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(10) Yahp sets up a series of binary oppositions between the convent and the jungle.
Yahp's Malayan jungle subsequently becomes the mysterious Other, a metaphorical background that is creatively utilised for the dramatisation of the subject matter of the novel (the supernatural world of ghosts and ghouls).
What is interesting is that Yahp has said, on the subject of Orientalist perceptions of Asian Australian women: 'the Other Asia drapes herself around me in cloak of cobwebs and is far harder to brush aside.
Aspects of these forms of representation might be shaped by memories that Yahp carries within her from her days as a young Chinese girl growing up in Malaya which subsequently converge with the narration of the main character she articulates in her novel.
While Yahp attempts to articulate the perceptions of the young narrator and her family and friends in its Malayan and, more specifically, immigrant Chinese context, these might be thought of in terms of Homi Bhabha's notion of mimicry and the anxiety of colonialist repetitions of stereotypes of the Orient.
The element that most accentuates this sense of disengagement can be found in the novel's gravitation towards the otherworldly realm of the supernatural, of the ghosts and ghouls that are an integral part of the lives of the individuals that Yahp shapes.
Ueda, Davison and Ni's readings of Yahp's complex novel are limited by a lack of consideration of the reifying effects of the essentialisms they rely on.
In Yahp's novel, the operation of hybridity within the ethnic category of 'Chineseness' is uniquely demonstrated through the generational mutations of an identifiable ethnic tradition: the myth of the crocodile and the meaning of its fury.
Using hybridity as a reading strategy for Yahp's novel The Crocodile Fury has involved shaking a few tales - tales about ethnicity that I don't like because of the rigid, dichotomous ways in which they frame the ethnic subject.
Beth Yahp, The Crocodile Fury (Pymble, NSW: Angus and Robertson, 1992): 324.
of The Crocodile Fury by Beth Yahp, Australian Bookseller and Publisher August (1992): 27.
Ni's assumption that the novel is set in China is given away in this statement: 'So while many writers in China are writing about overseas Chinese experiences, Beth Yahp seems to be mainly concerned with what happens within China, though in a somewhat bizarre way.' 'As the Sea Beckons,' 226.
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