Computer Chess and the Reverse Odyssey of Marx Returns

  • Ana Stankovic
Keywords: alt-fiction, chess, Das Kapital, differential calculus, Glen Robert Downey, Karl Marx, Marx Returns, narrative


This article considers the chess metaphor in historical fiction with the aid of Susan Brantly and Glen Robert Downey’s respective works before conducting a brief interpretation of Jason Barker’s alt-fiction Marx Returns. At first glance Barker’s novel is an alternative history which subverts and supplements key aspects of Marx’s biography. However, a philosophical analysis suggests that by introducing Marx’s posthumous notes on differential calculus into the narrative Barker achieves an elaborate representation of the historical materialist method of Marx’s Capital.


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How to Cite
Stankovic A. Computer Chess and the Reverse Odyssey of Marx Returns. FV [Internet]. 2018Oct.25 [cited 2020Jun.3];39(2). Available from: