No joke, years back I had a friend who was trying to memorize James Joyce’s Ulysses, by heart. On Bloomsday, he had his friends gather in our small college outdoor amphitheater and recited Chapter 1, with hardly any errors. I forget the intricacies and details of the build up, but it was a great occasion and a seemingly monumental feat that was going to go on. That project ceased to be though, and so did my insight into book memorization skills.
What was a well-done feat by my friend was made even more incredible by a 26 year old Australian woman named Becky Sharrock. A huge Harry Potter fan, she has devotedly read the books and cherished them. Like many fans, she remembers the most minor of details, as well as the moments that were so captivating about the books. Unlike most fans howevee, she can recall and recite everything in between as well. It’s not a matter of favorite lines or scenes, she has remembered every line and every scene.
With a condition known as Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory, Sharrock is able to recapture every moment of her life in precise detail, something that may be a blessing and a curse, as it can cause restlessness and overactive thinking. At night she needs to sleep with the radio light and a light dimmed, otherwise her brain gets lost in the expanse of her memory. Not only that, but her emotions come back with the memories as well.
What started with the first two books, turned into a now Potter-esque story of magic and wizardry, she has memorized all seven books word for word and has recited them in several interviews. While she might be the only one who has memorized all seven books, she certainly is not alone in a community of Harry Potter fans. Like those with “super powers” she does wonder how other people forget things. She will need to add one more book to that list though, with the recent release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
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Featured image via The Sun UK