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F. Matthias Alexander. Edited by Jean M. O. Fischer.
Articles and Lectures
Articles, published letters and lectures on the F. M. Alexander Technique
Hardback. 372 pages. 1995.
Published by Mouritz (UK). 240 x 156 mm. 22 b/w photos. Index.
ISBN 978-0952557463. Foreword by Walter Carrington.
Status: Out of print. Publisher website www.mouritz.co.uk
First published 25 July 1995
A compilation of articles, published letters and lectures on the Technique, especially revealing of Alexander's early thinking on the Technique.
Mouritz description
A&L contains 16 articles and letters written before 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. Each paper is preceded by an introduction which gives the historical context. Additional material includes a foreword by Walter Carrington, 90 pages of notes with references, 5 facsimiles, a chronology of Alexander’s writings and two appendices.
Errata: Page xxvi, bottom line: for 'Elizabeth' read 'Elisabeth'. Page 259, 1st line: for ‘as an’ read ‘as a’. Page 328, 3rd line: for ‘as he’ read ‘as the’. Plate 6: for ‘between 1904 and 1910’ read between 1904 and 1911’.

Contents
Preface by Walter Carrington
Introductory notes including a review of elocution in the 19th century and the evolution of Alexander's technical language
  • Part 1: Early Articles 1894 –1910
    1. Elocution as an Accomplishment: Hobart Times, July 1894
    2. Natural Elocution: Auckland Star, July 1895,
    3. The Human Voice cultivated and developed for Speaking and Singing by the New Methods, (c. 1900.)
    4. The Prevention and Cure of Consumption (December 1903)
    5. A Respiratory Method leaflet (c. 1905)
    6. Disciplinary Singing and Heart Disease (January 1906)
    7. Mr. F. Matthias Alexander's New Method of Respiratory and Vocal Re-education (c. February 1906, from Alexander Journal No. 10)
    8. Introduction to a New Method of Respiratory Vocal Re-Education (1906)
    9. The Theory and Practice of a New Method of Respiratory Re-Education (March 1907)
    10. The Dangers of Deep Breathing (March 1908)
    11. Why "Deep Breathing" and Physical Culture Exercises do more harm than good (1908)
    12. Re-education of the Kinæsthetic Systems (1908)
    Breathing and Cancer (October 1909)
    Why We Breathe Incorrectly - Some points in connection with a Scientific Explanation of the Latest Developments in Breathing, Physical Culture and Voice Production (November 1909)
    Supplement to Re-Education of the Kinæsthetic Systems (April 1910)
    A Protest - against certain assumptions contained in a Lecture delivered by Dr. R. H. Scanes Spicer, B.Sc., M.D. London (April 1910)
  • Part 2: Published letters 1924 - 1948
    "Constructive Conscious Control of the Individual"-letter to The Lancet (June 1924)
    "Posture in Health and Disease"-letter to the British Medical Journal (May 1926)
    "Body and Mind"-letter to the British Medical Journal (May 1928)
    "The Use of the Self"-letter to the British Medical Journal (June 1932)
    "The Use of the Self"-letter to the British Medical Journal (July 1932)
    "Ends and Means in Treatment"-letter to British Journal of Physical Medicine (November 1948)
  • Part 3: Lectures 1926 - 1949
    "An unrecognized Principle in Human Behaviour" (delivered at the Child Study Society, 1925)
    Bedford Physical Training College Lecture, 1934
    St. Dunstan's Lecture, 1949
  • Part 4: Teaching Aphorisms 1930s
  • Part 5: "Alexander and the Doctors" 1931 - 1950
    Foreword to the unfinished book by Ron Brown entitled Alexander and the Doctors (c. 1950)
    "Manufacturing Premises for Required Deductions" (c. 1949)
    Unpublished foreword to a now lost autobiography (1931)
    Autobiographical Sketch covering the years 1869-1904 (c. 1950)
  • Addenda:
    Prospectus to the Sydney Dramatic and Operatic Conservatorium for 1902
    Review of "The Theory and Practice of a New Method of Respiratory Re-Education" (1907)
Notes (240 notes)
References
Bibliography
Index
 

Publisher's description

The first published compilation of material by Alexander not included in his four books. It contains

all known early articles on the Technique, from 1895 to 1910;
all of Alexander's known lectures;
a revealing autobiographical sketch by Alexander.

The book consists of six sections: Early Articles, Published Letters, Lectures. Teaching Aphorisms, ?Alexander and the Doctors", and Autobiographical Sketch.

Each paper is preceded by an introduction which gives the historical context. In addition, a substantial number of notes provide information on people, places, events and particular subjects which were part of Alexander's life and times.

Foreword by Walter Carrington. Edited and with 240 notes by Jean M. O. Fischer. In addition to 22 photographs on plates it contains 5 facsimiles, 2 appendices, and a chronology of F. M. Alexander's writings.

Review by Malcolm Williamson
First published in STATNews vol. 4, no. 13, 1996.

This is the first published compilation of FM’s articles, published letters and lectures on the Technique. There will soon be a shortage of original superlatives once the Alexander community begins to review this book which Jean Fischer has researched, written – including 100 pages of notes and references – and published. It contains many previously unpublished papers and transcripts of Alexander’s lectures.

Jean Fischer’s 'Introductory Notes' offer a lucid overview of elocution and its role that grew out of the Age of Enlightenment’s desire to emulate the orators of the ancient classical world. But an adequate 'means-whereby' was frequently lacking.

"It would have been at once apparent to anyone acquainted with the manner and methods of the teachers, where each pupil had received his training." (p. xviii) one early 19th century commentator observed of the rigid, imitative methods for teaching acting and elocution. Out of fashions for contrivance and effort grew a more preventative trend with an emphasis on a need for ease and naturalness.

Not one to miss a selling opportunity, FM’s early papers are openly self-promotional. Appearing chronologically, they give a fascinating insight into the development of his understanding, language and realisation of the wider scope of his elocution and breathing methods. Emphasis moves from voice and breathing to general health and the evolution of human consciousness as times and preoccupations changed.

Magnificently bound and presented, this book is superb in every way and, although it has been said before of other books, this really is an absolute "must" for everyone interested in Alexander and his technique.

Copyright © 1995 Malcolm Williamson ( www.alextechteaching.org.uk). Reproduced with permission.

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

Earliest publication date: 25 July 1995