Has anyone ever heard of someone who memorized a longish book a la 451? I'm not talking about oral or folk storytelling traditions, but someone who actually memorized every word of a book. If not, I'm thinking about doing it: "A Tale of Two Cities."
Does GREEN EGGS AND HAM count?
Anyone who has memorized "The Night Before Christmas" can be said to have memorized a book, since it has been published on its own many times. As for "longish" books, I haven't even memorized "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," which I certainly should know by now!
The Cat in the Hat, by Dr, Suess. Before I could read, with the aid of the pictures, I could recall the book verbatim from begining to end.
Before modern cultures became dependent upon information storage and retrieval systems (i.e. books, recordings, etc.) apparently people had what one would call better memories.
This is still evident amongst people who have an oral rather than written medium of preserving history, lineage, etc.
In fact, in the Orthodox Church, Canon law still stipulates that anyone being ordained a deacon or priest must have the entire Psalter memorized! (Just try memorizing psalm 119 (118 Septuagint)!)
Of course, nowadays this requirement is dispensed with!
I've read accounts of persons in the early 1800s in America who had memorized the bible. They could recite it, or you could quote ANY verse to them, and they would give you the verses immediately before and after. Don't know if it's anecdotal, or if there is some truth to it.
I have a hard time memorizing anything. When I'm in front of a class, all kinds of ideas from things I've read just seem to pop into my head. This phenomena makes me appear (to my students) to be much smarter than I really am.
Whoa, glitterbust--A Tale of Two Cities? I had a hard enough time merely reading that one for English class last semester. The ending's worth the trial, though. "It is a far, far better thing that I do..." It gets me every time!
I guess I'd rather just keep reading more books than spend time memorizing ones I've already enjoyed. Committing that much info to memory is pretty impressive, though...
Okay, here goes:
"It was a pleasure to burn..." Denham's Dentrifice...Ah crap, I can't hear myself think in here! Okay, "It was a pleasure to burn..." No, I'm kidding, but I've thought about memorizing that book, for a while...just in case. I ought to get around to that.
Actually, I once memorized the monologue from Ray's "To the Chicago Abyss" for a theater class I was in. I had to perform it in front of the whole class!
I have never heard of anyone memorizing a whole book good luck with that
That's purty good.
...it is an amazing creature - memory, that of which seems to have a mind of it's own but it can be trained...good luck to you mate, ya know it would have been a far different ending if Burgess Meridith (spelling optional) had remembered a book from cover to cover (TWILIGHT ZONE) but sans glasses and being a consumer of books (and one who lives for them) his memories of the seduction of holding a book, reading, pausing looking up and recollecting - now gone - would only drive him mad in the end - but to remember a book cover to cover THAT is impressive - hell viracious readers can't remember a book four down the list sometimes if you ask them - what was this one about? I can't remember - those lasting impressions are minus memory.
...greetings fom Canada!
PETER JAMES BILLINGThis message has been edited. Last edited by: Peter James Billing,
I have personally never heard of anyone memorizing more than a children's book or a play, but there is no guarantee it cannot be done (though I would love to follow your effort to memorize A Tale of Two Cities; are you planning to keep a weblog of the process?).
Because modern man *can* store our knowledge using the written word instead of oral transmission, it's a daunting task for a twenty-first century technophile. We're used to being able to refer to myriad sources for our information.
Consider, also, is that oral transmission of culture adds changes in each retelling. A word here or there will be lost, and perhaps dull sections will be glossed over, forgotten, or omitted for storytelling's sake. The volume of fairy tales the Brothers Grimm collected and recorded is a fantastic example: Many of the tales are variations of the same story.
Therefore, in memorizing A Tale of Two Cities, each retelling will have a bit of you in it. That said, if we were left in a desperate society where the only way to maintain the literary culture is to memorize a book? I think certain people could.
- - - - -
Remember, Remember, the Month of November / Dialogue, Setting, and Plot / I'm hearing wishes that laundry and dishes / Wouldn't just sit there, forgot.
I'll bet an actor could do it - their job is memorizing lengthy pages!
Just gotta brag about Robert Fuller again. In the pilot to "Emergency!" he had to give a speech for about two minutes, and he memorized the whole damn thing, every word. Never used cue cards or a teleprompter.
Nice, I've always wanted to read tale of two cities but have never really got the chance
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