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McGill Reporter
October 10, 2002 - Volume 35 Number 03
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On campus

Book fair bonanza!

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Shoveing, nudging, elbows poking your ribs, arms blocking your view. Then you spy it out of the corner of your eye, the treasure you've been searching for. You lunge--but no! A hand quicker than yours has snatched the goods away.

Is this some kind of athletic scrum?

No, just the early stages of the annual McGill Book Fair, the event bibliophiles anticipate with bated breath. Perhaps you'll find that elusive first American edition of Nabokov's Pnin--hardcover of course, book jacket intact. Or Oesterreich's out-of-print Possession and Exorcism? Mind you, that old Canadian Living cookbook could be nice for Auntie Beth… Hey, is that a Rilke anthology?

Books of all kinds at great prices can be found at the Fair, organized for three decades by the Women's Alumnae Association and Women Associates (McGill staff and wives). The books are donated and the proceeds fund over 30 scholarships and bursaries each year. They have raised close to $1,000,000 over the years.

There are boxes upon boxes worth of fiction, travel, economics, poetry. Novels to curl up with, philosophy to ponder. Stacks of National Geographics, literature in French, Russian, Japanese. Looking for something in particular? You might find it, you might not--but guaranteed you'll find something of interest.

October 16 and 17, 9 am to 9 pm, at the Redpath Library Building.

Sibling ribaldry

Photo Left to right: Kerith Johnson and Missy Altro
Pierre-Alain Parfond

The McGill Players' Theatre will be keeping it all in the family with their opening production of the year. The House of Yes, by Wendy MacLeod--made into a movie in 1997--is about a pair of incestuous twins who re-enact the Kennedy assassination as foreplay. It might be a bit of an understatement to describe it as a black comedy.

"Buried under all the silly campy plot there is some serious social criticism," said director Kelly Nestruck. The timing for a play about the Kennedy assassination is appropriate for a continent still reeling from last year's terrorist attacks.

"One issue it addresses is how society deals with tragedy in the hyper-media age. With September 11, we take these events and play them over and over until they cease to be real," said Nestruck, who outside of the theatre is an English and History student.

Playing tragedies over and over is just what the principal characters Marty and Jackie-O Pascal do. For them the Kennedy assassination is forever remembered as the day their father left them. The repercussions of the two events on the siblings take some bizarre--and discomfiting--forms.

"It's well-trodden territory in drama," said Nestruck of the play's incest theme. "I expect people will be uncomfortable with it. It would be strange if they were comfortable with it."

Photo Left to right: Grant Sparling, Missy Altro and Dan Jeannette
Pierre-Alain Parfond

The Players' Theatre will be doing a season of comedy this year--the next production will be Tom Stoppard's The Real Inspector Hound.

The House of Yes will be performed in the Players' Theatre, 3480 McTavish, 3rd floor, Oct. 16-19 and 23-26 at 8 pm. Tickets are $6 students/seniors, $8 adults. Information: 398-6813

Rabinowitch on Rabinowitch

Photo Sculptor Royden Rabinowitch

Toronto-born sculptor Royden Rabinowitch has been invited by the Faculty of Arts to deliver the Maxwell Cummings Lecture, October 17. He ably fits the mandate of the lecture series, which is to offer new, original and provocative views and approaches at the juncture where scholarship and creativity coincide.

Considered by many curators and museum directors as one of the world's greatest living sculptors, Rabinowitch's works are exhibited in several contemporary art museums and major private collections around the globe. The National Gallery of Canada and the Art Gallery of Ontario have major Rabinowitch holdings, as do Montréal's Museum of Fine Arts and the Musée d'art contemporain.

His work has been described as "bending surfaces, defining shapes and constructing volume in such a way that the sculptures begin to escape the easy measurement of the gauging eye."

Rabinowitch's interests include the relationship of science and art, as well as the artistic process and the role of art in contemporary society. His art plays on the tension between the infinite, impersonal world and our limited personal experience. For the lecture, he plans to look over his career, from his earlier rearranged barrel parts to his latest works including his Judgment on the Copernican Revolution. "I will examine our increasing ability to analyze and our decreasing ability to feel," he says.

Some of Rabinowitch's works will be displayed during his visit and the CBC radio program Ideas will be recording his lecture for future broadcast.

Royden Rabinowitch's talk will be October 17, at 7 pm, in Moyse Hall in the Arts Bldg. (858 Sherbrooke St. W.).

Sit up and take note

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You focus on the computer screen. Slowly, you hunch further over the keyboard. You could look up, stand, stretch a little, but no. Just one more paragraph to write, form to fill out, fact to find. Then maybe you'll get up. Well, lunch is in an hour, anyway. You can wait…

And you wonder why your neck hurts? Why your back is stiff? Where your svelte midriff went?

Next Wednesday, the McGill Women's Networking Group invites Jill Barker to show us a few exercises to help us cope with workplace posture. More and more, people are realizing that how we sit at a desk, or how we stand at work, is important to our overall health and well-being.

"Posture is hot," Barker says. As McGill's Department of Athletics coordinator, recreation and fitness, she knows what the current tone of fitness research is, as well as the current tone of the musculature of McGill staff.

"We've become a sitting culture, certainly not an active culture," she says. We sit at work, we go home and sit in front of the TV, we sit and watch our kids play. "We spend more time now sitting than ever."

One way to diminish cricks and ease motion is to regularly do some kind of stretching and exercises, even while sitting--or just getting up periodically to walk about.

Jill Barker promises to show you "exercises that are not going to be too weird, even for a cubicle." They won't break your back, but will give your back a break.

Fitness--Pains in your back and other places. Prevention and posture tips. Wednesday, October 16, 12:15 pm SHARP – room available at 12:05 pm, McConnell Engineering Bldg, Room 12. Bring your lunch.

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