Arts: Daunting Prospect as the Worshippers Gather Together; REACTIONS: Gooey, Reverential, and Intense

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), June 5, 2002 | Go to article overview

Arts: Daunting Prospect as the Worshippers Gather Together; REACTIONS: Gooey, Reverential, and Intense


Byline: HANNAH JONES

AT the Hay Festival of Literature, people wander about wearing a kind of pseudo-intellectualism that only comes from those who are attracted to being labelled cultured.

It's quite a daunting prospect being faced with hundreds of people who seem to know more than you on any literary subject this side of the Black Mountains.

People get outwardly emotive about David Hare and his theatrics, get gooey around festival director Peter Florence because they are under the mistaken belief that he must have read every book in Hay to have put on such a show, and you can see them almost want to get down on their knees and worship at the feet of the ``Everywoman'' that is Maya Angelou.

Hay is a lonely place for the majority of mild mannered individuals who simply want to come along and sit in on some events and maybe find out a little bit more about their favourite authors.

It's a formidable scene, one where the more fragile participant may go away feeling utterly dismissed and insignificant in a world which seemed to welcome people who seem to know everything there is to know about the colours of poetry, prose, fiction and fancy diction. …

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