David Silver (1935 – 2017)
He was a man of wide-ranging interests who will be remembered by many students from his forty-year career teaching literature at Seneca College in Toronto. He was a collector of rare books and first editions, and loved poking through flea markets and used book stores for undiscovered treasures. He enjoyed squash and tennis, and after retirement took the opportunity to travel widely. He had a quick and ready wit, and could never resist an apposite one-liner, even in social situations where the habit occasionally came back to haunt him.
However, his life-long passion was bridge, which he played at an expert level and in which he achieved many tournament successes. In typical self-deprecating fashion, he claimed to have partnered every great player of his generation – once. David’s own writings reflected both his love for bridge and his knowledge of literature. His five published books featured his alter ego, ‘Professor Silver’, in humorous pastiches of everything from Sherlock Holmes and Joseph Conrad to The Maltese Falcon and Douglas Coupland, all somehow made plausible in a bridge setting.
His readers often had difficulty distinguishing between the Silver of fiction and the man himself, and he told me of many occasions on his travels where he had been addressed as ‘Professor Silver’ and asked to play, or to solve some abstruse problem.
For the past few months, he had been working on a sixth book, which unfortunately will now never see the light of day.