Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Patti Smith: Just Kids

I'm writing on my way from work to my book club, ergo am tapping away on the phone, ergo no deep thoughts today. Sadly not even a picture of the book in question on my lap; the rental has been returned to the library. ("Rental"  because it was overdue and I'll have to pay for my forgetfulness. Oops.)  Couldn't get hold of it in English, so read the translation - btw, it's a bit annoying when they don't translate the title, because if you're not up to speed on your library codes you can't tell which search result is the English one and which is the Swedish one. Translation ok, possibly brought out certain repetitions and mannerisms on Smith's writing for the worse. Hard to be sure without reading both obviously. 

The book is about Patti Smith's relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe, how they met in the late 60s and how their careers got started in the following decade. Everyone seems to love this book, I've heard no-one gripe about it yet. Me - not sure. A lot of names in it I don't know, especially towards the end. The first half is the best and feels genuine, moving and heart-warming. I feel a great deal of sympathy for these kids and their dreams. I lose interest as the book progresses though. Despite professing to be The Story, honest and true, she seems to be writing more about surfaces. A lot of talk about how artists are special and not like other people - without really explaining the art to me. A lot of talk about how they're all about their inner lives, yet all the time telling me what they're wearing. It starts to feel - horror of horrors - pretentious. And I really don't think she is.

Be interesting to hear the others.

No comments: