How Can People Associated With Arts Use Memory Techniques
By now, you should realize that the systems are applicable to just about any kind of memory problem. And, as you’ve learned, most memory problems basically break down to entities of two. If you’d like to gain some knowledge of art, literature, or music, you might want to learn and associate artist and period, title of painting and artist, literary work and author, or piece of music and composer.
How Can People Associated With Arts Improve Memory
If you wanted to remember that Marcel Duchamp was of the dadaist school of painting, you would associate a Substitute Word or phrase for Duchamp to a Substitute thought for dada. Seeing a toe chomping on a baby crying for its da da might do it for you. Or, you could use two champs or due champs to remind you of Duchamp.
Braque and Picasso were cubists. See yourself breaking with a rock (Braque) a gigantic cube with a pickax (Picasso).
Monet and Renoir were impressionists. You might picture old money (Monet) being renewed (Renoir) to appear as an impressionist (one who does impersonations or impressions).
Of course, for each of the last two examples, you could associate one artist at a time to the school or period. You’d simply associate first Braque and then Picasso to cubism.
Rembrandt was a humanist. You might picture a ram branding a human.
Van Gogh and Cézanne were postimpressionists. One picture of a van going to press a post and seize Ann would do it. Or, use two separate associations; a van goes to press a post, and a post that’s pressing clothes (ironing) sees Ann.
Edvard Munch (pronounced Muhnk) was an expressionist. Picture this: You’re trying to express yourself to a monk.
Dali is a surrealist. Picture a doll that’s “sure real.” Dali is often considered to be a superrealist, so you can see that doll being real and eating soup.
An example of a nonobjective painter is Kandinsky. You might form a silly association of candy skiing and throwing objects at a nun; or can did ski to nonobjective.
Jackson Pollock’s work is considered abstract-expressionist, or action painting. Picture a gigantic pole locked in a room where it obstructs (abstract) all expression and action. Or, a pole with a lock on it is being very active (running) and obstructing express trains.
Rauschenberg is a pop artist; picture a roach on an iceberg drinking soda pop.
Rousseau was of the primitive school of painting. Associate a trousseau or Ruth sew to primitive (see Ruth sewing primitive clothes). One of Rousseau’s well-known paintings is “The Dream.” Get something into your picture to represent dream, and you’ll be reminded of that, too.
Mondrian was a constructivist; perhaps you’d like to remember that one of his paintings is titled “Broadway Boogie-Woogie.” Picture a man dryin’ a huge construction as he dances the boogie-woogie on Broadway.
Picturing a lot of blue poles (color blue, or sad blue) that are locked up will remind you that Pollock painted “Blue Poles.”
See a gigantic doll sitting on a flying horse (Pegasus) to remind you that Dali did “Pegasus in Flight.” If you didn’t know the name of the mythical winged horse, you could use a pea in gay sauce for Pegasus.
Botticelli painted the “Birth of Venus.” Perhaps you’d picture the bottom of a cello (Botticelli) giving birth to a lady without arms (Venus). Select your own Substitute Words, of course. Bottle sell E, bought a cello, or bought jelly would also remind you of Botticelli, and wean us or the planet would remind you of Venus. Botticelli also painted “Calumny.” Associate your Substitute thought for Botticelli to column knee.
In music appreciation, the approach is basically the same. Now that you have the idea, you won’t need so many examples of ways to associate composer and composition.
Schönberg’s “Violin Concerto”: A con who’s stolen a violin bangs it against a chair on a shiny iceberg.
Wagner’s Tannhäuser: Someone crashes a wagon into a townhouse. Wagner also composed Lohengrin. Associate your Substitute thought for Wagner to low and grin or lone grin.
Associate straw win ski to pet rush car and a bird on fire to help you remember that Stravinsky composed “Petrouchka” and “Firebird.” Get write off spring into the picture, and you’ll also remember that he composed “Rite of Spring.” You can, of course, form a Link starting with the composer and including as many of his works as you want to remember. The same method, of course, works for paintings.
Picture a rose growing out of your knee and putting a large O on a totem pole, and you’ll remember that Rossini wrote “Largo all Factotum.” Picture that rose getting its hair cut by a barber who is civil (or just barber) to remind you that Rossini wrote The Barber of Seville.
Liszt wrote “La Campanella”; see a list camping on Ella. Picture that list being very grand and marching with a crow on a mat to remember that he also wrote “Grande Marche Chromatique.”
Grieg’s Peer Gynt: see yourself peering (with a squint, if you like) into a creek.
Brahms’s “Hungarian Dances”: Picture brahma bulls (or bare arms) doing Hungarian dances, or dancing even though they’re hungry. The “Hungarian Dances” were written as piano duets; you can see the dancing being done on two pianos. Associate the bulls or bare arms to lead, best leader, or just best leader to remind you that Brahms wrote the “Liebeslieder” waltzes.
Debussy’s “La Mer”: You might see a D being busy (or bossy) to a llama.
You can associate a book title to its author just as you associated artists to periods and paintings, or compositions to their composers.
The Invisible Man was written by Ralph Ellison. The author’s last name is usually all you need, but you can put both names into your picture if you want to. You might picture a large, rough (Ralph) letter L being your son (L is son), and fading (becoming invisible).
For The Magic Barrel, written by Bernard Malamud: See yourself mailing mud in a barrel that’s performing magic tricks. For a reminder of the first name, get burn hard into your picture.
For Dangling Man (Saul Bellow): See yourself bellowing at a dangling man. Or, see yourself below a dangling man.
For Rabbit Run (John Updike): Picture a rabbit runing up a dike.
For Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger): A baseball catcher is sailin’ a jaw in rye whiskey.
For The Power and the Glory (Graham Greene): Picture a graham cracker turning green as it uses all its power to lift an American flag (Old Glory).
One of Robert Lowell’s best-known poems is “Skunk Hour”; if you see a letter L sinking low and sniffing a clock (hour) that smells like a skunk, you shouldn’t have any trouble remembering it.
To remind you that T. S. Eliot wrote “The Waste Land,” you might see a gigantic cup of tea (T) driving an ess curve (S) around a huge lot that’s a waste land.
Picture a burro eating a naked person for lunch, and you’ll know that William Burroughs wrote The Naked Lunch.
See a gigantic fly with gold ink all over it being the lord of the other flies, and you won’t forget that William Golding wrote Lord of the Flies.
And so on. The only reason we’ve included so many examples is for your use, if you like, as a drill or test. You can, as usual, include any information in an association: dates, names of characters, plot, theme, whatever. It doesn’t matter how difficult the material seems to be; so long as you can come up with Substitute Words or phrases, you’ll and it easier to remember. Where a lot of information is involved, form a Link. For example:
One of Euripides’ plays is Alcestis. First, associate you rip D’s to Al says this. The setting of the play is outside the palace at Pherae. Start a Link—associate Al says this to a fairy outside a palace. The characters are Apollo, Death, the chorus (the old men of Pherae), Alcestis, Admetus, Eumelus, Heracles, Pheres, a manservant. You might continue your Link this way: fairy to apple low to dies (Death) to chorus of old men to Al says this to add my toes to you mail us to hairy keys to ferries to servant.
How you use the systems—and what you apply them to—has to be up to you, of course. If you’re interested in the arts and want to remember all sorts of information, the systems will be invaluable time-savers. If you’re not that art-minded but you would like to remember certain names, titles, and periods—why not? Memorize whatever facts you like, and you’ll be able to “talk” art knowledgeably.