Memory Love

By Heart

Here is a drawing in response to “The Book of Memory,” a chapter in Alberto Manguel’s A History of Reading.  In this chapter, Manguel discusses the history of reading as a history of making and performing the memories books record and promote.  He reminds us that an act of memory-making (an activity we usually associate with the brain) is also an act of heart (as in, “learning by heart”) which also suggests that memory-making is a kind of love-making; that is, strong memories depend upon emotional engagement, the love of knowing and knowledge, not just good brains and smarts.  An excellent example of memory love, Manguel reminds us, is demonstrated in “the crowd of roaming book-savers in Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451” (65).