Image courtesy of Giramondo Publishing
y Shanghai Dancing single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 2003 2003
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Notes

  • Author note: 'Shanghai Dancing is a fictional autobiography. Told from an Australian perspective and loosely based on my family's life in Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Macau from the 1930s to the 1960s.'
  • Epigraph: We photograph things in order to drive them out of our minds. (Franz Kafka)
  • Dedication: For B. B.

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • Artarmon, North Sydney - Lane Cove area, Sydney Northern Suburbs, Sydney, New South Wales,: Giramondo Publishing , 2003 .
      Image courtesy of Giramondo Publishing
      Extent: 447p.
      Description: illus., genealogical table.
      ISBN: 0957831188 (pbk.)

Works about this Work

Translating Fragments : Disorientation in Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing Wang Guanglin , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 29 no. 1 2015; (p. 129-143)
'Guanglin explores Walter Benjamin's The Task of the Translator, wherein the German critic famously shifts the problem of translation against the Western mimetic tradition. Instead of a concern with the original being reproduced, Benjamin posits an event between languages. Moreover, Benjamin's Passagenwerk or Arcades Project demonstrates the mode of assembling and disassembling networked fragments. Elsewhere in Benjamin, the "cities" acquire the significance of palimpsest to be read. The Arcades Project, which would be posthumously edited and was never given a completed form, takes nineteenth-century Paris as a testing ground and site of emergence of modern techno-history. Among other things, Guanglin examines Shanghai Dancing, which serves this role in Brian Castro's writing.' (Publication summary)
Contesting Identity and Forming 'Cosmopolitan Memory' in Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing Beibei Chen , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 29 no. 2 2015; (p. 269-280)
'This article examines how 'cosmopolitan memory' workds in Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing as a way of challenging a notion of identity confined within nation-state and community...' (269)
Reading Australia from Distant Shores Jennifer Wawrzinek , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 28 no. 1 2014; (p. 18-22, 257)
'A a doctoral candidate working in Australian Studies, Wawrzinek shares the difficulty to find quality Australian literature in Europe, particularly in Paris and in Berlin. With the increasing availability of ebooks via download,she is hoping that it will become easier to include lesser known Australian writers on reading lists in the European university and to access material that otherwise takes months to arrive via conventional methods of transportation. She says a sustained, ongoing program to support Australian authors, to speak about their work, and to engage in collaborative programs with European scholars and artists is needed to show the world that Australia is not just about Kangaroos and beautiful beaches.' (Publication summary)
African Chicken and Transonant Subject in Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing Jennifer Wawrzinek , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Border Crossings : Narrative and Demarcation in Postcolonial Literatures and Media 2012; (p. 253-262)
'In Brian Castro's fictional autobiography Shanghai Dancing the narrator, Antonio Castro, takes a ferry to Hong Kong. During the passage he remembers his birth of a similar ferry many years previously when, as he describes it, his mother hesitated 'between one step and the next' (212) as her labour came on. After finally arriving in the world, the newborn child lies on the threshold of life 'unbreathing for some time' - an action that, the narrator tells us, is repeated throughout his life as 'stretching breath to stopper utterance' (212). This curious depiction of hesitant arrival and of suspension in-between states underwrites the entire narrative of the book, in which Antontio [sic] Castro returns from his adopted home in Melbourne to that of his birthplace in Shanghai. He goes there carrying his father's photos in an attempt to 'reconstruct a story' by finding 'the missing pieces' (12). Yet the narrative of his family history discovers not a unified and coherent story of origin, family, and nation, but rather a radically complicated and chequered diorama of migration and dispersal that compromises any singular notion of identity or culture.' (Author's introduction)
A Century of Oz Lit in China : A Critical Overview (1906-2008) Yu Ouyang , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 25 no. 1 2011; (p. 65-71)
‘This paper seeks to examine the dissemination, reception and perception of Australian literature in China from 1906 to 2008 by providng a historical background for its first arrival in China as a literature undistinguished from English or American literature, then as part of a ruoxiao minzu wenxue (weak and small nation literature) in the early 1930s, its rise as interest grew in Communist and proletarian writings in the 1950s and 1960s, and its spread and growth from the end of the cultural revolution in 1976 across all genres, culminating in its present unprecedented flourishing.’ (Introduction, p. 65)
"Grammars of Creation” : An Interview with Brian Castro : 24 November 2008 Marilyne Brun (interviewer), 2011 single work interview
