What Literary Change is all about

Updated: Aug 20, 2019

Welcome to Literary Change. 🖐


My name is Beornn McCarthy. I created this website.


Think of this place as a seachange, only literary.

I'm a literature scholar and longtime student, which gives Literary Change its focus on books and knowledge sharing. I'm a former higher education academic and professional, which gives Literary Change its cynicism and its passionate commitment to lifelong learning. I'm a social change consultant, and founder of the animal advocacy group Open for Animals, which gives Literary Change its focus on purpose, welfare and social impact. I'm a father of a young child who doesn't sleep well, which gives Literary Change its erratic character. I created Literary Change to provide a space for my literary spare change. An online jar for my words I may not use anywhere else but that matter more than paid work. Literary Change may be a side project, but it's a glorified one.

What you'll find is a miscellany of personal reflections and perspectives, small works of literature, reviews, theories of change, things that catch my eye, and little essays on anything that involves the skill and art of letters, which means everything and anything.*

In short, Literary Change is a blog. Literature was once about reviewing everything. It was formed by a progressive philosophy, created space for others, and supported positive social change. Let's get back to that. 👇 Literary Change will feature perspectives on the relationship between literature and social change. I've written theses [1] touching on this topic but it is a never-ending subject once you investigate it. Contrary to some popular conceptions, literature is not elitist and conservative, the domain of narrow minds or deluded radicals. It's neither conservative nor radical.


Literature is best described as progressive. It's for the people, and by the people. Literature is its own little republic, and one that illuminates the world. Literature is lit. 👌 So I gather here to ask some questions we may address. How does literature change society, and how is it changed by it? What is literature, anyway, this peculiar endeavour and ‘the desire of investigating the properties and affections of words' [2], this 'skill and learning in letters' [3], that creates a space for disruption that still matters from time to time? There are no simple answers to these questions because we can't live our lives in pure black and white. Literary Change provides questions about the meaning of life, only no answers. Literary Change begins its life in the middle of 2019 and is dedicated to creating some lit content as I pursue my passion for social change that makes things better for all sentient life. ​While as a blog Literary Change will likely be the literary equivalent of singing in the shower, if you'd like to get involved and write for this website, contact me. If you're a specialist on literature and/or social change, or the two in relationship, contact me. I'm always wanting to meet new writers who can engage readers in curious topics. If you're just a fan of literature and love all things letters and books, then really do contact me.

E-Mail: contact@literarychange.net

Three of my favourite quotes tell you what you need to know about Literary Change:

'There is an art of reading, as well as an art of thinking, and an art of writing’ ~ Isaac D'Israeli, The Literary Character (1839). 'Books do not make life easier or more simple, but harder and more interesting.' ~ Harry Golden, "So what else is new?" (1964) 'Literature is the question minus the answer.' ~ Roland Barthes (1978)

*Please note: in reality, Literary Change is unlikely to stray too far from literature, which means: art, music, science, life, philosophy, philology, politics, religion, social change, new paradigms, sustainability, welfare and animal advocacy. So if you think what you are reading has legs, keep on reading and commenting, and reach out to me if you want to collaborate.

FOOTNOTES: [1] I've written a Masters Thesis on the social life of quotations, which drew a comparison between Athenaeus of Naucratis' Deipnosophists (2nd Century AD) and Walter Benjamin's Arcades Project. In addition I've spent over a decade studying and reading and understanding an encyclopaedic range of works to write a PhD thesis on the life and letters of Isaac D'Israeli (1766-1848), England's first modern Jewish man of letters, and the father of the first and only Jewish Prime Minister of Great Britain, Benjamin Disraeli. I wrote about the way in which literature is used by D'Israeli to build and popularise social change. [2] The Encyclopaedia Britannica, a work that shaped the Scottish Enlightenment, defined 'philology' in 1797 as ‘the desire of investigating the properties and affections of words'.

[3] The Encyclopaedia Britannica in 1797 defined "literature" as a 'skill and learning in letters'.

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