James Joyce was one of the first writers to exploit a narrative device called stream of consciousness. It’s an attempt to give shape to that inchoate interior activity that consists of a mix of words, sensations, shivers and apprehensions.
He honed his method in a 62-page section of his masterwork, Ulysses, in which, to the horror of the Mother Grundies of the 1920s, he explored the unexpurgated stream of thoughts and sensations gushing through Molly Bloom, wife of the novel’s chief character, Leopold.
Here’s a snippet from that largely unpunctuated section of the book:
“… no thats no way for him has he no manners nor no refinement nor no nothing in his nature slapping us behind like that on my bottom because I didn’t call him Hugh the ignoramus that doesnt know poetry from a cabbage…”
It’s a kind of poetry, with a lilt and a rhythm all…
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