V l l l
Several people read preliminary versions of the book and gave me their opinions,
both mathematical and technical, especially by testing numerous exercises. For this
I am greatly indebted to E. Abakumov, A. Aleksandrov, A. Baranov, A. Borichev,
M. Gamal, V. Kapustin, S. Kislyakov, S. Shimorin, V. Vasyunin, P. Vitse. Also, I
appreciate the time spent by my colleages A. Borichev, A. Hartmann and S. Kupin
in helping me verify the reference list.
It has happened that a rather big part of this book, being lecture notes of my
Bordeaux courses, was written in French, excepting some more recent additions.
This part of the text was carefully translated into English by Andreas Hartmann,
whose work essentially surpassed the simple translation including several construc-
tive mathematical criticisms. I am very grateful to him for this work, as well as
to Th.V. Pedersen for reading the translation and to D. Sherman for occasional
My own function for completing preliminary lecture notes up to a self-contained
book largely surpassed in time all predicted limits. During all these long months,
my wife Ludmila steadily bore this somewhat rash enterprise, and all in all what is
done bears the mark of her support.
I am also grateful to the publisher, the American Mathematical Society, for
including the book in this series, and for having much patience during entire period
of my work and enough flexibility at the moment when it became clear that the
result would double the predicted size.
July 23, 2001
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