My protagonist in WAY OF THE SERPENT falls in love with an artist – Luis-Martín Zenobia – who was educated as an anthropologist. Here is what he wrote about art and memory:
Time was when memory existed solely in the minds of men and women, and the elders of the society were its treasury. As humankind evolved, art became the handmaiden of memory, encoding in images – and in stories that were recited or sung or danced – the episodes and values that defined a people. Writing was the next revolution of memory. The printing press was another. Digital electronic storage took memory to the next level but also put it at risk as never before. In every age, people believed their encoded memories to be somehow infallible, unassailable, invulnerable. They were always wrong, but the notion was pervasive and reassuring. It still is.