Cross-Purposes: Rolling at the Ball

Centretruths Digital Media
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A philosophic-cum-romantic novel in which a young writer becomes involved with the wife of an influential publisher and ends-up paying the price, as does a certain philosopher friend of his, whose double-dealing in connection with a mutual girlfriend proves more difficult to manage than he had at first suspected, putting him at cross-purposes with them both, to their mutual disadvantage!
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About the author

John O'Loughlin was born in Salthill, Galway City, the Republic of Ireland in 1952 of mixed Irish- and British-born parents of Irish descent. Following a parental split while still a child, he was taken to England by his mother and maternal grandmother (who had initially returned to Ireland after a lengthy absence with intent to stay) in the mid-50s and subsequently attended schools in Aldershot, Oakham, and, upon the death and repatriation of his Galway-born grandmother, Carshalton Beeches, Surrey, where, despite an enforced change of denomination from Catholic to Protestant in consequence of having been put into care by his mother, he attended a state school. Upon leaving Carshalton High School for Boys in 1970 with an assortment of CSEs (Certificate of Secondary Education) and GCEs (General Certificate of Education), including history and music, he moved the comparatively short distance up to London and went on to work at the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in Bedford Square, where, after a lengthy period as a general clerk, he was promoted to clerical officer grade one with responsibility for booking examination venues throughout the UK. After a brief flirtation with further education at Redhill Technical College back in Surrey, where he had enrolled as a history student, he returned to his former job in the West End but retired from the ABRSM in 1976 due to a combination of factors, including ill-health, and proceeded to dedicate himself to a literary vocation which, despite a brief spell as a computer tutor at Hornsey YMCA in the late 1980s and early '90s, he has effectively continued with ever since. His novels include Changing Worlds (1976), Cross-Purposes (1979), Thwarted Ambitions (1980), Sublimated Relations (1981), False Pretences (1981) and Deceptive Motives (1982). Since the mid-80s Mr O'Loughlin has exclusively dedicated himself to philosophy, his true literary vocation, and has penned more than sixty titles of a philosophical nature, including Devil and God - The Omega Book (1985-6), Towards the Supernoumenon (1987), Elemental Spectra (1988-9), Philosophical Truth (1991-2), Maximum Truth (1993), and, more recently, The Centre of Truth (2009), and Musings of a Superfluous Man (2011).
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Additional Information

Centretruths Digital Media
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Published on
Feb 25, 2013
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Fiction / Biographical
Fiction / General
Fiction / Romance / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM free.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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In a compelling, richly researched novel that draws from thousands of letters and original sources, bestselling authors Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie tell the fascinating, untold story of Thomas Jefferson’s eldest daughter, Martha “Patsy” Jefferson Randolph—a woman who kept the secrets of our most enigmatic founding father and shaped an American legacy.

From her earliest days, Patsy Jefferson knows that though her father loves his family dearly, his devotion to his country runs deeper still. As Thomas Jefferson’s oldest daughter, she becomes his helpmate, protector, and constant companion in the wake of her mother’s death, traveling with him when he becomes American minister to France.

It is in Paris, at the glittering court and among the first tumultuous days of revolution, that fifteen-year-old Patsy learns about her father’s troubling liaison with Sally Hemings, a slave girl her own age. Meanwhile, Patsy has fallen in love—with her father’s protégé William Short, a staunch abolitionist and ambitious diplomat. Torn between love, principles, and the bonds of family, Patsy questions whether she can choose a life as William’s wife and still be a devoted daughter.

Her choice will follow her in the years to come, to Virginia farmland, Monticello, and even the White House. And as scandal, tragedy, and poverty threaten her family, Patsy must decide how much she will sacrifice to protect her father's reputation, in the process defining not just his political legacy, but that of the nation he founded.

