Fractal Subjects, Fractured Narratives: On Marlon James’s “Moon Witch, Spider King”

SEPTEMBER 3, 2022 MARLON JAMES’S Moon Witch, Spider King is a worthy sequel to 2019’s Black Leopard, Red Wolf, redolent of similar themes, from the lascivious, irruptive narrative to smatterings of torqued violence and deterritorialized spatiality. Crucially, Sogolon — the Moon Witch — our focus and protagonist for this second installment in the Dark Star … Read more

Coconuts, Corporations: On Vauhini Vara’s “The Immortal King Rao”

JULY 30, 2022 TALLYING THE VARIOUS uses of the coconut, the 20th-century agriculturist Frederic Rosengarten Jr. writes that “[e]very part” of the crop can be “utilized for some human need.” Citing the amount of protein found in one coconut’s meat, the versatility of its shell and coir, and the approximate amount of lumber provided by … Read more

All the additions to a King

In 1998, Barbara Everett remarked on the “astonishing” ambition of Shakespeare’s King Lear with its “thousand ideas”; Reducing them to a playtext, she wrote, must have required “acts of formative balance that stun imagination”. Her comments are transferrable to the two volumes of Learn edited by Richard Knowles, with Kevin Donovan as associate editor and … Read more