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Editorial work is normally invisible--and for that very reason thankless. Readers are not supposed to be aware of an editor's hand, while authors, who should notice improvements, often don't. Many think their manuscripts were written in that elegant way in the first place, or worse, if they do notice, they resent editorial intrusion on behalf of coherence and intelligibility. Editorial self-pity about this condition, an occupational hazard, is thankfully outweighed by the periodic rediscovery of just how many appreciative authors and satisfied readers there are for a conscientiously edited scholarly journal. Since 1984, appreciation and satisfaction with PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE have crucially depended on the creative flair and hard work of Professor Patrick Gerard Henry of Whitman College.
Let it be stated with perfect clarity: it is impossible to calculate the ways in which Pat Henry has for eighteen years enriched the content of this journal, improved its presentation, increased its scholarly reach and depth, and enabled it simply to offer more reading pleasure. He is an absolutely natural talent as an editor, as adept with a red felt-tip as his hero, Jackie Robinson, was with a bat. The ghost of his other hero, Montaigne, must also somehow account for Pat's great humanistic range and his mordant, but never cynical, take on the world. Pat is the warmest, most genial, committed, generous, and insightful academic you would ever hope to meet. Plus, he's got zero tolerance for intellectual rubbish, as you'd expect from the son of a Deputy Chief Inspector of the New York City Police. For me, working with Pat has been one of life's privileges, and I wish him pleasure and happiness in his retirement.
Appreciation is due as well to Whitman College for providing support and an editorial home for PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE in these years. In particular, I thank former Whitman President Robert Skotheim and Edward Foster, former Academic Dean. Ed Foster has [End Page 195] not only stood by the journal, but has enlivened its pages with his writing, as have many other members of the Whitman faculty.
Beginning with the next issue, our North American operations move to the East Coast, as we welcome Bard College as our new sponsor. Joining me as editor will be Garry Hagberg of Bard, and we're bubbling with fresh ideas. Watch for the journal's new design on the outside to match new directions within.