Paradise Learnt

In 1993, when he was 58 years old, John Basinger (JB) decided he would memorize the 10,565 line poem Paradise Lost by John Milton. By age 74, he could recite books one and two from memory. After seeing JB perform, psychologist John Seamon was fascinated and arranged to test the man's memory.
Seamon and his team asked JB to take part in tests regarding the epic work where they cued him with two lines selected from anywhere in the poem and asked him to recall the following 10 lines. In one part they picked out lines as they went through the books in order, in another they just chose books at random.

He seemed to stumble on a couple of books when they were tackled sequentially, but generally his verbatim recall was generally above 90% and seemed more consistent when the books were picked out randomly. The team also video-taped one of his live performances and found his average accuracy was between 97% and 98%.

JB is no savant; his accomplishments apparently came from hard work and dedication to the task. Link -via Nag on the Lake

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There's a professor I had who I imagine could recite it all from memory. He is a Miltonist and if you quote a line he can often tell you what line it is, and then recite the surrounding lines from memory. It's pretty amazing.
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