Among the myriad ways that storytellers and novelists have invented to narrate their tales, stream of consciousness is perhaps the only tool that has caught everyone’s fancy. While it sounds fascinating and surreal, it has not been everyone’s cup of tea. Writing stream of consciousness novels or stories have consumed a lot of time of our master novelists – be it Dorothy Richardson, James Joyce or William Faulkner, among others.
Here are the top stream of consciousness masters who I appreciate from the bottom of my heart and salute them for their inventiveness and imagination. Their works are a far cry and will be remembered as artworks of human minds.
- Dorothy Richardson: Her full name is Dorothy Miller Richardson who was born on 17 May 1873 and died on 17 June 1957. A British author and journalist, Dorothy is famous for her work – Pilgrimage which is a sequence of 13 semi-autobiographical novels. Dorothy is one of the pioneers to employ stream of consciousness. She showed the way to other novelists to start writing in this technique.
- William Faulkner: Faulkner created history with his cult novel – The Sound and The Fury that set a new trend in the fictional world. Also recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, Faulkner painted the conflicts of the human minds through his characters. In his another novel, As I Lay Dying he touched upon the depths of the psyche of humans in different situations.
- James Joyce: An Irish novelist, James is regarded as the best stream of consciousness example. In his epic work Ulysses, James Joyce played with different shades of human mind – conscious, semi-conscious and sub-conscious. For those who want to understand what stream of consciousness as a narrative technique, James Joyce is a must-read novelist.
- Marcel Proust: A French novelist and best known for his 3000 page masterpiece À la recherche du temps perdu (Remembrance of Things Past or In Search of Lost Time), which is a pseudo-autobiographical novel told mostly in a stream-of-consciousness style, Proust created his characters from his own life.
- Virginia Woolf: Virginia is recognized as the most important feminist writer who used the stream-of-consciousness technique to great significance in her work. Through her stories, Woolf takes readers through different minds, perspectives and surroundings. Mrs. Dalloway is regarded as her best work.