The serial mythology of a non-representative self : Rebecca Browns life writing
Faculty of Arts. Linguistics and Literature
University of Antwerp
In this article, I will point to several striking parallels that can be drawn between the I-narrators in Rebecca Browns oeuvre. These parallels add up to create a personal myth, and they allow us to read the work of this contemporary lesbian author as a serial autobiography. Tracing her autobiographical voice, we can see how Browns work upsets generic conventions through the narrators namelessness, through the implication that there is no end to autobiography, or through the insight that the truth about ones self and ones past is hard to capture because it is inevitably perspectival. The impossibility of attaining this kind of truth ties in with what I see as Browns distinctive way of handling a problem of representation that other life writers with marginalized identities tend to deal with rather differently. After all, when Browns lesbian self-referential narrators make no effort to hide the difficulty of relating personal recollections and resort to their own idiosyncratic ways of commenting on the unreliability of memory, they upset certain expectations about a narrators authority and representativeness that continue to be prompted by autobiographical texts of authors who work from a marginal subject position.