— Appears in: Journal of the European Association for Studies on Australia , vol. 2 no. 1 2011;
'This interview with contemporary Australian writer Brian Castro addresses a number of themes and concepts that are central to his critical work and fiction. In the interview, Castro discusses his oeuvre as a whole, providing insights into the starting point for his first eight novels. He comments on the concepts of transgression, hybridity, polyphonia, cosmopolitanism and play, underlining the central significance of grammar, ethics and aesthetics in his work. The interview also includes reflections on the development of Asian Australian studies and the importance of translating novels. In the final sections of the interview, Castro discusses the relation between his critical work and his novels and reflects on the common conflation of the novelist and the theorist in much literary criticism.' Source: Marilyne Brun.
Writing Hybridity : The Theory and Practice of Autobiography in Rey Chow's "The Secrets of Ethnic Abjection" and Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing Katherine Hallemeier , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 25 no. 2 2011; (p. 125-130)
Katherine Hallemeier employs a close reading of Rey Chow's essay "The Secrets of Ethic Abjection' (2012) and Brian Castro's autobiographical essays in Looking for Estrellita (1999) and his fictional autobiography Shanghai Dancing (2003) and argues that both authors 'are similar insofar as their writing challenges essentialist understanding of hybrid identity by in fact straddling the genres of autobiography and theory'. (p. 125)
Diasporas of Diasporas: Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing David Brookshaw , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Narrating the Portuguese Diaspora : Piecing Things Together 2011; (p. 77-82)
'Miscegenating' Writing: Hybridity in Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing Maryline Brun , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Hybridity: Forms and Figures in Literature and the Visual Arts 2011; (p. 344-353)
‘Truth is Not the Seduction' : Brian Castro's Autobiographical Space Jacinta Van Den Berg , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , November no. 49 2010; (p. 1-18)
'In this paper I argue that the combination of fiction and essays across Castro's oeuvre may be read in terms of theorist of autobiography Philippe Lejeune's notion of an 'autobiographical space'. The repetitions and gaps of this space in Castro's writing sketch the life of an 'autobiographical persona', a phantasm of the author, who links the very different publications and is defined in relation to a present-absent mother figure, a character who otherwise plays little part in individual works. The reading practices used here privilege rewriting over individual works, style over substance. This is a hierarchy that deflects our scrutiny from truth claims to poetics and thus from the authorial persona, a significant result for the increasingly public Brian Castro. Identifying a coherent autobiographical persona allows us to acknowledge the emotional investment in autobiography in this writing without making claims on author biography.' (p. 2)
Work in Progress : Multicultural Writing in Australia Wenche Ommundsen , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Modern Australian Criticism and Theory 2010; (p. 243-257)
Lines of Exposure : 'Shanghai Dancing' Bernadette Brennan , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Brian Castro's Fiction : The Seductive Play of Language 2008; (p. 147-173)
Brian Castro's Radical Disorientalism in Shanghai Dancing Marion Campbell , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Politics and Aesthetics of Refusal 2007; (p. 67-80) Poetic Revolutionaries : Intertextuality and Subversion 2014;
他始终是个边缘人—看澳大利亚华裔作家布赖恩·卡斯特罗的创作 Wang Guanglin , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: 文艺报 , 7 April 2007; (p. 4)
The Tyranny of the Literal James Ley , 2005 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 270 2005; (p. 32-38)
James Ley examines the act of reading literary novels and the interpretation that must occur within each reader, including understanding the author's use of irony. Although the task may sometimes be challenging, Ley concludes that reading is 'a creative act. Unlike almost everything we are encouraged to consider entertainment, it is an active pursuit. Without this process of interpretation we cannot know ourselves.'
Shanghai Surprise Tweaks Book Trade Bean Counters Malcolm Knox , 2004 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 18 May 2004; (p. 3)
Dressing up Facts has Writer in the Famil's Way Murray Waldren , 2004 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 18 May 2004; (p. 4)
Picturing the Story : Image and Narrative in Brian Castro and W.G. Sebald David Sornig , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs , April vol. 8 no. 1 2004;
The author looks at the 'ways in which the text and the image are being used in tandem in the practice of contemporary literary fiction' through the works of Brian Castro and the German writer W. G. Sebald.
Reading Groups and Creative Writing Courses : The Year's Work in Fiction Susan Lever , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , November vol. 49 no. 2004; (p. 164-175)
Castro and the Friction of Fiction Jane Sullivan , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 22 March 2003; (p. 3)
Author Behind the Writer James Ley , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 29-30 March 2003; (p. 12)

