Édouard Dujardin's novel Les Lauriers sont coupés (1887) has long been acknowledged as an important influence on the stream of consciousness style (called monologue intérieur by Dujardin) found in James Joyce's Ulysses. Dujardin wrote the book during the period he edited the short-lived Revue wagnérienne. The study shows how monologue intérieur was connected to experimental literary trends debated on the pages of the Revue as well as in the Symbolist movement more generally. Two of these trends were vers libre and the construct of an interiorized mental theater, and both were grounded in particular perceptions of Wagnerian opera. Dujardin and his Symbolist colleagues appreciated Wagner's move to abstraction, but thought he had not gone far enough. The article illustrates how putative syntactical freedoms in Wagner's work encouraged vers libre, how a song cycle Dujardin composed to his own vers libre tested the boundaries between literature and music against a Wagnerian backcloth, and how a “paraphrase” of the Amfortas monologue in the first act of Parsifal published in the Revue produced a theater of the mind. The invention of monologue intérieur emerges as a rich and multivalent point of intersection between Wagnerian opera and modernity.
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