A while back I wrote a post about the absence of biographical information on Moshe Feldenkrais. Between his death in 1984 and the date of my post, no biography had yet been published. As a student of the Feldenkrais Method, I felt a fear that Feldenkrais world was not creating a profile and persona for itself, commensurate to its importance, and its potential.
And then, like the mythical bus, two books came along together. Different authors, different language even (german and english), different price.
After a wait of 31 years, in September 2015 Mark Reese published (posthumously) ‘A life in Movement’, volume 1 of 2, priced at 47$. Christian Buckard’s book which appeared on the 14th September is called ‘Moshé Feldenkrais. Der Mensch hinter der Methode’ (‘Moshe Feldenkrais. The Man behind the Method’), priced at 24€.
I ordered Buckard’s book before it was published. But not Reese’s, having been put off by price of shipping and the unknown customs charges.
Having read Buckard’s book, I was entranced by the facts, the information, the biography, the learning. I read it as fast as I could, turning to my german dictionary when necessary, although the style and vocabulary are accessible to any one with mid-level german language. I strongly recommend anyone who has ever studied german to read Buckhard’s accessible, readable, satisfying account of Feldenkrais’ origins, life experiences, and creation of the method which carries his name.
One final observation on the two books. Buckard is a journalist; his book is available on Amazon, costs 24€ plus a few euro’s postage. Reese was a Feldenkrais insider; his book is not available on Amazon, only through a specialist website, costs 47$, and at the time of my writing, 29.70$ to ship.
It makes me wonder whether the Feldenkrais world operates within a closed club, where materials are not placed in the most public, visible, accessible place; where the biggest sources of information are professional websites with locked member-only access areas; where the wonderful success of individual teachers across the world is not paralled by an over-arching, industry-wide strategy of marketing, to put the method onto a footing for future success.
The best marketing comes from people who are not within the sector, and from whom it can be hoped, but not guaranteed, that they will shed such a positive light on the method, as did Norman Doidge in his most recent book.
I may have misinterpreted the situation, but this is my take on it so far. Correct me if needs be with informative feedback.