Large portions of the work of the first named author were supported by NSF
grant MCS-8108814(A04) during a visit to the Institute for Advanced Study, by the
Technion V.P.R. Fund - E. and J. Bishop Research Fund and by the Fund for Promotion
of Research at the Technion. A considerable portion of the work of the second named
author was supported by the NFR at the Mittag-Leffler Institute.
Special thanks are due to Jaak Peetre who, among many other things, introduced
us to each other. We also warmly thank Jonathan Arazy, Yuri Brudnyi, Heribert Coll,
Peter W. Jones, Nigel Kalton, Natan Krugljak, Mieczyslaw Mastyio, Shlomo Reisner
and Gideon Schechtman for their interest, encouragement and helpful discussions.
Looking back, we feel rather amazed and also somewhat embarrassed that so
many years have passed between the writing of our initial versions of this work and
this moment of submission of a final version for publication.
We do not automatically identify with all the views expressed by Johann Wolfgang
Goethe, but maybe we can use the same words of Goethe as were once quoted by
to provide us with some sort of excuse for taking so long.
Dass man nicht ender kann, das macht dich gross.
They suggest that if a thing cannot be finished, then it, and/or those trying to
finish it, are more significant. Well, maybe. And anyway, it seems that now we have
finished that thing.
Thomas Mann made this quote when addressing literature students at Princeton University in 1939, as we learned
from the preface to a Swedish edition of Mann's "The Magic Mountain". (See [Mn] p. 13.)
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