Ramblings & ephemera

Bruno’s memory structures

From Laura Miller’s “The heretic” (Salon: 25 August 2008):

Still, the mental powers of Bruno and his fellow memory artists seem almost superhuman today. The basic principle, Rowland explains, is simple enough, “to link words with images.” Nevertheless, the structures employed were mind-boggling: vast, elaborate patterns and nested wheels within wheels (like the color wheels used by visual designers) that could be used to juxtapose and rearrange huge quantities of information without recourse to any extra-mental form of storage (like writing). This ability makes the minds of Renaissance intellectuals radically different from our own, almost incomprehensibly so.

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