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Cultural tourist

Notes from the arts world

By prospect   July 2005

Hay orgy of metrocentricism One legacy of this year’s Hay-on-Wye literary festival lies in the part played by the Guardian. Not the paper’s high-energy sponsorship, but its ongoing perpetration of a hoary old Hay myth—namely, that it is the biggest literary festival in Britain or, indeed, the world. The first claim is not true, which makes the second claim even less true. To be fair, Hay’s director Peter Florence doesn’t make either claim himself, preferring to consider Hay a matter of quality rather than quantity. So where does this insistence on size come from? For any Hay reporter interested, here…

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