— Review of Shanghai Dancing Brian Castro 2003 single work novel
A Blend of Elegant Leaps Michael Sharkey , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 19-20 April 2003; (p. 12)

— Review of Shanghai Dancing Brian Castro 2003 single work novel
Dancing to a Tune of Displacement Laurie Clancy , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Age , 26 April 2003; (p. 5)

— Review of Shanghai Dancing Brian Castro 2003 single work novel
Blend of Myth and Home Truths Mark Thomas , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Canberra Times , 3 May 2003; (p. 2a)

— Review of Shanghai Dancing Brian Castro 2003 single work novel
No Promised Land Alison Broinowski , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , May no. 251 2003; (p. 44)

— Review of Shanghai Dancing Brian Castro 2003 single work novel
Home Grown Heroes Peter Pierce , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Bulletin , 27 May vol. 121 no. 6374 2003; (p. 44)

— Review of Shanghai Dancing Brian Castro 2003 single work novel ; The Pirate Queen Alan Gold 2003 single work novel ; Fantastic Street David Kelly 2003 single work novel ; The Snow Queen : A Novel Mardi McConnochie 2003 single work novel ; Due Preparations for the Plague Janette Turner Hospital 2003 single work novel
Rewards for the Attentive Katharine England , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Advertiser , 19 July 2003; (p. 11)

— Review of Shanghai Dancing Brian Castro 2003 single work novel
Every Shroud has a Shivered Lining Anne Partlon , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The West Australian , 16 August 2003; (p. 16)

— Review of Shanghai Dancing Brian Castro 2003 single work novel
Historical and Realist Fiction Christina Hill , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: Overland , Summer no. 173 2003; (p. 100-101)

— Review of Shanghai Dancing Brian Castro 2003 single work novel ; The French Tutor Judith Armstrong 2003 single work novel
Untitled Sue Bond , 2003 single work review
— Appears in: The Asian Review of Books