 Unlike anything else every written, and not only one ventures to guess by John O'Loughlin, this title endeavours to 'burn the candle', as it were, at both ends, coming 'down to earth' in the first part and going 'up to heaven' in the second, replicating the text of the former while diverging from it in terms of an approach to structure which is less prosaic than philosophic, in the sense of combining, and not for the first time in his oeuvre, aphorisms with maxims in relation to a metaphysical mean and intent. The aphoristic material, with him, is more loosely structured than the maxims, which are not maxims in the accepted sense of pithy sayings or apophthegms in which wisdom or knowledge is condensed but, rather, are numbered items that follow, in each sequence, a uniform structure which is simply thematically modified to suit the needs of the occasion or, in this instance, particular maxim. That, of course, does not obtain in the 'down to earth' part which begins this book, in which the author took the aphoristic/maximistic material at a less developed stage of its structuring and simply endeavoured, with the help of '....', or omission marks used in a relatively unorthodox way, to separate one train of thought from another, to turn it into something approaching prose, in which a massive if not massed approach to text signifies that which is corporeal as opposed, like the aphoristic structure, to being comparatively ethereal, and thus intended (without irony) for mass consumption – something one could not associate with any text conceived with due philosophic regard to space and, especially, time.
 Those familiar with John O'Loughlin's work, particularly with his writings of the past few years, will know that he likes to combine philosophy, or a logically structured way of writing derived from years of abstract thought, with other approaches to text, including autobiographical, psychological, poetical (to a degree), historical, political, religious, and analytical, so that the results, sometimes confusing, are rarely predictable, but can take you by surprise, as when you pass from an autobiographical sketch or a political observation straight into an intensely analytical or philosophical section, though usually not without some forewarning or a lacuna of some sort in the layout of the text. So it is here, in this remarkable collection of structured aphorisms and maxims and what might appear to be essays but are, in fact, aphorisms of a more discursive nature within a title-shunning format that eschews paragraphs in keeping with its aphoristic bias – rather Nietzschean in a way – that he long ago identified with the concept of 'supernotes', or notes that have been copied from a notebook and reworked and refined and expanded upon until they resemble short essays, without, however, conceding much else to essayistic tradition. In such a mainly metaphysical fashion John O'Loughlin has consistently advanced the theoretical breadth and depth of his work, derived, naturally, from habitual thought processes, and the results should speak confidently and credibly enough for themselves without our having to say very much about them, other, of course, than that they continue in the vein to which we have become accustomed the struggle for truth, or philosophical credibility and metaphysical insight, and have continued the process to a new and hopefully final level or stage of completion which it would be difficult if not impossible for him or, for that matter, anyone else to reasonably surpass, bearing in mind the complexities that so exactingly comprehensive an approach to logic as he has fathered both here and in the past inevitably entail. So maybe the job, or task, which this author humbly and somewhat naively set himself over four decades ago, is now completed, and with such a degree of structural credibility that he has even been able to bend the rules and invent one or two new words and new ways of thinking about old words or subjects or categories that, frankly, should stand up to scrutiny and any amount of analytical attention. But, of course, a book of his is an adventure, never quite knowing where it is going or where, eventually, it will get to, and this one is no exception, since the sheer eclecticism of John O'Loughlin's writings makes it difficult to nail it down to a specific title, even if the subtitle he has chosen, viz. 'Attraction and Reaction in Gender Perspective', is certainly quite well-represented in the text, albeit by degrees and not at all at the beginning. Evidently a number of other specific titles came to mind, but none of them would have adequately represented anything but a fraction of the overall text, and so, in the end, he wisely and, we think, correctly opted for a title that would be both sufficiently abstract and sufficiently ambiguous (for it actually is, if you ponder it for a moment) as to do general justice to a style of writing that refuses to follow the usual linear patterns of composition of the 'straight press', including essayists, but gives you so many strands of thought to follow or think about that no single strand, be it philosophical or autobiographical or anything else, could possibly do justice to the entirety of the text, which, as intimated above, is of an intensely eclectic character. That is how he writes, how he prefers to write, and we make no apologies. You can take it or leave it. But those who persevere with his work – and not only here but in previous books – will, if they are sufficiently intelligent and of the right turn-of-mind, be rewarded to a degree that few other books, we venture to assert, would reward them, since few other authors could possibly claim to have achieved as much or to have brought their philosophy to such a conclusively logical pass, and you would have to be a fool or scoundrel not to see that or profit from it!
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