John O'Loughlin’s first novel, written during the summer of 1976, is a largely autobiographical account of three days in the life of a clerk-turning-writer Michael Savage, whose disillusionment with the drudgery of office work has led him to quit his clerical job in London’s West End in order to dedicate himself to a literary career … come what may. In this respect Savage is a sort of Henry Miller, who doesn’t believe in doing things by half-measures and consequently to him there is no sense in remaining a clerk when one has an imperative desire to become a writer and thus effectively ‘change worlds’. For him it is a make-or-break situation, all the more poignant for its unfolding against a background of indifference or hostility from colleagues and relatives alike! Of all this author’s novels, ‘Changing Worlds’ is by far the most subjective, with long passages of interior monologue which often overlap, to ironic effect, with conversational or observational settings; though he has taken extra care to differentiate reflection from conversation by utilizing single quotes in the one context and double quotes in the other - a stratagem which, though unorthodox, has probably done more than anything to condition his preference, contrary to contemporary norms, for double quotes in relation to conversational passages virtually right the way through his fictional oeuvre. However that may be, it was probably the degree of this novel’s subjectivity, combined with its revolutionary technique, that alienated most publishers (apart from ‘vanity press’ ones) when he first attempted to have it published, back in the late 1970s, and to this day he is proud of the fact that he was able to subvert literary objectivity to such a radical extent that … the result is more philosophic than fictional, thus heralding his true destiny in the more unequivocally philosophical works to come!
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