— Review of Shanghai Dancing Brian Castro 2003 single work novel
Castro and the Friction of Fiction Jane Sullivan , 2003 single work column
— Appears in: The Age , 22 March 2003; (p. 3)
Shanghai Surprise Tweaks Book Trade Bean Counters Malcolm Knox , 2004 single work column
— Appears in: The Sydney Morning Herald , 18 May 2004; (p. 3)
Dressing up Facts has Writer in the Famil's Way Murray Waldren , 2004 single work column
— Appears in: The Australian , 18 May 2004; (p. 4)
Picturing the Story : Image and Narrative in Brian Castro and W.G. Sebald David Sornig , 2004 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : The Journal of the Australian Association of Writing Programs , April vol. 8 no. 1 2004;
The author looks at the 'ways in which the text and the image are being used in tandem in the practice of contemporary literary fiction' through the works of Brian Castro and the German writer W. G. Sebald.
Reading Groups and Creative Writing Courses : The Year's Work in Fiction Susan Lever , 2004 single work review
— Appears in: Westerly , November vol. 49 no. 2004; (p. 164-175)
The Tyranny of the Literal James Ley , 2005 single work essay
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , April no. 270 2005; (p. 32-38)
James Ley examines the act of reading literary novels and the interpretation that must occur within each reader, including understanding the author's use of irony. Although the task may sometimes be challenging, Ley concludes that reading is 'a creative act. Unlike almost everything we are encouraged to consider entertainment, it is an active pursuit. Without this process of interpretation we cannot know ourselves.'
Brian Castro's Radical Disorientalism in Shanghai Dancing Marion Campbell , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: The Politics and Aesthetics of Refusal 2007; (p. 67-80) Poetic Revolutionaries : Intertextuality and Subversion 2014;
Lines of Exposure : 'Shanghai Dancing' Bernadette Brennan , 2008 single work criticism
— Appears in: Brian Castro's Fiction : The Seductive Play of Language 2008; (p. 147-173)
‘Truth is Not the Seduction' : Brian Castro's Autobiographical Space Jacinta Van Den Berg , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Australian Humanities Review , November no. 49 2010; (p. 1-18)
'In this paper I argue that the combination of fiction and essays across Castro's oeuvre may be read in terms of theorist of autobiography Philippe Lejeune's notion of an 'autobiographical space'. The repetitions and gaps of this space in Castro's writing sketch the life of an 'autobiographical persona', a phantasm of the author, who links the very different publications and is defined in relation to a present-absent mother figure, a character who otherwise plays little part in individual works. The reading practices used here privilege rewriting over individual works, style over substance. This is a hierarchy that deflects our scrutiny from truth claims to poetics and thus from the authorial persona, a significant result for the increasingly public Brian Castro. Identifying a coherent autobiographical persona allows us to acknowledge the emotional investment in autobiography in this writing without making claims on author biography.' (p. 2)
A Century of Oz Lit in China : A Critical Overview (1906-2008) Yu Ouyang , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 25 no. 1 2011; (p. 65-71)
‘This paper seeks to examine the dissemination, reception and perception of Australian literature in China from 1906 to 2008 by providng a historical background for its first arrival in China as a literature undistinguished from English or American literature, then as part of a ruoxiao minzu wenxue (weak and small nation literature) in the early 1930s, its rise as interest grew in Communist and proletarian writings in the 1950s and 1960s, and its spread and growth from the end of the cultural revolution in 1976 across all genres, culminating in its present unprecedented flourishing.’ (Introduction, p. 65)
"Grammars of Creation” : An Interview with Brian Castro : 24 November 2008 Marilyne Brun (interviewer), 2011 single work interview
— Appears in: Journal of the European Association for Studies on Australia , vol. 2 no. 1 2011;
'This interview with contemporary Australian writer Brian Castro addresses a number of themes and concepts that are central to his critical work and fiction. In the interview, Castro discusses his oeuvre as a whole, providing insights into the starting point for his first eight novels. He comments on the concepts of transgression, hybridity, polyphonia, cosmopolitanism and play, underlining the central significance of grammar, ethics and aesthetics in his work. The interview also includes reflections on the development of Asian Australian studies and the importance of translating novels. In the final sections of the interview, Castro discusses the relation between his critical work and his novels and reflects on the common conflation of the novelist and the theorist in much literary criticism.' Source: Marilyne Brun.
Work in Progress : Multicultural Writing in Australia Wenche Ommundsen , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Modern Australian Criticism and Theory 2010; (p. 243-257)
Writing Hybridity : The Theory and Practice of Autobiography in Rey Chow's "The Secrets of Ethnic Abjection" and Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing Katherine Hallemeier , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 25 no. 2 2011; (p. 125-130)
