The acknowledgments page to B. M. Pietsch’s book Dispensational Modernism is very funny:
I blame all of you. Writing this book has been an exercise in sustained suffering. The casual reader may, perhaps, exempt herself from excessive guilt, but for those of you who have played the larger role in prolonging my agonies with your encouragement and support, well … you know who you are, and you owe me.
These three sentences do reflect the loneliness, exhaustion, and self-doubt often involved in completing a book – or, worse, a doctoral dissertation. Gratitude in these cases is a learned response for some authors.
Back in the day, as senior editor at Prometheus Books Inc., I would have conversations with authors who had omitted spouses, editors, agents and mentors in their acknowledgments page. One author refused to acknowledge *anyone* – though, following a stern recommendation, he permitted me to write a happy paragraph.
Photo by Robert Basil