What Happened?

Have you ever wondered? What happens in the pivotal moments that signal the end of a civilisation? In this short, yet densely pack read Wilson Harris, one of the greatest authors of the Latin Caribbean Diaspora, imagines the meeting of Pizzaro, the Spanish Conquistador and the King of the Incas.

Wilson Harris's writing is lyrical and very (VERY) metaphorical - he did after all begin his career as a poet. As well as pre-colonial myth, spirituality and religious discourses, philosophy also plays a large part in the Dark Jester, with allegories such as Plato's The Cave making an appearance. He drops references to other well known (and complex) literature such as Milton, as well as many critical references to Catholic redemption.

The novel is told by a narrator, The Dreamer, the ultimate tool of a reflective 'what if' narrative. Probably a metaphor itself. In addition to creating a work of art, Harris unpacks themes of materialism, greed, slavery and of course violence of the religious colonialism by the Spanish in South and Central America.

By no means an easy read, but intensely literary one. A beautiful one which is beautiful in it's construct and haunting in it's historical significance.

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