4 Matching Annotations
  1. Jun 2021
    1. Seth Long takes a closer look at the number of memory treatises from 1550-1650 to come up with a more concrete reason for the disappearance of mnemonic imagery (and the method of loci) in English rhetoric and pedagogic traditions. Some writers have attributed it to the rise of more writing and publishing. Long extends Frances Yates' idea of its decline to the rise of Ramism by presenting some general data about the number and quality of memory treatises published during the time period in question. Comparison of this data with European continental publications helps to draw some more concrete conclusions.

      In particular, he highlights an example of a Ramist sympathizer re-writing a previous treatise and specifically removing the rhetorical imagery from the piece.

    2. Yet even thisdecline is followed by an unexpected resurgence in mnemonics in the 1800s, when Connors claimsthat writing was replacing speaking in school settings (127).

      I would question this statement, as annotated separately in this article. I have a feeling that the mnemonic tradition into the 1800's was more heavily influenced by the rise of the idea of the major system and not so much by the memory palace or the method of loci. This definitely seems to be the case in the United States based on my readings.

    3. Not only does England fail to producemany memory treatises post-1600, the memory treatises she does produce are largely devoid of theinventive images that mark earlier English treatises and that continued to mark treatises on thecontinent

      Are these methods still heavily used on the continent (aka Europe)? Surely these methods waned there as well at some point as I don't think they're still heavily used in modern times.

    4. I offer general remarks on the need for a more detailed history of the canonof memory, which is often (but erroneously) assumed to be a casualty of writing (Corbett andConnors 22) or“modernist”ideologies (Crowley; Pruchic and Lacey). The former argument isdemonstrably untrue; the latter is on the right track but incomplete.

      I've often heard mnemonists talk about the effects of writing as being part of its downfall in western traditions. Are their guesses simply that, or had they read works like these?