Stream of consciousness

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

John Mepham (Kingston University)
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Stream of consciousness writing aims to provide a textual equivalent to the stream of a fictional character’s consciousness. It creates the impression that the reader is eavesdropping on the flow of conscious experience in the character’s mind, gaining intimate access to their private “thoughts”. It involves presenting in the form of written text something that is neither entirely verbal nor textual. Stream of consciousness writing was developed in the early decades of the twentieth century when writers became interested in finding ways of laying open for readers’ inspection, in a way impossible in real life, the imagined inner lives of their fictional characters. The challenge was to find ways of writing that would create plausible textual presentations of the imagined…

5863 words

Citation: Mepham, John. "Stream of consciousness". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 17 October 2003 [, accessed 15 July 2024.]

1062 Stream of consciousness 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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