Moirae – Mehreen Ahmed. Foreword – Joe Ferguson. Publisher – Cosmic Teapot Publishing.

28 Oct

Mehreen Ahmed writes on Stream of Consciousness

October 28, 2016

When the stream of consciousness technique was first introduced at the turn of the 20th century, it was difficult for many publishers to accept it. Mainly because, such a style endorsed ungrammatical choppy sentences and sentences that had not made much sense. After James Joyce, finished and published Ulysses, it was almost impossible to comprehend it because of the many spelling and grammar errors in it: mother was spelt as nother and many such errors in punctuations through to the last chapter which concluded in a total mayhem with Milly’s thoughts.

Stream of consciousness as suggested by the terminology is but an internal act of undeterred flow of thinking. When reflected in narration, the written language flows unplugged without stops. Sentence endings and punctuations in the narrative are rare and often ungrammatical with misspellings as they would appear internally. Monologues, therefore, take precedence over dialogues and soliloquies. Such thoughts are sporadic and must never find an audience. They appear in the mind spontaneously and remain there for as long as the character or characters are engaged with the selves.

Only narrators who are omniscient and omnipresent have access to those private thoughts and it is their jobs to soak them up like sponge and wring the sponge out in the narrations so that the reader would know exactly how they took place in the characters’ minds. As a mediator, between readers and the characters, the narrators do not interpret or intervene in such thought processes, rather allow for the narrations to be filtered through them.

Having said the above, how does this definition fit Moirae? Although Moirae is an ode to a nondescript, floating population, it is nevertheless an allegory and a dream allegory at that. The story is one of persecution where innumerable nameless people are seen fleeing their villages together on a boat called the Blue Moon, to seek asylum elsewhere. However, the place in which asylum is sought is not free of danger either. And they soon find their fates hanging in the balance.

The narration takes place in a dream of the main character, a female protagonist by the name of Nalia. Nalia is intelligent and educated but is a poor village girl. She sees things through her wavering dreams which the narrator follows and pens down as they appear. The only place where the narrator’s presence is felt is when she introduces her own POV. However, those points of views have also been interjected in a dreamlike fashion so they would merge seamlessly into an already existing dreamline that Nalia is dreaming.

As for the other characters, they are all conceived in Nalia’s one gigantic dream, where diverse thoughts, voices, actions and experiences have slipped. We see them through a haze of smoke-screen. The many errors littered across the novel are thus accounted for as stream of consciousness; a result filtered through this lucid dreaming. The ending of the novel is particularly dreamlike where a utopia has been painted and delivered to this long suffering, plight-ridden people. A place where spectacular new life begins.

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2 Responses to “Moirae – Mehreen Ahmed. Foreword – Joe Ferguson. Publisher – Cosmic Teapot Publishing.”

  1. mehreen10 October 28, 2016 at 9:03 am #

    Reblogged this on mehreen10.

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  1. Moirae – Mehreen Ahmed. Foreword – Joe Ferguson. Publisher – Cosmic Teapot Publishing. | mehreen10 - October 28, 2016

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