Archive for September 8th, 2009

Pull up a pew at the picnic for the history session: Diarmaid Ferriter at the Electric Picnic

8 September 2009

By Lisa-Marie Griffith

CIMG0916I have to admit I was a little surprised to see Diarmaid Ferriter listed as one of the speakers at the Literary Tent at the Electric Picnic  festival this weekend.  Ferriter, there to promote his new book, Occasions of Sin: Sex and Society in Modern Irelandspoke alongside a weekend line-up that included Roddy Doyle, John Banville and Florence (of Florence and the Machine). My curiosity got the better of me and so I took some time out from the music to go along.

I posted a blog about the historian Simon Schama speaking with world renowned literary giants at the Dublin Writers Festival so why was I surprised? Well it’s a music festival- a place where people convene to see bands and engage in more popular pursuits like music. There is something about the Irish literary figures, stereotypically drunk, broke (or both) and with destructive personalities, that seems to fit with the idea of a rock stars and their lifestyle so I suppose I have always seen the addition of such a popular subject area as literature to a Music and Arts festival like Electric Picnic as natural. But does a historian really belong at a boutique arts and music festival like ‘The Picnic’?

Pue’s has in a number of posts raised the issue in one guise or another: ‘how popular is it acceptable for a historian and history to be while remaining academically true?’ Read more