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Honorary Degree for Bob Dylan


 BBC Radio 2 Folk & Acoustic の news (6月16日付)によると、ボブ・ディラン(63)は今夏セントアンドルーズ大学(St Andrew's University、1411年開設のスコットランド最古の大学、セントアンドルーズはスコットランド東部にあるがゴルフ発祥の地としても有名)から名誉音楽博士号を授与されるとのこと。ディランが名誉学位を受けるのは1970年に米プリンストン大学(Princeton University)から受けて以来二度目。

 セントアンドルーズ大学の学長で副総長のラング博士(Dr Brian Lang)のことば。

Bob Dylan is an iconic figure for the 20th century, particularly for those of us whose formative years were the 1960s and '70s. [...] His songs, and in particular his lyrics, are still part of our consciousness. We are very pleased to take this opportunity of honouring such a major artist.

いま五十代前後の世代にとっては確かに青春期を想起させる歌といえるだろうが、ここで特に<歌詞>がいまも思い浮かぶというのは、ことによると、(スコティッシュ)バラッドの原点をディランの歌詞が強く意識させるからかもしれない。ディランの歌はバラッドなどの替え歌が多いことは周知の事実で、たとえば、同大学のコーコラン英文学教授(Neil Corcoran, professor of English Literature at St Andrews)も彼の歌を研究している(コーコランはシェーマス・ヒーニーに関する研究でも著名)。ディランは6月23-24日グラスゴーで公演を行なうがその際に名誉学位を受ける予定。

 関連報道で、スコットランドHerald 紙はおもしろい記事を書いている(6月17日付)。

Times are a changin’ for Dr Dylan


HEY, Doctor Tambourine Man. [...]

For the singer eulogised by George Harrison as "making Shakespeare look like Billy Joel", it is only the second time he has agreed to accept an honorary degree. [...]

Dylan, who recently was in the headlines after he made his first television commercial -- promoting a new line of women's lingerie -- next Wednesday
will don the academic robes and mortar*1 of a Doctor of Music instead of his more familiar denim.

His attendance at the graduation ceremony of St Andrews, Scotland's oldest university, coincides with a tour of Europe which includes two concerts in Glasgow. [...]

Dylan's laureation address will be given by Professor Neil Corcoran, professor of English literature at St Andrews.

Professor Corcoran, who has referred to the singer/songwriter in the past as the "Picasso of Song", as Leonard Cohen first dubbed him, said: "Dylan is an extraordinary lyricist, with a variety of styles, modes, and procedures that makes his work as complex and compelling as that of gifted poets of the printed page. It also rewards the same kind of critical study."

When he launched an edited collection of essays on Dylan two years ago, Professor Corcoran said: "While acknowledging that Dylan prefers to see himself as a 'trapeze artist' rather than a poet, the book suggests that his apparent anti-intellectualism itself belongs to an American intellectual tradition that includes Emerson, Whitman, and Ginsberg."

The spelling of his adopted stage name Dylan (his birth name was Robert Zimmerman) has been said to be in homage to Dylan Thomas, and Dylan's work is influenced by the poetry of, among others, Allen Ginsberg, TS Eliot and Arthur Rimbaud.

(文中の太字は私が加えました。) 文中で言及されているコーコランの編集著作は 'Do you, Mr Jones?': Bob Dylan with the Poets and Professors, ed. Neil Corcoran (Chatto and Windus, 2002)。

*1:ここでは mortarboard の意だろう。式典でかぶる飾りふさ附き角帽