Thursday, May 17, 2012

Richardson wrote 'interior monologues'

Dorothy Richardson
It is the birthday of British writer Dorothy Richardson (1873), whose novel, Pointed Roofs (1915), is credited with being the first completely stream of consciousness novel published in English, though James Joyce's Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is much more widely known. She worked as a freelance journalist and novelist, also publishing poems, essays, sketches and short stories. She married bohemian English artist Alan Odle (whose work was mainly ignored in this lifetime but is avidly collected now.) She was admired by writer Virginia Woolf, who credited her with inventing or at least developing "the psychological sentence of the feminine gender." Richardson herself disliked the term "stream of consciousness," preferring instead "interior monologue." Pointed Roofs and a dozen of her subsequent novels in the style were collected into a four-volume work called Pilgrimage in 1938. Richardson is considered a significant feminist writer, who sought equal rights for women and emphasized the importance of a woman's viewpoint in literature.

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