Mouritz was established in 1995 for the purpose of publishing out of print material on the F. M. Alexander Technique. It has since expanded to also publish new material on the Alexander Technique.
Mouritz is run by Jean M. O. Fischer assisted by volunteers: Regina Stratil (proof reading and bibliography), David Gibbens (website), and with the Mouritz Award: Miriam Wohl, Malcolm Williamson and Winterbourne.
History and purpose of Mouritz
In 1990 I set up the mail order business STAT Books in order to create a central outlet for Alexander Technique books, pamphlets and recordings. It was my vision that STAT should run such a service for its members and that STAT should publish important material on the Alexander Technique. It was partially successful as I managed to arrange for STAT Books the publication of Binkley’s The Expanding Self, Ron Brown’s Authorised Summaries of F. M. Alexander’s Four Books, Dart’s Skill and Poise, and other material. However, it never made money, and it could not compete with Amazon when Amazon became popular around 1999, and the general mail order STAT Books business had to close in 2002.
I started Mouritz in 1995 for the pupose of producing annotated editions of Alexander’s books, starting with Articles and Lectures. (The cost of researching, designing and printing such substantial works was beyond the means of STAT Books.) I considered approaching academic publishers such as Routledge or university press publishers,* but several factors spoke against it, not least cost. Academic books, which typically sell in the region of 500-1500 copies, are expensive, back then typically costing £40-£60 (and now £60-£120). By publishing myself I could keep costs down and make the books more accessible to Alexander Technique teachers and students. Especially when considering the fact that most books are now produced in quantities of less than 500.
Even then it was – and it still is – difficult to cover costs (software, royalties, clearing copyrights for pictures, proof readers, editors, storage, transport, books lost or damaged in post or storage, accounting, Paypal fees, etc.). Lack of money meant that both MSI and CCC had to be produced as non-annotated paperbacks. Over time I invested in books which I considered important, typically books which had gone out of print and therefore would never sell in large quantities as second-hand copies are available. Or books which are so specialised they would only appeal to a handful of people. On balance, the books which sell sufficiently to cover their own costs are subsidising the books which don’t sell. In addition any income over and above costs supports the work and costs of making available free material on the Mouritz websites: the bibliography, the key concepts, the library, the Companion, the Award, etc. Mouritz has of course to make enough money to cover its costs so it can survive, but apart from that its purpose is to be a service to the community. And I am very grateful to various people over the years who have, in a variety of ways, contributed to Mouritz.
Jean M. O. Fischer
* The reason for this being that most of the books Mouritz publishes are for study and for reference, and it is therefore important that they are academically rigorous as well as sturdily produced since these books are typically kept and consulted again and again.
About Jean M. O. Fischer
He trained with Karen Wentworth 1984-87 in Denmark and subsequently did post-graduate terms at the Constructive Teaching Centre in London, where he also taught. Between 1991 and 1996 he taught at the North of England Teacher Training Course in the Alexander Technique, Leeds.
In 1990 Jean started STAT Books (which closed down in 2002). He has also edited and/or typeset a number of Alexander Technique books for STAT and individual teachers. He is the designer of some websites on the Alexander Technique.
Jean was co-director of the 7th International Congress of the F. M. Alexander Technique in Oxford, 2004. He was STAT Council member 2007-09, and a member of STAT's Publications Committe 1991-2009. He instigated and created the STAT Archives during the period 1991-2009. He was a trustee of the F. M. Alexander Trust 2007-2010. He was assistant director 1997-2012 at The Alexander Technique Studio in London, a teachers training course.
He was administrator at the Walter Carrington Educational Trust, which also houses the Constructive Teaching Centre, 2010-2018. He gave individual lessons at the Pimlico Centre 2006-2018.
Jean moved to Graz, Austria, in June 2018, where is currently teaching.
Address: See Impressum.