I appreciate that Lukács points out the importance of Joyce’s style at the start of his essay. He notes that [Joyce’s] ‘stream-of-consciousness technique is no mere stylistic device; it is itself the formative principle governing the narrative pattern and the presentation of character’ (1218).
Many people reading Joyce may argue that his stream-of-consciousness writing is annoying and hard to follow, and therefore a distraction to the story Joyce is telling rather than a helpful device. Lukács points out, though, that this device is just as important to the story as the plot-line itself. I agree with this sentiment, especially since there are numerous times in which it does not feel as though a plot exists, so navigating the story deep inside a narrator’s head is very important when it comes to understanding the reason behind the telling of the story in the first place.
Joyce, James. Dubliners. Edited by Jeri Johnson. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008.
Lukacs, Georg. ‘The Ideology of Modernism,’ The Critical Tradition. 3rd ed. Richter, H. David. Boston: Bedford/ St. Martin’s, 2007. 1218. Print.
[posted for akroeps by AG since she’s having trouble logging in]