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Passions in Poetry

Stream of Consciousness

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fractal007
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since 06-01-2000
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0 posted 01-12-2001 04:32 AM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

Greetings:

I have recently been hearing the term "stream of consciousness" used a lot to describe some forms of "random" writing, as well as certain forms of musical lyrics[Beck Hanson, for example].

My question is:

Just what exactly is "stream of consciousness".  It was my understanding that just putting pen to paper and writing random thoughts is called "free association writing".  Is stream of consciousness becoming a catch-all term now?  Is stream of consciousness a relatively new thing, or is it simply a modern packaging of things such as poetry like Coleridge's Kubla Khan?

Thankyou for your attention.
Craig
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since 06-10-99
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1 posted 01-13-2001 08:00 PM       View Profile for Craig   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Craig


The phrase may be older than you thought, it was first coined by William James in ‘Principles of Psychology’
(1890) to describe the flow of inner experience.

Thanks for the chance to read and reply
Severn
Member Rara Avis
since 07-17-99
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2 posted 01-14-2001 05:55 PM       View Profile for Severn   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Severn

Free association is more than random thoughts. It's a therapy technique invented by the neo-freudians, based on Freuds psychodynamic theory. The person actually 'lets go' of their thoughts and talks freely or scribbles over paper - usually many pages. Then they either listen to their recorded words or read back after awhile to see what is going on in their subconcious and it is interpreted with help from the therapist.

Stream of Conciousness relates directly to the writing of random thoughts for creative purposes.

K
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


3 posted 01-14-2001 07:30 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

I'd just add that 'free association' writing involves the real intent of the writer, an attempt to find the unconscious of a living individual. 'Stream of consciousness' is a technique that mimics this 'inner stream' in a fictional character (not necessarily the author's true thoughts) but is usually not as random as people think.

Just random thoughts are what I would call ecstatic or automatic writing.

Brad
fractal007
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since 06-01-2000
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4 posted 01-15-2001 06:54 PM       View Profile for fractal007   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for fractal007

Thankyou for your replies.  This is much clearer to me now.

So, Brad, is it then called stream of consciousness every time the thoughts of a character are revealed, or is it in a special form of writing which emphasises those thoughts?
Brad
Member Ascendant
since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


5 posted 01-15-2001 08:32 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Not necessarily -- it has to give you the feeling of a stream.  

I wouldn't characterize Tom Clancy as a stream of consciousness writer.

On the other hand, Thomas Pynchon  . . .

mark woolard
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since 01-02-2001
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6 posted 01-16-2001 10:11 PM       View Profile for mark woolard   Email mark woolard   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for mark woolard

Being quite unprofessional in my poetic approach, I believe "stream of consciousness" is different than "constructed" poetry.  

stream of consciousness, as others have stated, is simply the "art" of words posing as actual feeling, with little or no revision (some slight structure tweeks may be necessary, though).

This, as opposed to thinking of a topic, counting the meter, and arranging the rhyme
to shape a concrete image is (to me) where the difference lies.

Brad
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since 08-20-99
Posts 5896
Jejudo, South Korea


7 posted 01-16-2001 11:17 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

But shouldn't we be making a distinction between automatic writing and James Joyce?

Between what we do and Toni Morrison?

Stream of consciousness is a technique to create effects in literature; it doesn't matter if you revise or not.

Brad
 
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