Stream of consciousness (narrative mode)

Stream of consciousness (narrative mode)

In literary criticism, stream of consciousness is a narrative mode that seeks to portray an individual's point of view by giving the written equivalent of the character's thought processes, either in a loose interior monologue, or in connection to his or her actions. The introduction of the term to describe literature, transferred from psychology, is attributed to May Sinclair, and is mostly a dead metaphor.


Stream-of-consciousness writing is usually regarded as a special form of interior monologue and is characterized by associative (and at times--dissociative) leaps in syntax and punctuation that can make the prose difficult to follow, tracing a character's fragmentary thoughts and sensory feelings. Stream of consciousness and interior monologue are distinguished from dramatic monologue, where the speaker is addressing an audience or a third person, and is used chiefly in poetry or drama. In stream of consciousness, the speaker's thought processes are more often depicted as overheard in the mind (or addressed to oneself) and is primarily a fictional device. The term was first introduced to the field of literary studies from that of psychology by philosopher and psychologist William James, brother of the influential writer Henry James.

Several notable works employing stream of consciousness are:
* Édouard Dujardin's "Les Lauriers sont coupés" (1888)
* Knut Hamsun's "Hunger" (1890) and Mysteries (1892)
* Arthur Schnitzler's "Lieutenant Gustl" (1901)
* T. S. Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" (1915)
* Dorothy Richardson's "Pilgrimage" (1915-28)
* James Joyce's
**"A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" (1916)
**"Ulysses" (1922) - in particular Molly Bloom's Soliloquy
**"Finnegans Wake" (1939)
* Virginia Woolf's
**"Mrs. Dalloway" (1925)
**"To the Lighthouse" (1927)
**"The Waves" (1931)
* Hugh MacDiarmid's "A Drunk Man Looks at the Thistle" (1926)
* Hermann Hesse's "Steppenwolf" (1927)
* William Faulkner's
**"The Sound and the Fury" (1929)
**"As I Lay Dying" (1930)
* Lewis Grassic Gibbon's "Sunset Song" (1932)
* J. D. Salinger's "The Catcher In The Rye" (1949)
* William Styron's "Lie Down in Darkness" (1951)
* Samuel Beckett's 'trilogy' :
**"Molloy" (1951)
**"Malone Dies" (1951)
**"The Unnamable"(1953)
* Sam Selvon's "The Lonely Londonders" (1956)
* William Burroughs's "Naked Lunch" (1959)
* Jerzy Andrzejewski's "Gates to Paradise" (1960)
* J. D. Salinger's " (1963)
* Julio Cortázar's "Rayuela (Hopscotch)" (1963)
* Hubert Selby Jr.'s
**"Last Exit to Brooklyn" (1964)
**"Requiem for a Dream" (1978)
* Oğuz Atay's "Tutunamayanlar" ("The Disconnected") (1972)
* Thomas Pynchon's "Gravity's Rainbow" (1973)
* Robert Anton Wilson & Robert Shea's "Illuminatus!" (1975)
* Samuel R. Delany's "Dhalgren" (1975)
* Nadine Gordimer's "July's People" (1981)
*Bahram Bayzai's "Death of Yazdgerd" (1982)
* Patrick McCabe's The Butcher Boy (1992)
*Irvine Welsh's "Trainspotting" (1993)
* Mark Z. Danielewski's "House of Leaves" (2000)
*Jonathan Safran Foer's Everything is Illuminated (2002)
* Will Christopher Baer's "Phineas Poe" trilogy (2005))
**"Kiss Me, Judas"
**"Hell's Half Acre"
**"Penny Dreadful" (parts)
* Clarice Lispector's whole work.The technique has been parodied, for example, by David Lodge in the final chapter of "The British Museum Is Falling Down".



*Yorke, Ritchie (1975). Into The Music, London:Charisma Books , ISBN 0-85947-013-X

ee also

* Stream of consciousness (psychology)

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