Stream of Consciousness

It is the person’s thoughts and feelings which are portrayed on screen or page. They are sometime random or some time shocking but they are continues. We may or may not get the reason behind it easily. In 1890 William James coined this term into ‘Principles of Psychology’. The world of literature got a new tool to wield. Sterne’s Tristram Shandy a character from novel which went into his 9 volumes.  The character has its long monologue. The audience enjoyed this new tool.

Fyodor Dostoevsky the famous Russian writer also used this unique tool and use it as long self-communing passages. Audience found it interesting and realized the inner world and conflict of character. Dostoevsky became famous across the globe to raise the questions on morality, social customs and human relations.

1901 German playwright & novelist Arthur Schnitzler published a novel named Lieutenant Gustl He was Austrian writer and wrote complete novel into monologue. It is a one of its kind of experiment and which is praised by critics and literature lovers. The novel was a satire on official code of military honor

Edward Dujardin used it in Les Lauriers sont coupes in 1888. He used this stream of consciousness into internal monologue. The idea of using character’s thoughts as close as possible.

Irish playwright and writer James Joyce used it in

Ulysses 1922 to express action thoughts feelings of Leopold bloom & Stephen Daedalus. The beautiful part is Stephen Daedalus was the altur ego of James Joyce and he used this character to narrate the feeling and motives. This technique helped to build narration and develop the characters.

1916’s Portrait of An Artist as a Young Man is early example of using this technique to evolve the character and even the progress of narration.

Henry James, Virginia Wolf used this technique into their work. The famous work of 1927 To the Lighthouse

While teaching Cinema for so many years, I give its credit to Federico Fellini in his magnum opus 8&1/2 He put it and used it to give justice to the character. His magnum opus 8&1/2 films says it all. Years after releasing it no other director has tried to compete with it. True, I loved it when the literary term was justified on to Film Screen.

Let’s discuss yet another such things into my next article.


Published by Rahul Mate

Passionate about cinema, fine art, literature and photography, while teaching in media school Rahul Mate makes a little change into the life of people by connecting them with world of creative freedom.

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