The idea for writing this book and many of the analyses within originated during conversations with my wife—my intellectual companion and invaluable editor of ideas and language. I thank Professor Stephen G. Nichols for his encouragement of this project from its inception and for the trust he has placed in me since we met long ago. My colleague, Michael McGaha, has been an infallible conversational partner, especially with respect to Judaic, Sephardic, and Crypto-Jewish studies. My research assistants Erik Stettler and Tina Simon deserve enormous credit for text editing, translation suggestions, and myriad other insights. I would like to thank my colleagues Mary Coffey and Susannah Chavez-Silverman for their constant encouragement and valuable suggestions with different drafts of the manuscript. I am grateful to Peter Dreyer, copy editor for the Johns Hopkins University Press, who did a superb job with the manuscript. I would like to thank the Atelier Albert Cohen in Paris and especially Madame Daisy Politis for their warm hospitality and for free access to the Cohen archives. My French colleagues Philippe Zard and Alain Schaffner have provided me with generous and substantive feedback both during Cohen conferences and with respect to the manuscript. All the financial support needed for the completion of this book has been most generously granted by Pomona College since 1997 in the form of various travel and research grants, including the Yale Griffith (1999) and Harriet Barnard (2003) Faculty Travel Grants, and a National Endowment for the Humanities Sabbatical Research Grant (2001–2).