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7 Editor’s Note Bruce R. Burningham L ast summer, in preparation for taking over the reins as Editor of Cervantes, I put in a special request to my institutional librarians , asking them to gather every back issue of the journal—most of which now inhabit the storage basement of Milner Library—so that I could physically peruse its entire history from Fall 1981 through Spring 2010 (the most recent issue then available). Initially, there was a bit of confusion when I tried to explain to the student worker who handed me a standard journal request form that I simply could not provide the “issue number,” “author name,” “article title,” and “page numbers” demanded by the form because I actually wanted to see the entire run of the journal—all in one place at one time—no matter where its various constituent segments might reside within the library system. We successfully resolved this bureaucratic impasse with the help of a faculty-librarian colleague (and without having to fill out dozens of separate request forms), and within a few days the library staff had graciously accommodated my request, placing all 58 regular and special issues of the journal on a large rolling cart parked just behind the circulation desk. And thus, last August, I spent two leisurely afternoons browsing—and occasionally reading—my way through thirty years of Cervantes. It will come as no surprise to those of you who have long been affiliated with the Cervantes Society of America (and who are perhaps Founders or Charter Members of this organization) that we have much to be proud of when it comes to our official journal. Indeed, my extended perusal of three decades of published research and scholarship revealed three notable characteristics worth mentioning here, if for no other reason than to remind ourselves of the impressive legacy this journal represents. First, Cervantes has always served as a venue to 8 Cervantes Bruce R. Burningham showcase the work of the world’s most distinguished cervantistas, scholars from every corner of the globe who read Cervantes (with everything that the word “read” implies today) both in the original Spanish and in a multiplicity of linguistic and cultural translations and adaptations. Second, and at the same time, Cervantes has always welcomed the work of emerging young scholars whose energetic contribution to the journal and to the field has helped maintain the vitality of our collective enterprise. Third, Cervantes has always published a wide range of scholarly approaches—from philology to deconstruction, from genre theory to gender theory, from philosophy to feminism, from biographical criticism to psychoanalytic criticism (to name just a few). As Jay Allen commented in his very first Editor’s preface in the 1981 inaugural issue: “I think we have to offer something rather different, above all something which addresses the peculiar difficulties of working with an author who generates such a vast and disparate bibliography” (5). Indeed we do, and indeed we have, thanks in no small measure to my predecessors in this position. As we move into our fourth decade, my goal as Editor is to see to it that these three crucial characteristics are maintained and enhanced. At the same time, I hope to regularize several elements that have intermittently come and gone over the years (although I must admit that none of these are actually included in this particular issue). I am thinking specifically of a regular section of “Notes” distinct from the fulllength articles and a regular “Forum” where readers can comment on previously published material, debate issues that exceed the confines of the traditional scholarly essay, and perhaps even formally respond to published book reviews. Beyond these elements, Howard Mancing, current President of the Cervantes Society, has also suggested the idea of occasionally inviting a featured “target essay” followed by a cluster of invited “response essays,” as well as the creation of an annual award to recognize the year’s most outstanding article. Moreover, at least one “special issue” idea is already in the works. Along the way, I hope to engage in a number of projects to help bring Cervantes fully into the so-called information age. For instance, we recently secured Internet domain...


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