Katherine Hallemeier employs a close reading of Rey Chow's essay "The Secrets of Ethic Abjection' (2012) and Brian Castro's autobiographical essays in Looking for Estrellita (1999) and his fictional autobiography Shanghai Dancing (2003) and argues that both authors 'are similar insofar as their writing challenges essentialist understanding of hybrid identity by in fact straddling the genres of autobiography and theory'. (p. 125)
African Chicken and Transonant Subject in Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing Jennifer Wawrzinek , 2012 single work criticism
— Appears in: Border Crossings : Narrative and Demarcation in Postcolonial Literatures and Media 2012; (p. 253-262)
'In Brian Castro's fictional autobiography Shanghai Dancing the narrator, Antonio Castro, takes a ferry to Hong Kong. During the passage he remembers his birth of a similar ferry many years previously when, as he describes it, his mother hesitated 'between one step and the next' (212) as her labour came on. After finally arriving in the world, the newborn child lies on the threshold of life 'unbreathing for some time' - an action that, the narrator tells us, is repeated throughout his life as 'stretching breath to stopper utterance' (212). This curious depiction of hesitant arrival and of suspension in-between states underwrites the entire narrative of the book, in which Antontio [sic] Castro returns from his adopted home in Melbourne to that of his birthplace in Shanghai. He goes there carrying his father's photos in an attempt to 'reconstruct a story' by finding 'the missing pieces' (12). Yet the narrative of his family history discovers not a unified and coherent story of origin, family, and nation, but rather a radically complicated and chequered diorama of migration and dispersal that compromises any singular notion of identity or culture.' (Author's introduction)
他始终是个边缘人—看澳大利亚华裔作家布赖恩·卡斯特罗的创作 Wang Guanglin , 2007 single work criticism
— Appears in: 文艺报 , 7 April 2007; (p. 4)
Diasporas of Diasporas: Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing David Brookshaw , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Narrating the Portuguese Diaspora : Piecing Things Together 2011; (p. 77-82)
'Miscegenating' Writing: Hybridity in Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing Maryline Brun , 2011 single work criticism
— Appears in: Hybridity: Forms and Figures in Literature and the Visual Arts 2011; (p. 344-353)
Reading Australia from Distant Shores Jennifer Wawrzinek , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 28 no. 1 2014; (p. 18-22, 257)
'A a doctoral candidate working in Australian Studies, Wawrzinek shares the difficulty to find quality Australian literature in Europe, particularly in Paris and in Berlin. With the increasing availability of ebooks via download,she is hoping that it will become easier to include lesser known Australian writers on reading lists in the European university and to access material that otherwise takes months to arrive via conventional methods of transportation. She says a sustained, ongoing program to support Australian authors, to speak about their work, and to engage in collaborative programs with European scholars and artists is needed to show the world that Australia is not just about Kangaroos and beautiful beaches.' (Publication summary)
Translating Fragments : Disorientation in Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing Wang Guanglin , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 29 no. 1 2015; (p. 129-143)
'Guanglin explores Walter Benjamin's The Task of the Translator, wherein the German critic famously shifts the problem of translation against the Western mimetic tradition. Instead of a concern with the original being reproduced, Benjamin posits an event between languages. Moreover, Benjamin's Passagenwerk or Arcades Project demonstrates the mode of assembling and disassembling networked fragments. Elsewhere in Benjamin, the "cities" acquire the significance of palimpsest to be read. The Arcades Project, which would be posthumously edited and was never given a completed form, takes nineteenth-century Paris as a testing ground and site of emergence of modern techno-history. Among other things, Guanglin examines Shanghai Dancing, which serves this role in Brian Castro's writing.' (Publication summary)
Contesting Identity and Forming 'Cosmopolitan Memory' in Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing Beibei Chen , 2015 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , December vol. 29 no. 2 2015; (p. 269-280)
'This article examines how 'cosmopolitan memory' workds in Brian Castro's Shanghai Dancing as a way of challenging a notion of identity confined within nation-state and community...' (269)
Last amended 9 May 2012 15:22:47
Settings:
  • Shanghai,
    c
    China,
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    East Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • Macao,
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    China,
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    East Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • Hong Kong,
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    China,
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    East Asia, South and East Asia, Asia,
  • c
    Australia,
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  • 1930-1969
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