Autobiography – remembering St Louis 1937-1944

Bernard and Mary Muller-Thym were the witnesses at the McLuhans’ rushed wedding in 1939 and were godparents to several of the McLuhan children, beginning with Eric in 1942.  Bernard Muller-Thym was a graduate of the IMS at St Michael’s, a favorite pupil of Etienne Gilson and colleague of McLuhan at SLU in the philosophy department.  In June, 1974, when Muller-Thym was mortally ill1, McLuhan recalled their times at SLU, thirty years before:

Naturally we are thinking of you day and night, and remembering all the wonderful times we had in St Louis. Your home was the super seminar of all time, in which young instructors were taught the mysteries of cuisine, avant garde music, new liturgy, and metaphysics. It was a very rich and heady brew that formed and that was shared by your delighted friends.  I pray that other such centres exist even now and that others will be as lucky as I in sharing them. The fact that you [Mary2] and Bernie had such a wonderful musical background, to say nothing of your knowledge of St Louis University, and the Jesuits, and the city of St Louis, was like knowing James Joyce himself! (McLuhan to Bernard and Mary Muller-Thym, June 11th, 1974, Letters 498)


  1. Muller-Thym would die 3 months later on September 29, 1974.
  2. Her father was the conductor of the Kansas City Symphony and she was an accomplished pianist. Muller-Thym was an expert violinist.

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