Monday, 13 June 2016


Mária Hári, the lady doctor

1.  A doctor speaks...

From Conductive World, two years ago to the day --
If I were the parent of a child with cerebral palsy I would want Dr Hári's opinion before I assigned my child to the minibus run
(The Times, 1 October, 1987)

This was the public judgement of Dr Tom Stuttaford, in an article that he published The Times following a visit to see Conductive Education at the State Institute in Budapest, in September 1987, at the height of the UK's national Conductive Education fever.

He was much impressed with the strange, eccentric little lady whom he met there, and I do not doubt that in the final years of the People's Republic she was much impressed in return with this gentlemanly English archetype.

I should like to reiterate my gratitude here to Norman Perrin for preserving this fragment for anyone us to read in the public domain, with no online firewall. More on Dr Stuttaford and Hári, for those who care to see it:

2.  And a poet too

The opening and closing lines of a longish poem by Zoltán Vitó
Kérdések Máriahoz
Társul szegodott hozzam a Magány;

s három éve?, vágy haromszáz talán?,

már egyre ment as egykedvű időben. -

És bölcz-bús tapasztalatokkal bőven
beérve, ultem dolgozoszobámbam;
a tévét néztem, s tán semmit se vártam.
- Ó, válasolj! S ne tévedj, Mária!
(Össvegyűtött (régi és új ) versek, 1994, pp. 34-37)

And in 2016...?

I have mentioned Mária here again because I have not mentioned her for some time, nor as far as I can see has anyone else.

Mária died on 6 October 2001. Since then a generation has come into Conductive Education, and a generation of opinions and practices has gone unexcoriated.

She has been sorely missed.


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