narrative device used in literature
In literary criticism, stream of consciousness is a narrative mode or method that attempts "to depict the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which [sic] pass through the mind" of a narrator. The term was coined by Alexander Bain in 1855 in the first edition of The Senses and the Intellect, when he wrote, "The concurrence of Sensations in one common stream of consciousness (on the same cerebral highway) enables those of different senses to be associated as readily as the sensations of the same sense" (p. 359). But it is commonly credited to William James who used it in 1890 in his The Principles of Psychology. In 1918, the novelist May Sinclair (1863–1946) first applied the term stream of consciousness, in a literary context, when discussing Dorothy Richardson's (1873–1957) novels. Pointed Roofs (1915), the first work in Richardson's series of 13 semi-autobiographical novels titled Pilgrimage, is the first complete stream-of-consciousness novel published in English. However, in 1934, Richardson comments that "Proust, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf & D.R. ... were all using 'the new method', though very differently, simultaneously". There were, however, many earlier precursors and the technique is still used by contemporary writers.
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