COMPANION

Literature

Three annotated bibliographies on the Alexander Technique have been published: The Reader’s Guide To The Alexander Technique by Phyllis Sanfilippo (1987).[1] From Stage-Fright To Seat-Height – An Annotated Bibliography on the Alexander Technique and Music 1907-1992 by Julia Priest. [2] The Alexander Technique Resource Book (2009). [3] Some of these cover articles as well as books and booklets. An online bibliography, which only covers books, booklets, audio and video material, is available on https://mouritz.org/bibliography/listing. References [1] The...
Diaries of Lessons with F. M. Alexander The most comprehensive diary is The Expanding Self by Goddard Binkley, covering lessons 1951–1953.[1] Walter Carrington wrote a diary of his first 17 lessons with Alexander in 1935.[2] The diaries of Frank and Grace Hand relate their lessons with Alexander in 1942.[3] ‘Recording a Miracle – The Diary of Miss G. R.’ (Mrs Buchanan) was first published in Louise Morgan’s Inside Yourself in 1954. It covers some of her lessons with Alexander; it is undated but is probably from 1952 or 1953.[4] Eva Webb’s...
The Alexander Journal The Alexander Journal is published irregularly by STAT (London). Nos. 1–3 (1962–64) edited by Edward H. Owen. Nos. 4–8 (1965–78) edited by Wilfred Barlow. Nos. 9–16 (1988–99) edited by Adam Nott. Nos. 17–23 (2001–2010) edited by Francesca Greenoak. Nos. 24–27 (2014–19) edited by Paul Marsh and Jamie McDowell – Present editors. The Alexander Journal comes free with STAT membership. It does not have its own website. For further details see the STAT website. Direction magazine...
Due to some missing copies of newsletters the listing below is not complete. STATNews The newsletter of The Society of Teachers of the Alexander Technique, Vol. 1, four issues (1983–88), edited by Adam Nott. Vol. 2, nos. 1–3 (1989–1990) edited by John Hunter. Vol. 3, nos. 1–4 (1990–91) edited by Carolyn and John Nicholls. Vol. 4, no. 1 (1991) edited by Adam Nott and Malcolm Williamson. Vol. 4, nos. 2–20 (1992–98) edited by Malcolm Williamson. Vol. 5, nos. 1–6 (1998–2000) edited by Malcolm Williamson. Vol. 6, nos...
Alexander’s books have been attacked for their style, for being incomprehensible, for being wordy, for their terminology, mostly, but not exclusively, by reviewers who have not experienced the Technique. In addition his evolutionary philosophy, his racism, and his (lack of) science has been criticised. Wilfred Barlow,[1] Walter Carrington,[2] Irene Tasker,[3] Catherine Kettrick[4] and Elizabeth Langford[5] have written in defence of Alexander’s writings, predominantly along the lines that Alexander’s books are technical writings, and the difficulty of introducing a...
Ends and Means (1937) by Aldous Huxley considers the methods (means) whereby people achieve their goals (ends), especially in religion and in society. It was published a year after Aldous Huxley started having lessons with Alexander. In Ends and Means Huxley relates social problems (of politics, of war, of economics, of education) to ethics. People don’t disagree about ends; they disagree about means. However, the means condition (or even become) the end; the end cannot be separated from the means whereby it is attained. Huxley suggests that ‘non-attachment’ is a common...
Articles, lectures and published letters The 1995 compilation, Articles & Lectures, contains 16 articles and letters written before Alexander’s first book, Man’s Supreme Inheritance (1910); six letters published between 1924 and 1948; three lectures (of which two are reported almost verbatim) given between 1925 and 1949; teaching aphorisms – observations and instructions from lessons; a foreword and a chapter for an unfinished book, ‘Alexander and the Doctors’; and an autobiographical sketch covering Alexander’s first 35 years.[1] Man’s...
‘Herd instinct’ is an early phrasing of what is now referred to as herd behaviour, group behaviour or crowd psychology. The idea is based on the observation that humans (and some animals) behave differently in large groups than they do individually, and that in groups they can act collectively without a leader or from centralised instructions. The idea has been used to study aspects of human behaviour such as imitation, emulation, mob violence, and aspects of socialising. It has also been used to explain phenomenons such as brand and product success, the behaviour of large...
John Dewey’s Human Nature and Conduct (1922) is one of his most widely read and most widely quoted books. Alexander quotes from it in UCL, in a footnote, as follows: In his Human Nature and Conduct (pp. 27-29) Professor John Dewey discusses what happens when the ordinary man, slouching along with a stoop, is told to stand up straight. He immediately pulls himself up, and imagines that, by conforming to the idea suggested by the command, he is, for the time being, improving himself, and Professor Dewey proceeds: ‘Of course, something happens when a man acts upon his idea of...
The House of Lords, United Kingdom, has on occasion mentioned the Alexander Technique, in 1977, 1990 and 2004. The 1990 speech by Lord Richie of Dundee is a general introduction to the Technique. The following extracts are from the official records, Hansard. 1977 Lord Ferrier asked the question whether or not it is intended that a doctor of chiropractic will join Professor Cochrane's Working Group to study back pain. This turned into a debate regarding the membership of the Working Group on back pain to which Lord Hankey asked: My Lords, is it possible for other groups that are...