Archive of Desire: The Souvenir in Eve Langley's Australian Novels

Elizabeth Treep


In the six novels that Langley sets in Australia, that is, the two published ones and her first four unpublished manuscripts, Langley’s narrator Steve travels widely through the countryside of Victoria, as an itinerant field hand and self-styled rover. She regularly returns to her mother’s house and on these visits home she invariably brings with her evidence of her adventures. In this essay I explore the nature and employment of these souvenirs. The souvenirs archive Steve’s day-to-day life away from her mother’s house, but in doing so, as distancing devices, they assert a reconfiguration of the social space of that house. This, then, raises questions regarding the social landscape both within and beyond the house.


Eve Langley; souvenir; spatial theory

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