Greil Marcus to Speak at SVA 2013 Commencement Exercises

I was just thumbing through the latest School of Visual Arts (SVA), Visual Arts Journal, Spring 2013 edition. SVA is our son’s alma mater. He graduated in 2008. Wow has it been five years already since his commencement. I noticed that Greil Marcus has accepted the honor to speak at the SVA 2013 Commencement Exercises.

I recently wrote about Greil Marcus in my A-Z Music Journalism (February, 2013) blog series. As Paul McCartney would say, “I am chuffed” to see that SVA prizes Greil Marcus’s cultural criticism to have him as 2013 commencement speaker. Music criticism has vaulted ahead to being valued and honored on a more intellectual level. This is an important development for Greil Marcus’s literary body of work as it relates to the elevation of cultural criticism’s role in the arts.

I have to say that the book after Mystery Train that peaks my interest is Mr. Marcus’ 1989 book Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century which is a fascinating study of the hidden voices of counterculture in 1970s London, 1950s Paris, and Zurich and Berlin in the nineteen-teens. The book inspired a soundtrack album by Rough Trade and a theatrical adaptation by the Rude Mechanicals of Austin, Texas.

The event takes place on Thursday, May 9, 2013, 1pm, at Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York City. The ceremony is a ticketed event and open to students and invited guests only. It will be streamed live via a webcast at That’s where I plan to watch Greil Marcus speak ;), thank you ahead of time InterWeb and SVA!


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