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Alexander Technique
156 x 118 mm.
ISBN 0952557495 / 978-0952557494
Mouritz Bibliography
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A pocket book with 121 of Alexander’s teaching aphorisms.

Mouritz description: 
This pocket book contains 121 of Alexander’s teaching aphorisms – quotations from his lessons in the 1930s. All but two have previously been published in ‘Articles and Lectures’ and E. Maisel’s collection. This edition contains 49 abstract ink illustrations – meditations on the aphorisms. Foreword by Mary Holland. Detailed index.
Publisher Description: 

"Sensory appreciation conditions conception - you can't know a thing by an instrument that is wrong."

"You are not here to do exercises or to learn to do something right, but to get able to meet a stimulus that always puts you wrong and to learn to deal with it."
F. M. Alexander

The above are two of 121 quotations from Alexander's lessons collected in the 1930s. These concise and sharp observations capture the spirit of the Alexander Technique: the appeal to awareness and reason as a way of life.

The teaching aphorisms from Alexander's lessons provide succinct insights into the working of the Alexander Technique. Readers familiar with the Technique will discover much of interest - especially concerning the influence which habit and feeling have on human behaviour. The beautiful, meditative illustrations were created by the artist Birgit Meyer-Woycke, who has studied the Alexander Technique for many years.

The book is pocket size.


Foreword by Mary Holland. 121 aphorism with 48 illustrations. Detailed index. First published by Mouritz June 2000. Hardback, 96 pages, 158 x 108 mm, 48 illustrations. Printed on 90 gsm acid-free paper.


In her Introduction to this book, Mary Holland says that it talks to us in two ways, referring to the way in which the individual quotes and the excellent illustrations encourage us to take our time to appreciate the words and their interpretation. Certainly, as Mary says, most of us, including your reviewer, have developed the habit of approaching reading with too little thought and too much effort. But what is the relationship between the aphorisms and the illustrations?

I know I am not alone in finding some of the aphorisms a little puzzling. Perhaps an experienced teacher could have helped us by providing a commentary. Again, Mary highlights a similar,point: taken out of context the meaning may change. Indeed, the title page of the book contains the aphorism ÒBe careful of the printed matter: you may not read it as it is written down.Ó One or two of the aphorisms may have been so specific to a particular pupil that it would be almost impossible for the original meaning to be gleaned by another, in another time and place. But these are far outnumbered by many invaluable classics to which we can never return too many times. I also liked those that were, new to me, such as

ÒThey may teach you anatomy and physiology till they are black in the face - you will still have this to face: sticking to a decision against your habit of life.Ó

It is a great pleasure to have all the aphorisms together in one attractive volume. There is also an extraordinarily detailed index which enables you to find an aphorism suitable for any occasion! Perhaps this would be a good book to have in your waiting room.

2001 © Ann James. Reproduced with permission.

This edition © Mouritz 2008-2014. All rights reserved.