•  
  •  
 

Abstract

This article proposes to explore the representation of mixed-race bodies in Brian Castro’s fiction. In Colonial Desire: Hybridity in Theory, Culture and Race (1995), Robert Young has demonstrated the deep anxieties caused by the existence of mixed-race individuals in colonial contexts. Miscegenation threatened the clear racial separation required by colonial domination and reveals, as Patrick Wolfe has underlined, “the points at which racial classifications most conspicuously come undone” (867).

All of Brian Castro’s novels feature mixed-race characters, and several part-Chinese or part-Aboriginal characters are main protagonists. Avoiding the binary distinction between happy and tragic hybrids, his novels engage with colonial and contemporary representations of mixed-race individuals and play with the threat to racial and cultural purity posed by hybridity. Castro’s representation of the mixed-race body is characterised by a particular set of images, metaphors and modes of representation, which underline the essential impact of the white gaze on racialised others and dramatise the racial ambiguity of mixed-race corporality through images of monstrosity and disability. Castro engages with racist discourse by exaggerating and amplifying its postulates, thus denouncing the absurdity of racial classification and of the very concept of race.

Share

COinS