Odessa: 1931. Item #1150
174 pp.,  pp.: ill. In original publisher’s printed wrappers. Rubbed spine, slightly toned, Soviet library stamp and inventory number on the title-page. Otherwise in a very good condition.
Scarce. Second edition. First edition published in 1929.
The establishment of the Communist regime posed new challenges to the Soviet Society. From the ideology’s roots in the mid-19th and early-20th century, political authorities expected a New Soviet Man and Woman to develop qualities reflecting surrounding circumstances of post-scarcity and unprecedented scientific development. As a result, one of the central places in the ‘construction’ of the new Soviet society was given to the problem of memory and its improvement mechanisms.
Printed in 1931, this second edition of the book traces the ways of coping with memory ‘errors’ and serves as an interesting document of the Soviet approach to mnemonics. In the book, the author starts off with the basic information on the human brain and its functioning and step by step introduces main characteristics of memory. According to G. Nifantov, although complaints of poor memory are usually reported by people suffering from absent-mindedness, memory failures are characteristic for every person. The author presents a detailed analysis of numerous examples of exercises for aiding memory from both foreign and Soviet practice and exposes ‘fake’ specialists for their attempts to establish illogical ties between the brain and the object of memorization (one of such examples: in order to memorize new words (fish, paper, mountain) one should use the words that he already knows (Turk, crayfish, dinner) and form phrases such as Turk overate fish; Crayfish has no idea what the paper is; After dinner, you don’t want to climb the mountain). Instead, Nifantov sets off two main factors on the way to successful memory improvement: hygiene and expediency. While the former implies such details as ventilation of the workplace, temperature control, healthy eating, proper sleep regime, etc., the latter suggests that memory aiding largely depends on repetition, increasing interest towards the object of memorization, establishing logical associations, systematizing repetition process (in intervals), and strengthening stimulus (ex: using large script, colors, etc). The author believes that in case of compliance with all of the above mentioned methods, any person can improve the abilities of his memory.
The edition includes black and white illustrations showing sense centers in the human brain, different apparatuses for measuring functioning of memory, etc.
Overall, an interesting Soviet approach to the ways of improving memory.
No copies found in Worldcat.
Odessa: 1931. Item #1150