February 22, 2011

Palace of Memories

"Je suis la palais de memoirs." Or, "I am the palace of memories."

This was one of my favorite images from Salman Rushdie's novel The Enchantress of Florence. A character from the book, as well as many actual Greek philosophers, used this tool to remember huge amounts of information--like an entire legal code or the entire Iliad. (It was considered the mark of a high intellect to have an amazing memory, quite a different aesthetic from today, with all our electronic memory devices.) They imagined a house, and in each room they would put a different piece of information. To retrieve the information, they would mentally walk through their house.

I think it is a beautiful metaphor, because it alludes to the greatness of each person's spirit; as big as a house. Our childhood homes hold memories in every corner for us, but as adults we learn that we are these houses, and we must take them with us, for it is sometimes impossible to return.


  1. Wow Really Profound and Beautiful!!!!

  2. Yep sometimes I go to the Naughty Room in my mind!!!!

    Great Blog about Poetry, and Inspirational thoughts!

    Pieces of Karp: Anon lines up next target into its sites......