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Brian Castro's Fiction: The Seductive Play of Language By Bernadette Brennan ...

Chapter :  Introduction
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Brian Castro's Fiction:


[A]s Nietzsche has said, language cannot absolutely affirm anything since it is based on the collective lie of subjective empirical laws and grammatical structures. He argued that the difference between truth and fiction, philosophy and literature, verification and the rhetoric of performance, philosophical persuasion and literary troping is finally undecidable.

—Brian Castro, ‘Auto/biography’

Brian Castro is one of the most innovative and challenging novelists writing in English today. By virtue of his childhood migration from Hong Kong to Australia, he is an Australian writer, but he writes from the margins of what might be termed mainstream Australian literature. He is happy to be in this position. For Castro, margins are places of extremities rather than limits, places where experimentation and risk flourish. Though his novels now are receiving official recognition in the form of literary awards and are being set for study on university courses, his complex and elaborate semantics, constructed in order to challenge and unsettle the reader’s expectations, have meant that he has a select readership.