Fixed Limits: Excerpts from a Journal by Michael Savage

John James O'Loughlin

Fixed Limits: Excerpts from a Journal by Michael Savage
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Fixed Limits: Excerpts from a Journal by Michael Savage

John James O'Loughlin

If John O'Loughlin’s first novel ‘Changing Worlds’ betrays the influence (through souped-up interior monologue) of James Joyce on his early fiction, then the chief inspiration behind this fictional journal was undoubtedly Jean-Paul Sartre or, rather, Sartre’s first novel ‘Nausea’, which made such a profound impression on him … that, after several re-readings, he simply felt he had to attempt something similar - albeit within a necessarily different milieu and social setting. This was in the autumn of 1976, and the result was an account of some three weeks in the life of the very same character whom we first encountered as a disillusioned clerk in the earlier novel, but whose existence here, as a budding writer, is nothing short of a spiritual rebirth! Now that Michael Savage has become or, at any rate, is in the process of becoming his intellectual self … we are led into an even more subjective world than that of his previous incarnation, with further opportunities for both autobiographical and philosophical speculation on his part. In fact, ‘Fixed Limits’ should be regarded as the sequel to ‘Changing Worlds’, without prior reference to which much of its subject-matter and settings would be difficult, if not impossible, to understand. This unusual novel was, for John O'Loughlin, the literary ‘Black Hole’ which led into a new universe of fictional writings thereafter, beyond the reach of his early mentors.

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