It is with deep sadness and profound appreciation that I note the passing of Alexander "Rebbe" Burnbridge, S.J., Ph.D. (1932-2014). The first of three children born to Samuel Burnbridge, an artisanal cheese maker and itinerant crop duster, and Rebecca Harlston Winslett, the estranged daughter of a Boston cooper, he showed early promise as an ahistorical thinker and antinomian poet, publishing his first important monograph, On the Incongruence of Discourse, at age eleven and his first collection of poems, Tiresias's Navel, a year later. At age fifteen he was the youngest scholarship student to attend the august University of the Americas, completing a grueling dual major in epistemological confluence and moral hygiene before continuing his studies in Rome. Following a brief psychiatric interlude, he returned to America and went on to take advanced degrees in metaphysical aeronautics, structural dialectics, animal husbandry, and botany. In the course of a lengthy post doctoral sabbatical he labored to produce the four works of his epic magnum opus (re)Evolutionary Biotics:
The Angry Angels: The Theology of Irrelevance and the Destiny of Ants
Particle and Wave: A Navigational Guide to the Practical Transit of Light
The Inconsequential Wilderness: An Interior Cosmology
Sea Serpents, Sand Dunes and The Immemorial Now: A Book of (sub)Verse
On his subsequent return to public participation, he went on to found the first of several successful companies, Say What? a litero-technic collective dedicated to the immaterial engineering of flights of fancy. Late in his career he served as a forensics investigator in the Courts of Canon Law. He left us, poorer for his passing, earlier this year, peacefully, after a long battle with existential loss.
He was the greatest and most noble of all my teachers and mentors, and I honor him with this: "It was strange. I never understood a word he said but I always seemed to know exactly what he meant."