By Howard Pousner
Here comes rhymin’ Simon.
Singer-songwriter Paul Simon will give the 2013 Richard Ellmann Lectures in Modern Literature at Emory University Feb. 10-12, the school announced Thursday.
Simon’s selection to deliver the lectures aims to “slightly open up the concept of what literature is,” said lectures director Joseph Skibell, an Emory associate professor of English and creative writing. The international selection committee discussed song as a part of world literature, and agreed that Simon was the obvious first choice, according to the school. Simon’s lectures will concern, in part, an overview of the historical antecedents of the music made between 1966 and 1970.
Simon, 70, last year released and toured behind “So Beautiful or So What,” a CD that made many critic’s Top 10 lists for 2012. In a review of his Chastain Amphitheatre concert last May, the AJC’s Melissa Ruggieri wrote: “Simon’s voice has never been about power or range. Instead, it’s his phrasing – the rhetorical questions and detailed observations turned into stories – that has always been his cornerstone, whether solo or sharing heavenly harmonies with Art Garfunkel.” (Full review: blogs.ajc.com/atlanta-music-scene/2011/05/22/paul-simon-serves-nostalgia-and-new-at-chastain-opener/)
The Ellmann Lectures are a series of ticketed talks that are open to the public. Tickets will be available near the end of the university’s fall semester.