Date: 29 11 2015
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Stream of Consciousness

Stream of Consciousness is a literary style in which the author follows visual, auditory, tactile, associative, and subliminal impressions and expresses them using "interior monologue" of characters either as a writing technique or as a writing style that mingles thoughts and impressions in an illogical order, and violates grammar norms.

The phrase "stream of consciousness" was first used in 1890 by William James in "Principles of Psychology". In literature it records character's feelings and thoughts through stream of consciousness in attempt to capture all the external and internal forces that influence their psychology at a single moment. Any logical or sequential approach is disregarded.

The first example of this style is considered to be a novel by Edouard Dujardin "Les Lauriers sont Coupes" (We'll to the Woods No More), but the technique itself was pioneered by Dorothy Richardson in Pilgrimage (1915-35) and by James Joyce in Ulysses (1922), and further developed by Virginia Woolf in Mrs Dalloway (1925) and William Faulkner in The Sound and the Fury (1928).

Main characteristics:

  • Recording multifarious thoughts and feelings
  • Exploring external and internal forces that influence individual’s psychology
  • Disregard of the narrative sequence
  • Absence of the logical argument
  • Disassociated leaps in syntax and punctuation
  • Prose difficult to follow


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Broch Hermann
Calvino Italo
Dostoevsky Fyodor
Dujardin Édouard
Elliot Thomas Stearns
Faulkner William
Fitzgerald F. Scott
Ginsberg Allen
Joyce James
Kerouac Jack
Lispector Clarice
Passos John Dos
Porter Katherine Anne
Proust Marcel
Richardson Dorothy
Salinger J.D.
Selby Hubert Jr.
Shea Robert Joseph
Simon Claude
Styron William
Thompson Hunter S.
Welsh Irvine
Wilson Robert Anton
Woolf Virginia
Xingjian Gao
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