Professor Ted Tayler
Photo Credit Eileen Barroso
On Friday, March 15, over one hundred plus students, colleagues, friends (and family) gathered at Columbia University's Low Rotunda to pay tribute to the inspirational life of 16th and 17th Century English Professor Emeritus, Edward W. Tayler.
Ted passed away on April 23, 2018.
(Professor Tayler is remembered as being both a Shakespeare and Milton scholar and April 23rd happens to be the very date on which William Shakespeare was both born and died.)
The program was introduced by Michael Rosenthal, Professor Emeritus; he was followed by reminiscences by ten of his students. They included three authors, a playwright (Tony Kushner), a journalist, a lawyer (Abbe David Lowell) and four Professors.
Here are just a few remembrances of Ted:
" Dark and light...God set up opposites, Ted said, which is something we all do--all the time in life. Moral opposites...how do you escape the binary bind? There are people you touch and people you don't touch. Every choice becomes an exclusion. His injunction all year was think double. When you think you understand something, try to penetrate its opposite and see if they have a relationship to each other....The voice was remarkable...baritone...steady, quiet, very penetrating with little traces of mockery and wit...." (David Denby, CC'65, author)
"....short, self possessed, still young, standing directly before us with a burning cigarette as his only prop-- delivering sentences in a clipped, dry, dead pan voice---occasionally pausing to mumble a caustic witty aside....Ted had a most military bearing in class. The general had a plan a step by step strategy to guide us through a series of small epiphanies toward greater and greater clarity about Milton's work." (Paul Auster, CC'69, author)
Ted, I miss you, too. I am privileged to be numbered among the many students who were lit up, inspired and enriched by your exemplary teaching. Here is my tribute penned nearly 10 years ago.
The event is now available for viewing on you tube