Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Memory Palace

Mira Bartok's disturbing, beautiful book about her mother's schizophrenia takes its title from the teachings of a 16th-century Jesuit priest, Matteo Ricci
who helped Chinese scholars safeguard their memories by associating a specific image with each memory, then assigning each image a place in a room in the mind. In this way one could build, room by room, an imaginary palace filled with real memories.
"The Memory Palace" is not so much a palace of memories as a complex web of bewitching verbal and visual images, memories, dreams, true stories and rambling excerpts from the author's mentally ill mother's notebooks. It is an extraordinary mix.

Link (here) to the full book review at the The Washington Post

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