Imitation approaches identity with the thing imitated; design attenuates to a void. The visual arts must be practised somewhere between these two poles. The rival claims of the two for primary and the decision in favour of design occupy the first essay, which gives its name to Reid MacCallum's projected book on the theory of art.
The death in 1949 of Reid MacCallum, at the age of fifty-one, is a loss to Canadian letters as well as to the University of Toronto, because Professor MacCallum was not only a man of wide and unusual learning but was also an artist who took great delight in poetry, music and painting .. His teaching had a contemplative, exploratory character which made it extraordinarily stimulating to thoughtful students, and all the more so in the fact that, like his conversation, it was entirely free of professional ostentation. It was possible for anyone really interested in a subject to discuss it with him easily and rewardingly. A professor of philosophy, a man of equanimity, of great charity and humility, to his friends a man of some gaiety, Reid MacCallum's varied interests found their order in his religious faith.BlissettWilliam:
William F. Blissett is Professor Emeritus of English, University College, University of Toronto.