The Aboriginal Subject in Autobiography: Ruby Langford’s Don’t Take Your Love to Town
A sense of 'who I was' issues from the record of the life; it does not precede and shape that record. Langford's need to articulate her self can be traced back to the many incidents of her life in which circumstances impeded her self-realisation in speech and action. One of the outstanding textual qualities of Don't Take Your Love to Town is the narrative's emphasis on the outward circumstances of life: where Langford lives, who she is with, what they are doing, little incidents which she recalls about that scene. That Langford's is a very circumstantial narrative, concerned overwhelmingly with incident, has important consequences for the reader. However vividly a 'character' emerges in certain bold actions (for example, there are nine episodes of her 'decking' various acquaintances), a 'subject' seems to be absent from this circumstantial narrative.
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Published 1 May 1993 in Volume 16 No. 1. Subjects: Aboriginal fringe dwellers, Aboriginal kinship, Aboriginal women writers, Autobiographies, Bush, Motherhood, Search for self identity, Step families.