Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Malcolm Forsyth

A quote in the Edmonton Journal obit today of Malcolm Forsyth from Malcolm's friend Rayfield Rideout that included the sentence, "He would listen." underscores what I will remember about the several conversations I had with Malcolm. I always felt he was genuinely present whenever I had the pleasure to meet him or to interview him. He was almost always in teaching mode, which meant it paid to be a good listener too.
His intellectual curiosity is also something I admired. One time I phoned him for an interview and during the start of our chat he told me he had just been reading Descartes' theory of the pineal gland being the seat of the human soul. What a cool way to spend your free time, I thought, knowing how much of mine I waste. I'm happy I knew Malcolm just a little, and know there are many others who knew him far longer and far better than I who will miss him for a multitude of reasons. I have a few reasons too.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this, Bill - I knew him quite well, and respected him for his honesty and forthrightness in matters of artistic taste. His opinions were not always well received, mind you, but that more often than not led to stimulating discussions in a spirit of mutual respect.

    He also had a great respect for and fascination for language and how it was used. This is one of his 'items' I will never forget: the use of the word "had" eleven times successively in one sentence (to illustrate how this word should be used): "Jones, where Smith had had "had", had had "had had"; "had had" had had the master's approval".