Although we do not know who invented the first stream of consciousness, we know that Virginia Woolf, William Faulkner and Joyce, in America, only Svevo in Italy used it most successfully. The critic Harold Bloom places them all in The Western canon.
The stream of consciousness, almost like a cinematographic technique, cancels space-time in favor of an eternal present flow, which is the simulation of a flow of thought (this fenomenon was studied by Gille Deleuze in Image-movementet).
It must be said that it is more difficult to say for a literary ‘technique’ who was the inventor than to indicate the inventor of the sequence plan, objectively more recognizable technique, which corresponds for the cinema to the flow of consciousness, used by the Mexican Innaritu in the whole his poetics. The comparison may seem forced, but even Carmelo Bene spoke of ‘greatest master of montage’ about Joyce and considered him the best ‘filmmaker’ of his time, this to suggest that in a sense also with words we can do or don’t do cinema.
The master of the modern stream of consciousness is Joyce, for whom the flow is paradoxically made from a fragmented and inner syntax, and used in an abstract way. Faulkner uses it in a different way, focusing on external details in a concrete way (the setting is western) in While I was dying and in his other masterpieces.