Interesting that when he combines his memory number system with images, he says his brain remember the emotions.
From Joshua Foer’s book, the ‘poetry’ winner, Corinna Draschl, also spoke of emotions and how she had to understand the poetry on an emotional level.
…she can’t memorize a text unless she understands what it means. Even more than that, she has to understand how it feels. She breaks the poem into small chunks and then assigns a series of emotions to each short segment. Rather than associate the words with images, she associates them with feelings.
Foer, Joshua (2011-03-03). Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything (p. 133). Penguin Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Rick Russo’s Risk Pool is all emotion in my brain. The book is vivid in my mind– even though I haven’t read it since my father’s death on August 8th, 2007.
Maybe the emotion bit is the part I’m missing when trying to figure out how to memorize text.
More on text memorization from Ed’s Reddit AMA:
[Ill_eat_it] My question: I find it more difficult to learn poetry because it’s more abstract (I’ve been using the method of loci btw). Any tips?
[Ted Cooke] Cool! Glad to hear that you’re getting into memory techniques.
Poetry is very difficult. I use loci to map the lines, not the words. So I’ll have an image for each line, sometimes two or three if it’s very elaborate, and then I will recite the poetry with as much emotion as possible as I go through the memory palace in my imagination.
It takes repetition, but as you do it, you get to know the poetry to a depth quite impossible through casual reading.
When especially deep in my long-term project of trying to learn Paradise Lost (a project I’m still working on) I find myself able to speak Miltonically fairly effortlessly. One of the sweetest (and most pointless) pleasures I’ve encountered that life has to offer.
On memory palaces and vocabulary:
No, I wouldn’t recommend vocab in memory palaces: they’re best for structured info. You want to be able to recall vocab out of context.
On Memrise we’ve built what we think is the optimal way of learning vocab, and omission of memory palaces was deliberate.
Good book reference from the AMA: From Dawn to Decadence.