Stream of Consciousness Writing

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Stephen Dedalus is my name, Ireland is my nation. Clongowes is my dwellingplace And heaven my expectation.
He read the verses backwards but then they were not poetry.

Lately I’ve been reading A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. It isn’t poetry, but on occasion, as in the quote above, it reads like poetry.

I’ve been wondering, too, about stream of consciousness writing. I’m sure that Joyce isn’t simply writing down whatever happens to come to the top of his head (that’s called automatic writing). I think that good stream of consciousness writing has to be crafted, so that it flows as easily as thoughts do, and in the way that certain thoughts do.

Other times, I think it can be a happy accident that the writing comes out like raw thoughts. I’ve had that experience before.

One of the tracks on Strange Punctuation has a sort of stream of consciousness feel to it. It’s a collage, actually, made out of parts of several other recordings. My friend Curt made the track out of the material that hadn’t yet made the cut. This resulted in one of the more interesting spoken word recordings; it has a dreamlike mood to it, I think.


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