opportunity to present a number of my ideas in article form. Miriam Hansen read several chapters and graciously shared her own work-in-progress with me. Stephen Heath has been a constant friend and example throughout.
Bridget Kinally made it possible to illustrate the book with stills from the collections of the British Film Institute and in addition provided a charming atmosphere in which to work. Beth Rhoades at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Thomas D. Grischkowsky at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, supplied reproductions from their collections. Maria Pérez Andújar obtained the reproduction of Las Meninas, graciously provided by the Museo del Prado, during her trip to Madrid. To all, many thanks.
My special gratitude goes to my husband, Victor Wallis, whose willingness to participate in the final revision turned the project into a special kind of sharing.
I would like to thank the editors of the following journals for permission to reprint excerpts from earlier articles: Journal of Contemporary History and Substance. An earlier version of chapter 2 appeared in Bucknell Review, 32:1. Chapter 8 originally appeared in L’Esprit createur 26:4 and chapter 1 in The French Review 58:2. These have all been substantially revised for the present volume.