The Descent of Alette by Alice NotleyIn The Descent of Alette, Alice Notley presents a feminist epic, a bold journey into the deeper realms. Alette, the narrator, finds herself underground, deep beneath the city, where spirits and people ride endlessly on subways, not allowed to live in the world above. Traveling deeper and deeper, she is on a journey of continual transformation, encountering a series of figures and undergoing fragmentations and metamorphoses as she seeks to confront the Tyrant and heal the world. Using a new measure, with rhythmic units indicated by quotation marks, Notley has created a spoken text, a rich and mesmerizing work of imagination, mystery, and power.
Alice Notley: Disobedient Cities
A word about the quotation marks. The phrases they enclose are poetic feet. If I had simply left white spaces between the phrases, the phrases would be read too fast for my musical intention. The quotation marks make the reader slow down and silently articulate—not slur over mentally—the phrases at the pace, and with the stresses, I intend. They also distance the narrative form myself.
ALICE NOTLEY'S MAGAZINES: A DIGITAL PUBLISHING PROJECT
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