A Brief Brexit Daydream
In transporting landscapes, I have sometimes had the same thought as the one you cite here by James Joyce. Have to confess, though, to failing to persevere with his books. Despite that, I do enjoy, and am inspired by, stream-of-consciousness writing. It liberates creative energy.
Thanks for this breath of air.
Rosy you are a gem to comment in the way that you kindly did as I needed something, anything to help me escape the 'doom-burdened caravel' that is the rudderless ghost ship called, Brexit as it careers alarmingly through storm-tossed seas hellbent on striking a course with no compass to hand that will shortly propel this ill-fated vessel to pitiless destruction on the rocky shores of a nation called Brexitana where the good people of that kingdom have been betrayed by the negligent, selfish and short-sighted leadership of this 'green and pleasant land'.
Ah, stream of consciousness writing can be a pleasure or a pain depending on your literary tastes where exponents of this type of writing are numerous but let me pick out a few that have made an impression on me: Michel de Montaigne, Virginia Woolf and Naguib Mahfouz.
Montaigne's writing, in the form of essays from the 16th century was, in a way, a diary of his life, as I'm sure you know, his thoughts and impressions of what he saw and experienced at the time some 500 years ago. As a teenager reading a tome of his essays (given to me by my father to whom I will always be grateful for this kindness) brought home to me the freshness of good writing that effortlessly transcends time, place and social mores.
Virginia Woolf in her book, 'To The Lighthouse' is a novel that could be termed a book that thrives on stream of consciousness writing where the author's sentences are lengthy with punctuation absent as Ms Woolf tries to cram in as much as possible into the experience of 'the moment'. As a young man, I remember being swept up in the magic of the way she presented her mental direction of travel not only with such authorial panache but which also had the air of confessional truth about it.
Egyptian writer, Naguib Mahfouz said that he was influenced by James Joyce's stream of consciousness technique and some observers have said that Mahfouz has used it to better effect rendering his work more readable.
Ulysses is a book I have struggled with on the several occasions I have attempted to read it and in that I would agree with you, Rosy.
However, in a throwback to the ancient celtic practice of preserving literary treasures down the ages through the development of prodigious memories to facilitate the (vocal) telling and retelling of ancient myths, Joyce has, I feel, taken this on board so that when you hear an audio recording of his book, it springs to life and all the creative nourishment that lies dormant in the silent words upon the page is resurrected and the whole thing pulsates with an energy that will percolate right through to your inner psyche.
I appreciate your kind words, Rosy and also for the good work that you do in continuing to maintain Green Room, this safe haven for scribblers like me who are always searching, searching and searching.
Thank you, Nicholas :-) The point about vocal telling of stories is important and interesting. Our early ancestors - and even those only a few generations back - needed no crosswords to keep their brains active and stimulate memory. I've long believed that one secret to good storytelling is to listen for the spoken tale first. Dialogue and conversation (not necessarily quite the same thing) crucially need to be rehearsed. Rhythm is key to everything and can easily get lost in written narrative.
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