The Asian conspiracy: deploying voice/deploying story



Publication Details

Bobis, M. "The Asian conspiracy: deploying voice/deploying story." Australian Literary Studies 25 .3 (2010): 1-19.


magine Australia sharing ONE tongue. I do not mean language, but literally that little pink and perpetually moist animal in the mouth. The pink flesh toured up and down that street, went into homes, into mouths of different origins. There was the baker from Turkey, the Filipino cook, the Australian couple with the fish shop, the Italian butcher and the Sri Lankan tailor. One tongue for five homes. This is a 'yucky fairy tale': an infiltration-contamination of the body. Of course, when the tongue was accommodated elsewhere, one could not eat with the usual joys of the palate. This is a survival fairy tale. There is only one pink flesh in the neighbourhood. We need it, despite its having been hosted by other mouths. Without 'this contamination', we cannot nourish ourselves, speak, or tell stories. But the pleasure of the ear was enough compensation. Every tongue owner's soundings, especially those that were heard as foreign noises, seemed to orchestrate in everyone else's middle ear into something intimate and comforting.

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Australian Litery Studies Journal

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