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theatre history, just as the roles of women, workers, and social upheaval do not fit comfortably in American social and cultural history books. History belongs to those who write it. The Oxford Companion to American Theatre is a theatre history written by conservatives: a fundamentalist guide to a future canon. Publication of The Oxford Companion to American Theatre unwittingly brings to the foreground a literary politics at work in any enterprise such as this one, which necessarily sets in motion a process by which information is selectively ordered and interpreted in a culture by "experts." By virtue of its mere authorial presence, the effects of this volume can never be fully countered nor its injustices redressed. Sadly, it will sit in countless libraries and personal collections, a history that is not a history, merely a kind of dictionary of received ideas, but one lacking the ironic brilliance of a Flaubert as its author. The Editors A LETTER TO THE NEW YORK TIMES The September 23 issue of the Arts and Leisure section of the New York Times featured an article on drama publishing. At the time we felt that our activities were unwittingly misrepresented, and so we sent a letter to the Times which, alas, did not appear in print. We include it here. Dear Editor: We were happy to see the subject of play publishing introduced into the pages of the Arts and Leisure section [Edwin McDowell, "Drama's Niche on the Publishing Shelf," September 23]. However, we feel it is necessary to point out a few misconceptions of our publishing activities. We are not a "paperback house"; less than 10% of our books are exclusively paperback. The article also implied that we only publish "experimental playwrights" which is simply not true. The greater part of our work is books of essays and first translations of foreign plays, by authors who include Pirandello, Canetti, Musil, Bernhard, Yourcenar. Finally, we want to clarify that while we are indeed a "small" house compared to the larger ones noted, we do publish more books of plays each year than any other publisher in the country. Bonnie Marranca Gautam Dasgupta Publishers, Performing Arts Journal Publications 6 ...


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