The Omega Quartet

John O'Loughlin

The Omega Quartet
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The Omega Quartet

John O'Loughlin

The four books of poetry that make up this quartet were written during 1982-5, at a time when John O'Loughlin had rekindled his interest in poetry from a standpoint partial to what he then called ‘collectivized literature’. Such literature was intended to embrace as many genres in one volume or project as one could manage, effectively doing away with the distinctions between different types of books based on genre differentials, and therefore he felt obliged to return to his literary ‘first love’, abandoned since the early 1970s, for the purpose of ensuring that his approach to ‘collectivization’ wasn’t just prosaic or philosophic but also, to a degree, poetic. In retrospect, John O'Loughlin found that his general development had tended towards philosophy and that the poems were less strictly poetic, or discursively descriptive of apparent phenomena, than philosophic in character, with a marked predilection for the essence of things. Also he eventually decided that collectivization right across the genre board, so to speak, wasn’t a particularly good or viable idea, since there was sometimes a conflict of interest, and sometimes one genre was pretty much indistinguishable from another in terms of style and content anyway, which slightly invalidated the whole concept. So he eventually dismantled his liberally collectivized volumes, putting the short prose in with the short prose and the philosophy, irrespective of how many philosophical genres - essays, dialogues, aphorisms, maxims - were involved, in with the philosophy. The poetry ended-up in four separate volumes, most of which had originally been written together in any case, and this quartet is ample evidence as to the scope and quantity of his poetry during those years.

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