Festivales ¿para qué?
Gracias a The Literary Saloon me entero de este artículo aparecido en el diario The Independent sobre el Hay Festival y su edición 21. Se pregunta para qué sirven los Festivales Literarios, y recoge ahí todos los tópicos: desde los lectores, las amistades de los escritores, la venta, el marketing, etc. Al final, el autor pone una lista de Pros y Contras de los Festivales Literarios. Queda en empate, tres ítems a cada lado.
*If an author makes a splash at a festival, they can make it into the next day's national press – that's free publicity
*Festivals are an essential component of the book trade's marketing machine, such as prizes and the Richard and Judy Book Club
*They keep an author engaged with their core audience, which is crucial to a trade that relies on word of mouth
*The people who gain added media coverage from the Hay Festival are rarely novelists. Instead, they are people who have an axe to grind
*The event attracts a narrow group of London literati, who mingle with the same people as they would back in the capital
*Any given author's festival audience is already likely to be filled with fans. Appearing will not encourage many new readers
Por otra parte, en The Literary Saloon también encuentran una referencia al Hay Festival y a los festivales literarios en general, esta vez de The Telegraph, molestos por la presencia abrumadora de autores-no-escritores como la esposa de Blair y sus memorias:
Auberon Waugh once said that literary festivals are designed so that readers bored by reading could watch writers bored by writing. This year's Hay Festival seems to have been constructed around this aphorism. The list of performers at Hay ("one of the world's biggest celebrations of all things bookish" says the brochure) includes Ken Dodd, John Prescott, Katherine Jenkins, Jamie Oliver, the Duchess of Devonshire, Jimmy Carter, Bishop Gene Robinson, Boris Spassky, General Sir Mike Jackson, Jeremy Clarkson, Jools Holland, Jimmy Carr and, inevitably, Cherie Blair. What do all these people have in common, besides the fact that they are not writers? The answer, of course, is fame. This suggests that an organiser with an eye on the market should inaugurate the world's first Celebrity Festival, at which celebrities can just jabber away without having to read from books. Such a festival would release comedians and generals and aristocrats and politicians and politicians' wives from any obligation to produce books, and autograph-hunters from any obligation to read them.