Monday, 11 August 2008

Don't Forget.

We have transported to our new home over one hundred boxes containing our possessions, a proportion of which can only be truthfully labelled as junk. Surprisingly a large proportion of the boxes contain books. (Books are also amazingly heavy in bulk thus the amount of boxes needed steadily grows.) I stop and read frequently as I unpack, thus the unpacking rate per hour is painfully slow.
To my surprise I rediscover a book I thought I had lent to someone only I couldn't remember whom! Called, ironically 'How to develop a Super Power Memory' by Harry Lorayne, published in 1958, it fascinated me as a twenty year old trying to impress. It has presumably been in the loft and emits a strong smell that is probably smoke from our wood burners via the chimney through the loft. Nearly fifty years on I study its pages and wonder at its original attraction.
It is full of 'memory tricks' or aids to a good memory. He explains the 'Link Method', 'Peg Systems' and memory by 'Association'. Plus there are numerous quotes to emphasise the importance of having a good memory.
'The true art of memory is the art of attention.' Samuel Johnson.
'A man's real possession is his memory. In nothing else is he rich, in nothing else is he poor.' Alexander Smith.
'The memory is always present; ready and anxious to help-if only we would ask it to do so more often.' Roger Broille. (unfortunately I cannot trace a Mr Roger Broille. Can you do better.)
'All knowledge is but rememberence.' Plato.
Memory is 'the treasury and guardian of all things.' Cicero.
Lorayne evidently believed that the memory is like a muscle and must be exercised and developed if it is to give proper service. It has no limit as to its capacity and there is no such thing as a bad memory.
Evidently Lucius Scipio could remember all of the people in Rome; Cyrus could call every soldier in his army by name; Seneca could memorize and repeat two thousand words after hearing them once. So no excuses, get yourself a 'memory book' and you too will develop a super power memory. But time is money as they say, now what was I doing when I allowed Mr Lorayne to distract me! One thing is for certain, he certainly did not suffer from TGA.
I enjoyed Mr Lorayne's book and can't resist repeating the beginning of his chapter What's in a Name.
'This fellow was very proud of the way he could remember names by association, until he met Mrs Hummock. Mrs Hummock was quite heavy, and had a large stomach, so he decided to use 'stomach' as his association.
Three weeks later, he met the same lady, glanced at her stomach, and, feeling very pleased with himself said, "Good day, Mrs Kelly!"
Can you believe I had to get my wife to explain!

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