Interior Monologue

(4036 words)
  • John Mepham (Kingston University)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume : WORLD HISTORY AND IDEAS: A CROSS-CULTURAL VOLUME.

Interior monologue is one particular kind of stream of consciousness writing (which is discussed in a separate entry in this Encyclopedia). Stream of consciousness writing aims to provide a textual equivalent to the imagined stream of consciousness in the mind of a fictional character. Writers wanted to display for readers’ inspection, in a way that is impossible in real life, their characters’ private inner lives. These were imagined as containing many different kinds of “mind stuff” (as it was called by William James, the psychologist who coined the term “stream of consciousness”): verbalised thoughts, subliminal thoughts, perceptions, images, sensations and so on. Interior monologue, or quoted stream of …

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Mepham, John. "Interior Monologue". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 October 2003
[, accessed 29 September 2016.]