Theater. 3 vols. By Richard C. Norton. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002; pp. xiv + 3044, illus. $395 cloth.
|Mark Fearnow a1|
a1 Hanover College
Ours may be the last generation to take full advantage of massive, hard-copy, data-rich reference volumes such as Richard C. Norton has here compiled. Each of the three volumes is about a thousand pages, the third including a four-hundred-page index of shows, persons, and songs. As the economic obstacles to electronic publishing are overcome, and as the obvious advantages the electronic medium offers for portability and ease of revision are given time to persuade, these massive physical tomes are likely to be moved to storage and then to the shredder during our lifetimes. Though I accept and admire the utility of electronic research tools, I confess to a fondness for the smell, feel, and seeming permanence of these large-format, gleaming reference volumes. This set conveys a particular authority, not to mention heft.