The Mind of a Mnemonist: A Little Book about a Vast Memory / Edition 1

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Overview

The Mind of a Mnemonist is a rare phenomenon - a scientific study that transcends its data and, in the manner of the best fictional literature, fashions a portrait of an unforgettable human being.
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Editorial Reviews

New Yorker
A distinguished Soviet psychologist's study…[of a] young man who was discovered to have a literally limitless memory and eventually became a professional mnemonist. Experiments and interviews over the years showed that his memory was based on synesthesia (turning sounds into vivid visual imagery), that he could forget anything only by an act of will, that he solved problems in a peculiar crablike fashion that worked, and that he was handicapped intellectually because he could not make discriminations, and because every abstraction and idea immediately dissolved into an image for him. It is all fascinating and delightful.
Times Literary Supplement
Luria's essay is a model of lucid presentation and is an altogether convincing description of a man whose whole personality and fate was conditioned by an intellectual idiosyncrasy.
Los Angeles Times Book Review
[A] compassionate and vivid portrait.
Psychological Medicine
A welcome re-issue of an English translation of Alexander Luria's famous case-history of hypermnestic man. The study remains the classic paradigm of what Luria called 'romantic science,' a genre characterized by individual portraiture based on an assessment of operative psychological processes. The opening section analyses in some detail the subject's extraordinary capacity for recall and demonstrates the association between the persistence of iconic memory and a highly developed synaesthesia. The remainder of the book deals with the subject's construction of the world, his mental strengths and weaknesses, his control of behaviour and his personality. The result is a contribution to literature as well as to science.
New Yorker
A distinguished Soviet psychologist's study...[of a] young man who was discovered to have a literally limitless memory and eventually became a professional mnemonist. Experiments and interviews over the years showed that his memory was based on synesthesia (turning sounds into vivid visual imagery), that he could forget anything only by an act of will, that he solved problems in a peculiar crablike fashion that worked, and that he was handicapped intellectually because he could not make discriminations, and because every abstraction and idea immediately dissolved into an image for him. It is all fascinating and delightful.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674576223
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 4/28/1987
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 972,996
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.01 (h) x 0.41 (d)

Meet the Author

A. R. Luria was Professor of Psychology at Lomonosov Moscow State University.

Jerome Bruner is University Professor at New York University and the author of many books, including Acts of Meaning; On Knowing; The Process of Education; and Toward a Theory of Instruction (all published by Harvard).

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Table of Contents

  • Foreword to the 1987 Edition
  • Foreword to the First Edition
  • Preface
  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. The Beginning of the Research
  • 3. His Memory
    • The Initial Facts
    • Synesthesia
    • Words and Images
    • Difficulties
    • Eidotechnique
    • The Art of Forgetting


  • 4. His World
    • People and Things
    • Words


  • 5. His Mind
    • His Strong Points
    • His Weak Points


  • 6. His Control of Behavior
    • The Objective Data
    • A Few Words about Magic


  • 7. His Personality

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