[Just Kids] E–pub ´ Patti Smith

  • Hardcover
  • 304
  • Just Kids
  • Patti Smith
  • English
  • 25 November 2020
  • 9780066211312

Patti Smith í 6 Free read

Just Kids review Õ 6 Ngs the same uniue lyrical uality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetr. I admire this woman She writes a deft deeply felt prose She has a peerless memory She remembers gestures apparel worn thirty years ago favorite objects facial expressions stretches of dialog She can reanimate for us moments of deep emotional complexity This was clearly a labor of love The character study of Robert Mapplethorpe is disturbing shattering We watch Smith living with him as a veil is lifted from her awareness as her empathy broadens and she carries the reader along with her This is memoir as maelstrom cataclysmic in its effect There s than sufficient foreshadowing We know that Robert will die Yet one still finds oneself grabbing futilely for the gunwales whirling ever faster ever downward and inwardThe book reminds me of Jean Stein and George Plimpton s Edie American Girl in it s New York setting But Stein and Plimpton s book consists of transcripts of recorded conversations worked up into semi confessional monologues It s compelling but it doesn t touch the nimble pairing of image and incident we find in Just Kids nor does it have the latter s exuisite verbal compression Like Edie this book details an era of New York s art and cultural scene but with a vividness I ve never come across before This intensity radiates from The Hotel Chelsea where Mapplethorpe and Smith occupied a room The middle third of the book gets a little lost in name dropping I suppose that s inevitable There s less insight into Mapplethorpe whom the author is growing away from The sixties greats parade by Jimi Hendrix Janis Joplin Jim Morrison et al Then the artists and then the poets and so on The narrative dissipates under this welter of names Smith dates poet and rocker Jim Carroll People Who Died She dates playwright Sam Shepherd True West etc One begins to lose track Who s Matthew with the 45s again We watch Smith s astonishing evolution from visual artist to poet to rock and roller If someone were to write this story as fiction it would probably be criticized as unrealisticThe theme one of them is the artist being true to his or herself and doing the work Fascinating is the level at which which both Mapplethorpe and Smith learn their art They are huge talents but they have entered a talented artistic circle that beggars description When Shepherd has to leave Smith to return to his wife they pen a valedictory play which is later staged at the American Place Theater in midtown Mapplethorpe falls in love with photography when curator John McKendry brings him into the Met vaults and shows him rarely exhibited works by Stieglitz Strand and Eakins Until then he was hesitant to do his own photography though Smith had repeatedly encouraged him to he worked in photo collages with images from male magazines Smith in her turn is cajoled into poetry by Gregory Corso and into song writing by Bobby Neuwirth Who can claim such mentors and so many of them Most artists develop in far less encouraging settings Smith and Mapplethorpe have been incredibly blessed Toward the end the author reaches for a kind of ecstatic prose flight that seldom works Fortunately the attempts at woolgathering are few We are soon returned to earth by way of Mapplethorpe s suffering I was especially pleased to learn that in his last 15 years or so he had found a partner Sam Wagstaff who supported him in all he did Wagstaff was both patron and lover and rich as Croesus Mapplethorpe no longer had to hustle sex on 42nd Street to make the rent Wagstaff bought him a studio on Bond Street walking distance from his own flat Smith herself no longer needed to work at Scribners bookstore either She recorded Horses which made her an international star So when the end comes at least it is unmarked by the poverty and obscurity of Smith and Mapplethorpe s earlier years Smith living in Detroit by then with her husband Fred Sonic Smith drives to New York to see both men Sam is sick too during their final illnesses Her last encounter with Robert before he s wheeled off was for this reader Sophoclean in its tragic impact The love these two shared the exuisite trust Suddenly it s gone A void prevailsBy no means perfect this is still an astonishing emotionally affecting book As with all great writing its effect is greater than the sum of its parts Please read it

