[Milton-L] memorizing: passages

Sara van den Berg vandens at slu.edu
Mon Feb 23 17:46:32 EST 2004

Since actors memorize scripts, I have a hard time divorcing memorization and
meaning.  It's very hard to memorize lines unless they are perceived as
meaningful.  On the other hand, I suppose if someone wants to keep the text
at the level of nonsense, difficulty is exponentially raised.  I recall a
psychology experiment at the U of Minnesota, when I and many other
undergraduates were asked to memorize nonsense linkages.  (I did
unpredictably well because I managed to make sense out of most of the
nonsense, as I recall, thereby wrecking the experiment.)  Of course, making
sense out of nonsense has proved a very useful skill. :-)

Sara van den Berg

James Rovira wrote:

> Why does the issue have to be so starkly either/or?  Those who have been
> arguing for memorization seem to see it as part of understanding a poem.
>   I don't see the people arguing for memorization as also arguing
> against meaning.  The sound of a poem is not merely a matter of
> aesthetic appreciation -- where inflections are placed in a sentence
> contributes to the meaning of the sentence.
> I think it would be better to argue against memorization by trying to
> demonstrate how the practice prohibits the understanding of a poem.
> Jim
> jfleming at sfu.ca wrote:
> >Or am I completely wrong?
> >
> >J
> >
> >Dr. James Dougal Fleming,
> >
> >
> >
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