Hannah Zeavin Interviews Alice Notley

22 Mar, 2024

Hannah Zeavin Interviews Alice Notley

Hannah Zeavin is a scholar, writer, and editor whose work centers on the history of human sciences (psychoanalysis, psychology, and psychiatry), the history of technology and media, feminist science and technology studies, and media theory. Zeavin is an Assistant Professor of History (Science / North America) in the Department of History and The Berkeley Center for New Media at UC Berkeley.

Alice Notley lives in a studio apartment up a single flight of stairs, on the Right Bank in Paris. Her front door is labeled with her name, in looped handwriting on Scotch tape. . Past that is the workspace jammed with countless books, many given to her or written by friends—among them Jim Carroll, Eileen Myles, Leslie Scalapino, Allen Ginsberg, and Anne Waldman.

Recently, the two met up for an interview, which focused on conversations that took place across four afternoons this past August. Notley sat in a black chair in front of her bookshelves, her feet up on an ottoman, often atop that day’s New York Times international edition, a paper she described more than once as “terrible.” Her mode of reminiscence might be described as “memory in feeling,” to use the words of Melanie Klein—she seemed to find herself back in time and place, to experience herself elsewhen.

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