review Just KidsJust Kids

Just Kids review Õ 6 Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies An honest and moving story of youth and friendship Smith bri. This book is remarkably easy to parody Here I ll tryI was crossing Tompkins Suare Park when I ran into a young man wearing a gabardine vest He smiled at me and called me Sister It was a young George Carlin Robert hated him because he freuently had flakes of rye bread in his beard but I loved how he could make me laugh with his impressions of Mick Jagger On this morning though we wept together at the news that Paul McCartney would have to sell his house in Cannes It was a sort of paradise for us even though we d never been George gave me a feather to put in my hair and I took it home and pressed it between two pieces of crepe de chine where it left a ghostly impression Robert insisted on using it in a construction and finally I relented though I knew I d never get it back It was a sacrifice to art the sort of thing Rimbaud would ve doneI think this parodic potential arises from the book s total and complete lack of irony This is the most earnest sincere book I ve read in a long time and that s what makes it so heartbreaking Smith begins the book with an abundance of naivete and in many ways she never loses the idealism with which she begins her career Written in a lyrical elegiac tone this is at its heart a book about the bond two artists develop There s a remarkable amount of honest in the pages and Smith s and Mapplethorpe s friendship is uniue They were lovers collaborators confidants rivalsTheir lives were the stuff of legend and this book is a valiant effort to put that legend on the pageIf you ve ever held the romantic starving artist cliche in esteem this is the book for you Smith spends paragraphs talking about how hungry she was when she first moved to New York and she isn t using the word as a euphemism for ambition she really needed to eat Upon her return from a season in Paris Mapplethorpe greets her in a feverish state suffering from abscessed wisdom teeth and gonorrhea And yet They lived the lives of artists staying up into the wee hours creating writing singing They knew everyone Harry Smith Allen Ginsburg Sam Shepard Jim Carroll Todd Rundgren Jimi Hendrix Janis Joplin they all passed through Smith s life and they all make memorable appearances in the book It s a name dropper s paradise and yet I didn t come away from the book feeling as though Smith was boasting or exaggerating her own life I m sure she s omitted some unfortunate moments on her rise to the top but she seems honest about her own shortcomings She freely admits that she acted like a jerk after her first big poetry reading for instance I knew nothing of Robert Mapplethorpe beyond his work and the controversy it had caused in the late 80s I was too young to understand much of what he was trying to say though I could understand the controversy just fine The portrait Smith paints of Mapplethorpe is one of a passionate wildly creative artist and also of a man driven by his ambition to become famous Her friendship with him was clearly the defining moment of her life and reading about it was a pleasure I often felt lost in this book and I suspect that that s the only way to read it to just plow through it I don t think I share all of Smith s ideas about art but I respect her passion and her talent as a writer Her prose is clear and direct and eminently readable And maybe best of all wherever I took this book people would comment on it I just finished it It s heartbreaking Or I wish I had her passion I love when I read a book that inspires that kind of connection between people It makes me feel even if only for a moment that I live in the kind of world that Patti Smith lives in

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Just Kids review Õ 6 In Just Kids Patti Smith's first book of prose the legendary American artist offers a never before seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert. Hi Ho the artistic life I had very divergent feelings about Just Kids Patti Smith s National Book Award winning memoir about her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe There were times that I felt moved by the beauty of her writing and others in which I found her to be nothing than another spoiled entitled kid who got where she got to talented or not because of connections It is not that Smith arrived in NYC with a list of names and numbers But she did have the good fortune to encounter a knight in shining armor who had a prodigious artistic drive and the good looks to attract a series of male gateways to the New York arts scene Patti Smith image from El Pais photo credit Cordon PressThere is no doubt about the deep connection Smith formed with Robert Mapplethorpe famed photographer to be They were not only lovers but bffs And that continued long after they stopped sharing a bed Smith takes us on a journey through the gritty and some not so gritty portions of the New York arts scene offering glimpses of the many many people she and Mapplethorpe met It is a veritable who s who including bits and pieces on Jimi Hendrix Janis Joplin Sam Shepherd Andy Warhol William Burroughs and a cast of hundreds I never got the impression that Smith was name dropping She was as amazed as any aspiring artist might be at finding herself among so many notables One downside to this is that so many shining lights speed by like houses at night as seen from a train I would have liked it had she gone into a little or a lot detail on of these luminaries She certainly does reinforce the image of the Chelsea Hotel as a cauldron of creativity in its day The story of her arrival in New York meeting Mapplethorpe and struggling to get by is worth the price of admission a real look at what it means to be a starving artist And that is not just a glib turn of phrase as Patti at times made use of the five finger discount in order to eat It is also fun to read about how she and Robert trolled discount stores for materials they would use to make jewelry or incorporate into other artistic projects Smith and Mapplethorpe back in the day image from Vanity FairDespite the minimal physical mileage traversed here Just Kids is a bit of a road story Instead of crossing continents she and Mapplethorpe cross from obscurity to fame from outsiders to insiders from fellow travelers in a very non political sense to lovers to soulmatesI was surprised at a few things Ok look at almost any photo of Patti Smith and tell me with a straight face that she doesn t make you think of the Calvin Klein ideal of physical appearance Yet when she appeared in a play as a person with drug issues she was completely uncomfortable pretending to shoot up Even her director was shocked at her lack of hard drug experience A little weed here and there does not give one that lovely Ginger Baker look A diet sprinkled with stolen food contributed for sure but nature sculpted that body not dark substances I was also surprised having come to the book with no familiarity with Smith beyond her recording of Because the Night about the diversity of her artistry running from drawing to poetry to playwrighting to acting and so on I have read better memoirs and I do not think this should have won the National Book Award But there is no missing the real feeling she communicates the love she and Mapplethorpe had for each other Her writing is good sometimes better than good and you will not be disappointed But for many the lifestyles presented here might be discomfiting the willingness to engage in hustling thievery and very open relationships make the artistic world Smith and Mapplethorpe inhabited a decidedly acuired tasteEXTRA STUFFLinks to the author s personal Instagram and FB pages