Introduction
XI
that the proof of the Big Picard Theorem was original with me Anthony
Kable discovered that it is essentially the same as the original proof [J].
(This raises the question of why the original proof is not so well known; I
conjecture that it fell out of favor because various concepts and techniques
were much newer and fuzzier in Picard's time than they are at present.) The
list of references at the end of the book should not be construed as a guide to
the literature or even as a list of suggestions for further reading; it is simply
a list of the references that happened to come up in the text. (I decided that
including a "Further Reading" section would border on arrogance further
reading here could include topics in almost any area of mathematics.)
It is a pleasure to thank various students and past and present colleagues
for mathematical and moral support through the years, including Benny
Evans, Alan Noell, Wade Ramey, David Wright, and in particular Robert
Myers, who gave a very careful reading of the sections on topology, and
especially Anthony Kable, who made various valuable comments at every
stage of the project. We enjoyed working with the people at the AMS:
Barbara Beeton provided staggeringly competent and often witty TfrjKnical
advice, and Edward Dunne was a very enthusiastic and helpful senior editor.
Any errors or omissions are the responsibility of the author. However,
readers who feel that the whole book is just one big mistake need to discuss
the matter with Walter Rudin: Before reading Real and Complex Analysis
I had no idea I was interested in the subject. It seems presumptuous to
publish another book in a field where there already exists a text so beautiful
it makes your eyes hurt, but several people kept bugging me to write up my
lecture notes this seemed like the only way to shut them up.
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