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New Literary History 37.1 (2006) vi
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My greatest debt is to Hélène Cixous, the subject of this special issue of New Literary History. She generously permitted us to publish an English translation of an important piece of her literary prose and two interviews in which she expresses her views of writing, friendships, and creativity. These translations are remarkably faithful to the originals, though they cannot easily capture the witty and imaginative interplay of French, German, and English. But they do convey the originality of Cixous's thinking, her sensitivity to personal, familial, and national history, her awareness of place, her generic inventiveness, her sensitive craft of language in which she converts ordinary linguistic conventions into extraordinary artistic achievements.
I am indebted to the translators and essayists who agreed to participate in this project. They have accepted the challenge to illustrate or interpret Cixous's insights, and they have succeeded by producing subtle and ingenious contributions.
I am grateful to Eric Prenowitz who, despite his own scholarly duties, undertook the editorial tasks of inviting and assembling essays for this issue and, when necessary, arranging for the translations. I appreciate his immense effort in communicating with the contributors from different countries, trying to persuade them to meet deadlines and to adhere to typographical uniformity. In this regard, I want to thank Mollie Washburne and my copy editors for their untiring efforts to convince contributors that copy editing is not an eccentric procedure. Mollie's immediate and thoughtful responses to troubled queries created a cooperative and sympathetic community of correspondents. I am indebted to William Breichner, the Johns Hopkins University Press Journals Publisher, for his patience and encouragement in granting us the necessary time to complete this project, and I appreciate the persistence of Mary Muhler, Production Coordinator at the Press, who overcame difficult photographic problems in order to allow viewers to read the face of the author to whom this issue is devoted.
Preceding images from Roni Horn, Index Cixous (Steidl, 2005) ©2005 Roni Horn.