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InvisiblePapaverS
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That's Dr. Dylan to you...
    #2822316 - 06/23/04 10:48 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Honorary Degree Makes Singer 'Dr. Dylan'
Wed Jun 23, 2:05 PM ET

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland - Bob Dylan (news)'s lyrics have been taught in universities and debated at academic conferences. Not bad for a college dropout who railed, in "Tombstone Blues," against a surfeit of "useless and pointless knowledge."

Well, the times they are a' changin'. On Wednesday Dylan, dressed in a black academic gown, was awarded an honorary doctorate by Scotland's oldest university.

The University of St Andrews said it was making Dylan, 63, an honorary Doctor of Music in recognition of his "outstanding contribution to musical and literary culture."

"Many members of my generation can't separate a sense of our own identity from his music and lyrics," said professor of English Neil Corcoran in an awestruck address.

Dylan's fusion of folk, blues, country, rock and poetry, Corcoran said, "moved everything on to a place it never expected to go and left the deepest imprint on human consciousness."

"His magnificent songs will last as long as song itself does," he added.

Dylan, who received his doctorate alongside Harvard philosopher Hilary Putnam and leading biologist Cheryll Tickle, arrived 50 minutes into the hour-and-a-half-long ceremony and did not address the audience of 180 graduating students and their relatives. But his silent ? and sometimes yawning ? presence onstage brought a strong dose of star power to the university's wood-paneled Younger Hall.

Dylan sat motionless and showed no reaction as a university choir performed a version of his early classic, "Blowin' in the Wind."

Founded in 1413, St Andrews, northeast of Edinburgh, is Britain's third-oldest university and one of its most prestigious. Its current students include Prince William, second in line to the throne.

Announcing the honorary degree earlier this month, university chancellor Brian Lang called Dylan "an iconic figure for the 20th century, particularly for those of us whose formative years were in the 1960s and '70s."

St Andrews also cited Dylan's long-standing interest in Scottish culture. Corcoran said Scottish folk songs and border ballads influenced his early work, while a later song, "Highlands," is based on a poem by Robert Burns, Scotland's national poet.

The musician has many fans among postwar and baby boomer academics. Last month Christopher Ricks, author of the critical analysis "Dylan's Visions of Sin," was elected Oxford University's Professor of Poetry.

Corcoran said Dylan was "a supremely interesting and significant figure in modern culture."

"I think he's akin to Pablo Picasso in many ways ? his staying power, his resilience, the metamorphoses of a very long career," he told British Broadcasting Corp. radio.

Dylan, who is touring Britain, is due to play the first of two concerts in Glasgow on Wednesday night.

Dylan has accepted only one previous honorary degree, from Princeton University in 1970 ? a commencement ceremony memorable in part because of a noisy invasion of cicadas.

Dylan seems to have had mixed feelings about the event, which inspired the song "Day of the Locusts":

"I put down my robe, picked up my diploma,

"Took hold of my sweetheart and away we did drive,

"Straight for the hills, the black hills of Dakota,

"Sure was glad to get out of there alive."


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InvisibleDieCommie
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Registered: 12/11/03
Posts: 27,904
Re: That's Dr. Dylan to you... [Re: Papaver]
    #2822892 - 06/24/04 03:01 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

honorary doctorates are dumb.

dylan makes great music but he dosent deserve to be called Dr


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InvisiblePapaverS
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Re: That's Dr. Dylan to you... [Re: DieCommie]
    #2823010 - 06/24/04 04:12 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Uh, ok. I strongly disagree on both counts, but I appreciate your input... :wink:


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InvisibleDieCommie
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Registered: 12/11/03
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Re: That's Dr. Dylan to you... [Re: Papaver]
    #2824735 - 06/24/04 05:47 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

you disagree dylan makes good music?  :wink:


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InvisiblePapaverS
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Registered: 06/01/02
Posts: 26,880
Loc: Radio Free Tibet!
Re: That's Dr. Dylan to you... [Re: DieCommie]
    #2825990 - 06/25/04 12:25 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

No, the later clause on your second point. The part after the "but." :wink:


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InvisibleDieCommie
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Re: That's Dr. Dylan to you... [Re: Papaver]
    #2826036 - 06/25/04 12:41 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Well at least we can agree he makes good music.  :wink:

Honorary Doctorates have certainly been given to less deserving people than Dylan...


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InvisiblePapaverS
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Registered: 06/01/02
Posts: 26,880
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Re: That's Dr. Dylan to you... [Re: DieCommie]
    #2826456 - 06/25/04 02:15 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Yes, there are many recipients who may be undeserving, but I happen to think Dylan is someone deserving of one. As a lyricist, he was extremely influential, not just to popular music, but to literature as well. If your going to include the lyrics of Bob Dylan in a Survey of American Literature class, then I see nothing wrong with honoring him.

The world is full of high-school and college drop-outs who have effected society far more than many graduates, and I see nothing wrong with giving them some recognition and honors. Honorary degrees are just that, "honorary." They are recognition for an outstanding contribution to culture, science, what have you, by people who bypassed the higher education system.

I, like many of us, will wince, moan, and shift in my seat with much discomfort, when Britney Spears is given an Honorary degree, but that doesn't mean that some people don't deserve the honor. :wink:


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