Publication Details

Slater, L. 2005, 'Kim Scott's Benang: Monstrous (textual) bodies', Southerly: a review of Australian literature, vol. 65, no. 1, pp. 63-73.


In Kim Scott’s Benang, bodies in excess of, or incompatible with, assimilationist and eugenicist discourse, narrate and make sense of their world. Scott has composed a novel that opens up a space to affirm and re-articulate subjectivities, and hence challenge the fantasy of a uniform civic body. Although he is the body who mediates the plurality of stories, his voice does not synthesise heterogeneous stories into a unified and coherent whole. Instead, Harley’s narrative— like his performance— creates a meeting place where diverse and multifarious stories are articulated. Scot t introduces the reader to Harley as a hybrid, floating being: