LIBRARY - Reference(s)

Curiosity Recaptured

Exploring Ways We Think and Move
Edited by Jerry Sontag and Robertson Davies. Foreword by Robertson Davies.
Material type: 
AT Focus: 
Alexander Technique
222 x 148 mm.
ISBN 0964435217 / 978-0964435216
Mouritz Bibliography
Topic area: 
Cover image: 
Later edition flag: 
This has later editions
Biblio ID: 
Base ID: 
Short Description: 
A collection of 14 essays by authors who have much experience on their chosen subject.
Mouritz description: 
A collection of 14 essays; their common theme is the Technique and that the authors have much experience on their chosen subject. Some essays are: ‘The Chair Is Where the Body Meets the Environment’ by Galen Cranz, ‘A Two Wheel Essay’ (on cycling) by Barry Collins, ‘Before You Leap’ by Anne Bluethenthal, ‘Meeting the Unexpected’ by Mary Holland, ‘The Actor’s Consciousness and the Character’s Consciousness’ by Phyllis G. Richmond, ‘The Alexander Technique in Childbirth’ by Ilana Machover, ‘Born to Sing’ by Ron Murdock, ‘Grabbing the Bird by the Tale’ (on playing the flute) by Alex Murray, ‘Grief’ by Vivien Schapera, ‘Together We Walk’ (on walking) by Walton L. White, ‘Love-40’ (on tennis) by Barbara Kent and ‘Beyond Words’ by Walter Carrington. Foreword by Robertson Davies.


This is the latest book from Jerry Sontag’s Mornum Time Press and as with Thinking Aloud he has produced a volume which is pleasing to both the eye and hand. The paper, typeface and layout are all of the highest quality and obviously the products of much thought and careful attention. It is also graced by a striking cover and some lovely pencil illustrations.

Curiosity… is a collection of essays on 14 very differing aspects of the Alexander Technique. Everything from Mary Holland’s personal and very touching autobiographical writing to Galen Cranz’s exploration of the chair’s function and design. All the essays have the Technique as a common thread, but how the thread is woven through the writing could not be more varied.

In this respect most of the pieces are a joy to read and re-read, just a few seem to be using the Technique as a poor excuse to explore some rather too personal obsessions and inevitably with a collection of this kind, writing standards are variable.

However, many will disagree with my opinion and therein lies the real strength of the book – it will stimulate a lot of debate and it contains something for everyone.

There are Edward Avaks slightly bizarre thoughts on the nature of problem-solving, Anne Bluethenthal’s hopes for a new way to dance training, Ilana Machover’s superb, but at times harrowing, writing on childbirth and pain-killing drugs and Ron Murdock’s lovely exploration of the human birthright of singing. For those who don’t know them, there are biographies of all fourteen essayists.

Perhaps of greatest interest to the non-Alexandrian is the foreword by the late Canadian author Robertson Davies. This was gently teased from the great man shortly before his death and indeed may be the last thing he wrote. It is a short, but beautifully eloquent piece on how the Technique influences one’s life on all aspects, and hopefully may lead more than a few to have lessons. With this book Jerry Sontag is confirming Mornum Time’s reputation as one of the most innovative and best-produced imprint of books on the Alexander Technique. It deserves a place in every teacher’s collection.

© Joe Searby ( Reproduced with permission.

This edition © Mouritz 2005-2014. All rights reserved.
The Alexander Technique is well-known for improving posture, breathing and bringing about a general release and freedom of movement. Ordinary introductory books to the Technique explain the general principles, but generalities often leave out the individual. The Alexander Technique teaches a better use (muscular use, for example) of the self. The Technique is applied by the self, the individual, and no other modern book better brings out the variety of application possible than Curiosity Recaptured – Exploring Ways We Think and Move.

This beautifully produced book contains 14 essays which have been written by experienced teachers of the Technique. Some of the subjects are dance, acting, playing the flute, childbirth, cycling, overcoming the fear of falling while walking, and meeting the unexpected. Many well-known teachers have contributed, including Edward Avak, Deborah Caplan, Walter Carrington, Mary Holland, Ron Murdock and Alex Murray.

The beauty of the essays consists in showing not only how the Technique is applied by the individual, for the individual, but also how the Technique has helped people to observe and learn, discover and rediscover interests, skills, capacities and, above all, one’s self (one’s true nature in popular jargon). As Robertson Davies writes in the foreword: "It [The Technique] is an enlargement of whatever life may be yours."

As the Technique unlocks tension patterns, it brings out our sense of wonder and our delight in wondering. This particular characteristic of the Technique may be well-known among its practitioners but is not known generally, and it has certainly not been written about so extensively until now. Curiosity Recaptured allows you to share the authors’ experiences of joy in learning and in being curious. Be curious about this book. It deserves your curiosity.

© Jean M. O. Fischer. Reproduced with permission.

This edition © Mouritz 2005-2014. All rights reserved.