[Milton-L] memorization

es10 es10 at txstate.edu
Thu Feb 26 09:02:14 EST 2004


Hello to everyone,

I've been enjoying the discussion on memorization--all sides of it.  Maybe 
I missed it in another post, but I'm surprised that no one has yet 
mentioned that memory is the fourth of the five parts of classical rhetoric.  
Throughout the Middle Ages until into the seventeenth century, the art of 
memory was actively studied and taught.  In addition to the classic work 
by Dame Frances Yates, there's been plenty of fascinating recent 
scholarship on the subject by Rossi, Carruthers, Bolzoni, and others, and 
there's even been popular use of the memory theater by Robert Harris in 
his novel *Hannibal*  (with an appendix mentioning Yates). The art of 
memory was never an end in itself, and it certainly was not rote memory.  
Recitation isn't either.

Elizabeth Skerpan-Wheeler




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