Tuesday, May 31, 2005

the guardian at hay

The Guardian are blogging from Hay-on-Wye, and doing some pretty typical reporting from there too (although nothing as much fun as their Hay-on-Wye fashion special last year). I find it rather cheering that G2 always splashes on a festival that everyone else ignores, but it's also so nauseatingly worthy and celebratory. But hey, I would like to go to Hay, so I won't complain.

Last night's Channel 4 three-wayer (ooer) between Julian Barnes (polite, wry, charming) Kazuo Ishiguru (polite, mischevious, debonair) and Jonathan Coe (polite, dull, polite) was interesting in places but also distressingly polite, charming and dull. The future of the novel is either (a) such an interesting subject that it deserves better than 3 upper middle classs bores, or (b) so boring as a television set piece that it desperately needs something more than 3 upper middle class bores. Obviously it would have been outrageous to have invited, say, a woman to the table, but couldn't we have had someone excitable, energetic or angry? Or at least someone who - like David Mitchell - might be able to say something we haven't heard before, rather than just warbling on about fiction being the arena of truth? Anyway.

Back to the Guardian - they did at least manage to get the Hitchins brothers together in the same room; although it doesn't really live up to the billing sadly. I liked it best when only one of them was a right-wing bore.


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