Who coined the term 'stream of consciousness'?
Which novel is considered the first complete stream-of-consciousness novel in English?
What distinguishes the stream-of-consciousness technique from dramatic monologue and soliloquy?
Who are considered precursors to the use of stream of consciousness?
Which works by Virginia Woolf use the stream-of-consciousness technique?
Who was a major pioneer of the use of stream of consciousness in literature?
In what other medium do some artists use the stream-of-consciousness technique?
What did Thomas Hobbes and Bishop Berkeley discuss before the 19th century?
What is the stream-of-consciousness technique?
Stream of Consciousness in Literature
- Stream of consciousness is a narrative device that attempts to depict the thoughts and feelings that pass through the mind of a narrator.
- The term was coined by William James in 1890 in his book The Principles of Psychology.
- The first complete stream-of-consciousness novel published in English was Pointed Roofs (1915) by Dorothy Richardson.
- The stream-of-consciousness technique is characterized by associative leaps in thought and a lack of punctuation.
- It is distinguished from dramatic monologue and soliloquy, which are chiefly used in poetry or drama.
- Thomas Hobbes and Bishop Berkeley discussed the concept of the "train of thought" before the 19th century.
- Anton Chekhov's short stories and plays and Knut Hamsun's Hunger (1890) and Mysteries (1892) are considered precursors to the use of stream of consciousness.
- James Joyce was a major pioneer of the use of stream of consciousness, particularly in Ulysses (1922) and Finnegans Wake (1939).
- Virginia Woolf used the technique in Mrs Dalloway (1925) and To the Lighthouse (1927).
- The technique continues to appear in contemporary literature, such as in Dave Eggers' A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (2000).
- It is also used in song lyrics, such as in Sun Kil Moon and Courtney Barnett's songs.
- Some filmmakers use the narrative technique, such as Terrence Malick in his films.
How much do you know about stream of consciousness in literature? Take this quiz to test your knowledge on the narrative device that attempts to depict the thoughts and feelings of a narrator. From its origins to its pioneers, this quiz covers the history and characteristics of stream of consciousness in literature. See if you can distinguish stream of consciousness from other narrative devices and identify its use in contemporary literature, as well as in song lyrics and film.
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