Dan Green:

Fiction does do more than tell stories about people, but it can also do more than pretend to "enter into the consciousness" of people. To believe this by now fairly standard technique of faux-psychological probing into the minds of characters is the only thing that separates fiction from history, or from film, is a rather impoverished view of the possibilities of fiction as a literary form. Indeed, the purely literary possibilities of the "interior" strategy were, it seems to me, pretty much exhausted in the fiction of Woolf, Joyce, and Faulkner. Adventurous writers following on their achievement -- Beckett, Burroughs, Barthelme, Sorrentino -- discovered fresh ways of extending their experiments in form, of showing us how fiction can be different not just from history or film, but from previous versions of fiction as well. More such discoveries can be made.

Readers Comments

  1. As theories of consciousness grow (with research especially neurological cf. Damasio) surely the literary possibilities can grow with it? Consciousness we are learning is more than stream of consciousness; it's the conjunction of mind and body, thought and emotion, in a complex evolving system. Just as there were in form, there are also more discoveries to be made in the rendering of consciousness.

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