Memorizing James Joyce's Ulysses with a Memory Journey


(Josh Cohen) #1

This looks like an interesting project:

This is how comparative literature major Stephen Valeri ’19 describes his project for Reed’s Winter International Travel Fellowship. He will spend several weeks in Dublin where he will be using the ancient Greek and Roman mnemonic device known as modus loci to memorize passages from James Joyce’s epic novel Ulysses

Modus Loci, or method of location, is an imaginal device. It requires you to envision a familiar location and then place visual symbols representing the object you want to recall at its distinct features. This technique is well-suited to Ulysses as Joyce describes the layout of Dublin with meticulous detail. Valeri will walk through the city along the same routes as characters in the novel and deposit the passages that occur there at the same location in his own memory. This practice will thus help him memorize the text while creating a more significant bond with it.