West Virginia University has just published Volume 54 of its Philological Papers as a Festschrift in Armand Singer's honor. Armand had been the editor of the Philological Papers from 1952 until his passing in 2007. He was working on the 31st Annual Colloquium while in the hospital and sent me a little note for Where's Armand? readers in June of 2007.
Festschrifts are traditionally published and presented to the honoree during his or her lifetime as a celebratory gesture. Volume 54 faced an unusual situation with the death of its editor and honoree. This volume has been four years in the making.
Janice Spleth, the succeeding editor writes:
This collection of essays, for which Armand himself was active in the selection process, reflects the breadth of his knowledge in literature and film and includes contributions by colleagues throughout the profession, many of whom have been previous contributors to the journal or frequent participants in the colloquium....Two articles are dedicated specifically to scholarship on Don Juan, and others resonate with Armand's personal interests in areas such as travel literature, jazz, and science fiction.
Those who experienced Armand as an editor found that he was always willing to offer suggestions toward improvement, one woman kindly offered that he "made my prose sing". Colleague and friend, Hart Wegner, stated in his remarks during Armand's memorial service:
You were welcome in Armand Singer's world if you had something to say and could say it well. He would help you to say it better. I cannot tell how much he contributed to the shaping of my own style, cannot tell anymore where I end and he begins.
I like holding the book in my hands because it physically represents years of Armand's intentions and interactions. The process that once consumed and occupied him has been completed, bound, and paginated, in his honor this time. I think Armand would be quite pleased.